Thursday, December 30, 2010

The Godzilla Roll

What is it about a sunny Christmas day that just makes you want to go out and get drunk?

Like absolutely shit faced, I'm going to be regretting this in the morning wasted. It's probably the egg nog, or maybe all the time off you get from your usual routine. All that time you get to ponder on what is truly meaningful in your life.

For me, it's Scotch. A whole bunch of it.

And a few pounds of rare prime rib for good measure.

That pretty much summarizes the holiday for me. It was a pleasant, great drink & food with a few random twists to keep it fresh. Oh Christmas, you never fail to surprise me.

Also, the Christmas tree at Fashion Island in Newport Beach was gorgeous this year:

But down to business, all this festive gluttony comes at the cost of taking a break from the joys of competitive eating. Pondering all that with Scotch in hand, I came to the conclusion that I should do one more eating event for 2010.

So 2010, this one's for you.

My quest led me to Sushi Delight in Lomita, California for their Godzilla Roll challenge. A giant sushi roll weighing over four pounds, filled with delicious things from the sea and smothered in three types of dressing. 

They give you an hour to finish this one.

If you succeed, you get the meal for free, a t-shirt and a spot on the wall of fame. Failure yields you a bill for $35, left overs in a box and a spot on the wall of shame. There is a less than 4% success rate with this one, so I figured I'd end my 2010 with some challenging fun.

There was also the matter of the record my buddy Xanadu set in October at 11 minutes flat. She truly amazes me.

It was packed when I walked in, not the best conditions for competitive eating but at least business was good. I had to wait a bit since the chefs were incredibly busy, but that just added to my hunger. I haven't done sushi since I set the men's record a Sushilicious a couple months ago and I was definitely looking forward to this one.

My Godzilla Roll arrived in a big, white plate with sauces drizzled artistically over the massive slices of the sushi roll. My usual food excitement kicked in and I thoroughly enjoyed diving into this one. It tasted much like a tempura or crunchy roll, with hints of sweetness and creaminess from the various sauces.

It was truly a pleasure eating through this one, and I regret not taking the time to properly savor the taste. I'd like to return one day to eat another one at a casual pace.

Like Christmas, the enjoyment was over far too quickly. I ended up finishing in 7:20, beating the prior record of 11:00.

I wanted to eat another one, but I had to be somewhere after. Though I did have some celebratory dessert with happy hour Kirin and green tea mochi. Some nice sweetness and bitterness to create a sense of umami after the sushi roll.

Here's the video of the challenge:

There you go 2010, one last one for the road. Off to 2011 for bigger and better adventures.

Keep it awesome in the new year guys.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Hamburgers, Hot Dogs and Cheese Steaks

I've been hungry. Very, very hungry.

Hungry like Pac-man on anti-depressants. I want to eat everything in my path while avoiding those creepy ghosts. I'm hungry for food, competition and life in general. This is what drives me to competitively eat, a passionate pursuit to satiate my hunger for challenge and to devour delicious food in the process.

The past few weeks have been amazing for my competitive eating endeavors. I was inspired by the local Laguna Beach homeless looking to gain work on their own devices, so I made a sign to help:

A couple weeks ago was the first Mr. Dash Hamburger Eating Contest at the Bay Hill Tavern in San Diego. Pete Dash wanted to advertise his gourmet hamburgers from Pennsylvania to new markets in California and offered $500 cash plus prizes in an eating contest. I invited Tom "Goose" Gilbert from my first eating contest in Mission Viejo to compete. My buddies Aaron Ybarra and Stephanie Torres were also competing. This would be very intense competition.

As formidable as Pete Dash was in stature, he was a pretty cool guy and made the rules of our contest simple.  You and your competition have 10 minutes to consume as many of his hamburgers as possible. You're allowed glasses of water to do with as you please and the winner would be the person who ate the most and held them in for 10 minutes after eating. The hamburgers were very tasty, unusual because there was a lot more seasoning in the meat than a typical hamburger. But like he was claiming, you can eat them naked.

We started late and the hours of waiting really drove the appetites of the six competitors. When we finally started, Goose took the initial lead just devastating burger after burger at a staggering pace. Though as I explained to Stephanie beforehand, like our last contest, Goose's incredible speed would taper off near the end. We just needed to maintain a steady eating rhythm as usual. And that we did, keeping pace with each other until around the 13th burger a couple minutes from the end of the contest.

Then me and Goose started to slow down, while Stephanie kept her mouse-like eating style going. She was amazing and nearly caught up to Goose at the end. She ended up coming in 2nd with 18 hamburgers in 10 minutes just half a hamburger shy of Goose's 18.5 total. I came in 3rd, two behind Goose with 16.5 hamburgers and Aaron came in 4th with a respectable 11 consumed. This was such a fun competition, my appetite was definitely satiated that night.

However, the next weekend, I found myself in the same hungry predicament. I impulsively decided to participate in a hot dog eating contest hosted by The American Festival in Long Beach. There were just four of us competing, me and three random people from the festival in a five minute picnic style eating contest with bottled water. Dunking was out of the question.

The contest was quick, I won with 14 hot dogs and buns in 5 minutes. The next guy did 7, pretty decent for a 15 year old with no competitive eating experience I think. The hot dogs themselves were pretty bland, but at least the prizes were unusual. I won a pair of hand made Indian moccasins and a dinner-cruise for two in Long Beach. Not bad for an impulsive contest and definitely a nice warm up to defend my cheese steak title the following day.

I was back in Corona for the third time to defend my cheese steak title and to attempt to break my prior record of eating 4.75 foot long cheese steak sandwiches in 10 minutes. My competition included 5 first timers and two women. Not very intimidating, but at least Kevin Ross from the MLE was there to check out the contest and to capture video for me. He also ordered some very creative food, French fries covered in Cheese-wiz, sautéed mushrooms and onions with a ginger ale. I wanted to try them but I still had a contest to sort out.

The contest was very enjoyable, the cheese steak sandwiches were the most delicious I had eaten yet. I ended up winning and beating my old record with 5.2 cheese steaks in 10 minutes. I consumed the remainder of my sixth cheese steak while the results were being announced. They were so damn good, it was like the steak and cheese were tongue fucking my mouth. I could have eaten 6 more. 

Here's video of the action:

That's it for now however, I don't have any eating events planned until the next year. I'm taking a break for the holidays. I feel like what I imagine Pac-man would feel like after he finishes a level. No more orbs, random cherries or even ghosts to devour.

On the bright side, I found my new favorite artist on Pandora. I entered Vanilla Ice into my create station field and it was amazing. After "Ice, Ice Baby" the theme from "The Fresh Prince of Bel-air" came on, it was like magic coming through my car's speakers. I suppose I'll just be chilling out, maxing, relaxing all cool until the new year. Merry Christmas!