"My eyes are getting bigger, and my mouth…"

by Katie Pizzuto on January 26, 2009

in Dining,Fast Food,Restaurants

vermonsterIf you ever find yourself in Amarillo, TX with a growling stomach because that protein bar you had for breakfast just didn’t cut it, there’s a lovely establishment known as the Big Texan Steak Ranch. Given that everything’s bigger in Texas, it’s safe to assume when THESE guys say big, it must be enormous. How enormous? 4 ½ lbs. worth of enormity, that’s how much. And if you manage to keep down that, plus an order of shrimp cocktail, a salad, a buttered roll and a baked potato it’s on the house. Forget to butter your roll and I guess you’re screwed. If, instead, you find yourself in St. Louis with a hankering for pizza, you can hit Pointer’s, which has an 11 ½ lb. pizza that spans a total of 28 inches. Manage to finish it with the help of a partner (i.e. someone equally as stupid) in 1 hour, and not only is the pizza free, but you win $500. Prefer a little dessert? Hightail it to Ben & Jerry’s in Vermont and stick your face in their “Vermonster” which contains 20 scoops of ice cream (over half a gallon), 4 bananas, 3 chocolate chip cookies, hot fudge, 18 scoops of toppings and whipped cream.

I realize that this country has an infatuation with size, most likely because until recently it’s been run by nothing but men, but what the hell, people? While portion sizes have tripled bethsin the last ten years, some restaurants are actually flaunting ridiculously sized servings for entertainment value and profiting from our stupidity. Beth’s Café in Seattle will gladly serve you up a 12-egg ham and cheese omelet with so many hash browns and toast that it has to be served on a pizza tray. The Eagle’s Deli in Boston is known for its 3 lb. hamburger sandwich (6 half-pound burgers), which is stacked with a total of ¼ lb. of cheese and plated with 5—yes 5—pounds of french fries. But not to EVER allow ourselves to be outdone by a Bostonian, in Jersey we have the Clinton Station Diner, which serves a gastronomical delicacy known as Mt. Olympus, the 50 lb. burger. Finish it in 4 hours with the help of 4 friends and it’s free (I think the barf bag is mt-olympus-bigcomplementary as well), and you get to split the $1,000 prize. That’s 10 pounds of beef per person—about 40 normal patties—not including the cheese, the lovely veggies and the bun. Guesstimates would put that at over 12,000 calories PER PERSON. Michigan’s Mallie’s Sports Grill holds the record for the world’s largest burger (150 lbs.), but given that they’re not trying to make you and a small group of idiots consume it on your own, we can forgive them—sort of.

On occasion, I try (unsuccessfully) to eat a ½ lb. burger at Fuddruckers with nothing but sautéed onions (and only the bottom half of the bun) and when I do, I feel great at the onset, and disgusting by the time I’m done. But I guess I’m in the minority, because websites like supersizedmeals.com and TV shows like Man v. Food are getting plenty of enthusiastic attention. I’d like to think it’s the morbid curiosity that draws in viewers—that, “Holy shit, look at that schmuck try to eat that thing” mentality—where you can play the odds on whether or not the food will wind up getting spewed up onto the camera lens. And I’d also like to think that the people who take on these challenges should perhaps be excused because they simply don’t have the mental capacity to know any better. But, then again, I’d like to think that that’s Burt Reynold’s real hair, too.

{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Linsey January 26, 2009

the words ‘holy crap batman’ come to mind seeing those different huge meals … omg so not necessary!

you know one of my favourite meals over in usa on my visit was the small pieces of meats and cheeses with honey, etc at Otto – seriously proving biggest isnt always best!

i do still fancy raiding that fish shop in the bronx though for a mixed seafood banquet – lol

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2 Eating for Beginners January 27, 2009

These photos remind me of the hilarious date scene at the German restaurant in Fast Times at Ridgemont High, which is shot so that all the bratwurst, etc. looks gigantic. They also answer a question that many, many people have asked me since I moved to Berlin (speaking of Germany) last summer: Why are Americans so fat??? Now I can direct them here for photographic evidence…I’m very excited to have found your blog and will be checking back frequently (especially for your wine reviews–you might like dobianchi, a wine blog written by a friend of mine who’s an Italian scholar and sommelier and also in a rock band, an excellent combo. It’s at dobianchi.wordpress.com). Cheers!

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3 Katie Pizzuto January 27, 2009

I couldn’t agree more with you, Melanie. The rest of the world does indeed view us as fat, and with good reason, which is probably why our bookstores are lined with so many diet books. I will definitely check out your friends blog, and I hope my readers will also check out yours! Cheers!

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4 Coupe 60 January 29, 2009

Katie…you are huge in Europe….

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5 Katie Pizzuto January 29, 2009

Yeah, and I’m big in Japan, Coupe!

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6 Alexander March 2, 2009

That omelette thing has to be about the nastiest thing I’ve ever seen anyone eat (on tv). Can you imagine the amount of damage 12 eggs is doing to your insides??

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