My beefed-up bout to match Man vs Food; POST'S LIAM RANDALL TAKES ON EPIC 4X4 BURGER CHALLENGE.
EATING copious amounts of food has always had with it sense of machismo and none more so since the dawn of reality TV show Man v Food.
For the uninitiated it sees American TV personality Adam Richman travelling the US taking on eating challenges which look tasty, but would probably make your stomach explode if you went within 20 metres of one.
Since watching the show I'd always wanted to give one of these Herculean tasks a go, so when I was invited to try one out there was no hesitation on my part.
The 4x4 burger challenge has been running at Harvey's New York Bar & Grill in Llandudno since it first opened in October 2012.
Head chef Paul Wallo told me that in that time 50 people have successfully completed it, although a significant amount more had fallen by the wayside.
He also said that one child had conquered it, which made me feel hugely under pressure at first, until he explained that the burgers were half the size.
The mammoth task ahead of me involved four 8oz burgers: The Main Street, BBQ Burger, American and the Original - stacked high and served with a portion of fries, salad and coleslaw. As an off the cuff estimate Paul put the calorie count at about 2,000.
The prize to the victor is a place on the Harvey's Wall of Fame and looking at the picture I had seen before arriving I felt optimistic about my chances, but I was about to learn looks can be deceiving.
As the waitress walked towards me with the towering behemoth I hoped it was someone else's meal, although inevitably it landed on my table packed full of cheese, bacon, mushroom and BBQ sauce and topped with more onion rings than you can shake a stick at.
For a food lover it was a mouth watering sight, yet one which filled me with an enormous sense of foreboding.
I decided to follow the advice of a few friends I'd spoken to before the challenge and take on the meat first, leaving the chips and onion rings until last.
Cutting into the first burger, my nervousness was not aided by the fact that I appeared to have a small audience among my fellow diners. However, despite the watching eyes I managed to eat it quite comfortably.
The second layer was tackled in a similar vein, although my mouth began to feel a bit dry having yet to reach the more succulent toppings below.
With that in mind I called in the reinforcements in the form of a strategic glass of water and some barbecue sauce.
The cheese and bacon below were a welcome sight, but by the time I finished them the sips of water were becoming more frequent and I was beginning to feel what all Man v Food afficionados will know as the 'meat sweats.'.
Several bites into the third burger was when I knew I'd hit a brick wall and despite finishing it, that slab of meat was sadly my last with the sides still completely untouched.
The staff at Harvey's offered their commiserations and it was with my tail firmly between my legs that I left with a full stomach and a doggy bag in hand, feeling less manly but certainly a lot wiser about how tough these eating challenges really are.
The going gets tough... and finally having to admit defeat |
Liam Randall takes the 4 burger challenge at Harvey's in Llandudno, inset |