"It is possible to die from eating. But I think to be professional means you don't die." (Takeru Kobayashi)

Sunday, December 02, 2007


That's right, Sweet Jill out ate me at the Niner Diner yesterday during the UEPa's fall 2008 meeting. In my defense, I have a lot of practice losing to women. Sonya Thomas, Juliet Lee, Megan and Jennifer from work (my first, thanks guys!).

To recap, we met at the Niner Diner in Nanty Glo to attempt the legendary Tiny's Challenge: a three-pound burger and five pounds of fries. Eat it all in two-hours and it's free. I can say this for sure...of all the giant burgers I've eaten (Denny's, Clinton Station Diner), this one was by far the best tasting of them all.

To answer Wild Bill's comment to this post, no one finished the challenge. Carey and Brian were the only ones to finish the burger. Carey made a one-pound or so dent in his five pounds of fries and Brian, with a little help from his son, made a little more of an impact, but overall the meal was just too much for any of us to handle. According to Niner Diner owner, Tiny, the only person to ever complete the meal was a 90-something pound woman (of course) who works at the local Wal-Mart.

The Audience

Carey and I arrived at the Niner Diner 11:30, about half an hour early. The first thing we noticed was a sign on the front door stating that the diner would be closed for a few hours for a "competitive eating event" to allow Tiny to grill up our burgers and ready the fries. The sign also said people were welcome to stop by and watch. Here we see some of the folks who were there at 11:30. More would arrive later; sipping coffees and puffing on cigarettes and snapping photos with cell phones. I hope we put on a good show for them.

Grillin burgers

Here's Tiny at work. Each burger had three one-pound beef patties on it and one-pound of sliced cheese. That's a lot of cheese. The burgers were also adorned with the usual slew of condiments, including some very spicy diced onions at the very bottom which are not a welcome discovery 30 minutes into your lunch.

Carey gets served

Our lunch arrived on large baking sheets. Here's Carey making room for his. It looked like burger mountain surrounded by a sea of fries. I wasn't sure how they were going to serve five pounds of french fries, but this seems like the best way. Better than a giant McDonalds-like box. Behind Carey is a cameraman from the local Fox and ABC affiliate. The UEPa appeared on both newscasts last night. A reporter from the Nanty Glo Journal was also there.

Digging in 2

We all approached Tiny's Challenge the same way: break the burger apart and eat it as fast as possible in hopes of finishing it and then moving on to the fries. Seated in orange is Brian Subich's son who helped him with his fries. Brian didn't officially attempt the challenge, but he did finish his burger in 19 minutes. Carey polished off his at the 30 minute mark and Jill, Wing Tut and I nibbled away at it before throwing in the towel.

Brian and his son had been deer hunting that morning and were headed back out after lunch. Wing Tut was doing the same. Tut called me after we left the Niner Diner. Thirty minutes after getting back out into the field, he bagged a doe. Mmmm...deer.

Hitting the wall

Not sure what was happening here. I dished my camera off to a spectator and asked her to snap a dozen or so shots. Maybe I'm in pain. Maybe I'm getting ready to burp. Maybe I'm thinking of my happy place.

Carey and his fan club

This is Carey with his fan club. They broke into a chant of "Ca-wey! Ca-wey! Ca-wey!" with about 20 minutes left in the challenge as Carey nibbled on a few last minute fries. Don't miss this shot of fan #1 reverently studying Cawey's drinking technique.

Tiny and the Gang

Here's the gang shortly before departing. Left to right: Me, Tiny and his wife, Brian and his son, Carey, Wing Tut and Jill. I can't say enough about how kind and accomodating Tiny and his staff were to us while we were there. The Niner Diner is truly a top-notch establishment and we'll definitely be back for future UEPa meetings (to try the giant pancake challenge, no doubt).

A full set of pics can be seen here, including each of us posing with our burgers, more behind the scenes shots, a pic of Carey taking a break around the one-hour mark and one of me doing a John Travolta impression.


Blogger brfudge said...

Where was Ian?? We hope you all enjoyed this trip to our "Hometown". It is a really great diner- and the staff is wonderful. Congrats to all, and hoep we can be there for the pancake challenge, when it is scheduled.

10:08 AM

Blogger Wild Bill said...

The question needs to be asked... did anyone finish the entire challenge?
I was stuck here for nothing - not a damn peep out of the on-call phone. But, you know, if I had gone, I would have gotten a half-dozen calls.
Great job, guys!

12:25 PM

Blogger Mega Munch said...

BRFUDGE - Thanks for having us. Nanty Glo and Niner Diner was awesome. Ian was really bummed about not being able to make it but he got roped into something at the last minute the night before and it left him unable to eat on Saturday. Competitive eaters (especially Ian) are can be a sensitive bunch.

BILL - Good point. Huge oversight on my part. Check the third paragraph, which I just added.

Too bad you couldn't make it. We'll be back next year to attempt the pancake challenge which, I'm told, is a little less daunting than this burger.

5:31 PM

Blogger brfudge said...

I thought Ian got caught up in something- He was supposed to vivit us on Friday night and had to cancel at the last moment. (we do understand though).

5:41 PM

Blogger brfudge said...

sorry (vivit) is really spelled visit...(damn PA schooling...BR

5:42 PM

Anonymous Philly Guy said...

Good job everyone. Nothing like a good overdose of starch to put an end of another year of eating. I'm officially calling in on Tuesday for wingbowl around 6:30am. Time to see if my new moniker of the Furrious Masticator is radio friendly.

5:46 PM

Anonymous INVADER said...

I know, I know, I know. Believe me, I would have gone if I felt I had the stomach to do the challenge justice. Unfortunately, a last minute film "shoot" left me in less than fighting competition. This had been scheduled for Sunday but a last minute change left me no choice.

I WILL attempt this challenge. Without BR Fudge, I never would have known about it so I couldn't go half ass it just-cause.

Glad to hear everyone had a good time and that the food was just as nice.

9:00 PM

Blogger RM1(SS) (ret) said...

Way to go, Cawey! 8)

Nice pics, Dave - I've taken the liberty of lifting two of them to illustrate my blog. Looking forward to seeing more....

10:43 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's 12:38am Monday Morning (Dec 3rd), I JUST got home from my UEPa excursion, and I have to be at work at 9am -- but it was well worth it! I had a blast!!! The food was great, and it was nice finally getting to meet you guys: Dave, Carey, Wing Tut, and Brian. I look forward to another event, hopefully in the near future.

12:42 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

BTW, I will be uploading the pics and videos that I took from the event later today. I'll be sure to share them with you!!

1:17 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Very nice pics Dave, they made me hungry and wanted to go out in the middle of the night to buy a couple of huge burgers!

-Domenico "The Sicilian"

11:24 AM

Anonymous beautifulbrian said...

Nice try. 3lb burger is no joke. They got one at dennys when we went out there in 2003 to attempt the 11 lb monster. One of the guys that lives in akron ohio had problems that day with the 3lb burger. According to Munch's pics the fries look way too much for anyone to handle. It's alot of food.

11:30 AM

Blogger steakbellie said...

You are the winner of certain awards.

4:06 PM

Blogger Carey said...

That was a great tasting burger(s) and the cheese was high quality, except it made the burger slow going down. I appreciated the fact that they use regular buns instead of home made thick bread. Good job everyone.

9:09 PM

Blogger bothenook said...

hey buckwheat, that picture doesn't look like you are in pain. it must be that you were really in your happy place. as good as the burger looked, i think i'd be in a happy place just staring at it....
great reporting!

11:51 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

OK, I got the videos I took uploaded on to YouTube. Here's the link to my channel:

"Sweet" Jill Stoler on YouTube

Or just copy and paste:


12:12 AM

Blogger Mega Munch said...

You rock Jill. And you're right Nook...truth is I was actually just mugging for the camera.

9:16 PM

Blogger Scooter Couple said...


3 photos from the bottom it looks like your belly is quoting Whitney Houston in a recent conversation with Bobby Brown . . .

"oh 'hell to the nah!'"


5:40 PM

Blogger Mega Munch said...

My belly often quotes Whitney Houston, but in this picture I think it was saying, "I believe that children are our future. Teach them well and let them lead the way. Show them all the beauty they possess inside."

2:19 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hahahahaha! You're so funny, Dave!

8:35 PM


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