On Wednesday night I drove down to Ocean Beach to take on the Pho 20 Challenge at OB Noodle House. The restaurant was surprisingly packed at 8:30p with people watching the hockey game, hipsters drinking from an incredible beer selection and drones like myself enjoying some hot Vietnamese pho.
About 150 people have attempted this challenge and only 9 have completed it under the 42 minute time limit. It involves eating a jumbo bowl of pho with two pounds of noodles, a pound and a half of thinly sliced beef and a pint of beer. I was happy that they let me pick my beer. I ended up going with Kirin, a beer I'm pretty familiar with.
My food came out piping hot, so I decided to implement my strategy of pouring the beer into the broth to help mitigate the excess heat. It definitely helped, albeit somewhat less than I had hoped for. It was still really hot, I wished I had another beer to pour in. But victories aren't forged from comfort, so I dug in and tried my best. Trying to ignore the searing fluid going down my throat, I focused once again on process and timing. I wanted to keep a good rhythm to efficiently devour my hot pho.
Aside from the gross, sweaty agony, this challenge was actually really tasty. I've never come across a bowl of pho I didn't enjoy and this massive bowl was certainly no exception. It was delicious. Even without the sprouts, mint or other condiments I sincerely enjoyed the flavor of my challenge.
I ended up completing the challenge under the 42 minute limit and beating the previous of record of 20 minutes by finishing in 9 minutes. I was very satisfied. The people nearby were awesome and incredibly supportive. The bartender let me drink for free afterwards too. I gladly took him up on that offer.
Here's the video of the challenge:
I did have a bit of a snafu whilst editing the video for Youtube. In the middle of processing the data, my video card decided to melt. I spent a good portion of the following night troubleshooting and fixing my computer. On the bright side, I've been meaning to upgrade my video card and did so accordingly. I got the old rig patched up and running like new again. I love Micro Center.
On an unrelated note, last night, in my usual Friday night inebriation, was the last day you could legally purchase alcoholic energy drinks in the United States. I downed a can of Four Loko for good measure. Thanks FDA for keeping us from doing harmful things to ourselves. Now I can stick to the "safe" method of getting energetic and drunk at the same time: shots of 151 with 5 Hour Energy Drink chasers. :-(
Also thanks to Lisa and Joyce for their awesome support and sorting out the pictures. Lisa did such an amazing job covering the action. :-D