DENNY'S, I WISH I KNEW HOW TO QUIT YOU
Every time I go to Denny’s (which is twice now) I get a giddy feeling when I pull into the parking lot and feel a little sad when I have to leave. Granted, the former is probably due to me having not eaten in 24 hours prior to arriving and the latter might have something to do with having three or four pounds of burger in my belly, but that’s just how I feel.
For the most recent visit, six members of the UEPa—all pictured below—were asked by Denny to visit on Saturday and be part of the unveiling of Denny’s new “World’s Largest Burger” (123 pounds). We also participated in a two-pound burger eating contest (roughly five pounds total). The details of Ian Hickman and Mark Lyle’s attempts are detailed in photos below, but Beau, myself and Wing Tut all ran out of time, having eaten about four pounds of our burgers when the hour expired. In his Denny’s debut, the newest member of the UEPa, Carey Poehlmann, was victorious. He downed his last bite at the 56 minute mark and now has his name on the wall at Denny’s Beer Barrel Pub. Pssh! Rookies.
The six members of the day’s UEPa team posing with the largest burger ever created (123 pounds). The burger was unbelievable and almost didn’t look real. I’m still trying to figure out how the 100+ pounds of burger and top bun didn’t crush the bottom bun completely flat. Maybe some ingenious support system was in effect. From left to right: Ian “The Invader” Hickman, Dave “Mega Munch” Shoffner, Beau “Beauhemian” Faulkner, Mark “The Human Vacuum” Lyle (yellow), Derek “Wing Tut” Payne (red), Carey “Still Needs a Nickname” Poehlmann.
Phil, the chef and artist behind the burger, applies some greenery before the burger tips the scales at 123 pounds. Denny is in the apron on the right. He gave a heartfelt speech to the packed room and said that this would be his last attempt at the record. He did say that when his son takes over the restaurant, he may choose to keep the burger wars alive.
Ian Hickman tearing into his burger. He would finish in 14 minutes and 45 seconds to set the new world record for the fasted time for a Denny’s two-pounder (4 lb 12 oz total) with “the works.”
As is the case with most of Denny’s big burgers, eaters are given the choice of holding one item but for the main contest, we decided to hold nothing. Mark “The Human Vaccum” Lyle didn’t participate in the main event. Instead he performed solo for the German TV cameras (they planned to time elapse the footage and air it on what they called “the German equivalent of the Today Show”). Due to allergies, the Vacuum ordered his burger without tomatoes. Here we see just some of Mark’s flawless and awesome technique. He would finish with a time of 13 minutes 30 seconds, a new record for the two-pounder “with one item held.”
The day’s only finishers of the two-pound burger.
Beau's girlfriend Katie digs into Beau's scraps after he wisely threw in the towel (that’s him on the right envying her technique). On the drive up there she seriously considered competing and still thinks she could have been a contender. After seeing her gnawing fearlessly on Beau’s cold, congealed left overs, I would have to agree.
Derek “Wing Tut” Payne defies his mother’s advice and decides to play with his food. In this picture he’s taken a skewer and made a “meatpop” out of his left over burger. After several minutes of very intense and slightly disturbing licking, the technique proved worthless and he put the pop down, admitting “maybe it wasn’t a good idea to get so drunk last night.”
This is a team of eaters from South Jersey called the Screaming Eagles. They would attempt the 15-pounder (two person team in foreground), the famous Ye Old 96er (one man, back left) and the three-pounder (one man, back right). With their yellow shirts they definitely took the award for “Best Eating Team That Looked Like An Actual Team”, reminding all UEPa members that we really need to get some t-shirts. Despite their uniformed approach, the burgers would be the winners in this battle.
A full set of pictures can be seen here and Wing Tut’s recollections of the day’s events, with photos and video, are here.