Maybe it’s because of the television show Man v. Food. Maybe it’s just a kitschy restaurant trend. But big food is getting bigger and bigger. Something I’ve noticed recently is that challenges have sprung up around big eating in Tacoma. The challenges vary at each restaurant, but go something like this: Eat a certain dish of food in a certain amount of time, and it’s free. Eat the whole thing and get a T-shirt. Or at the very least, you’ll get your picture on a wall for finishing a gut busting plate of food.
I did a search around town and found burger challenges with burgers that weigh in at five pounds and upward. I’ll have a feature about those five burger challenges in tomorrow’s GO entertainment section. But for now, here’s a look at big food I’ve found on South Sound menus. Only one of the three listed here is an actual food challenge, but the others should qualify as food challenges – they’re enormous plates of breakfast food.
Click “more” to read to sink your teeth into big eats.
The Big Scramble
Where: Marcia’s Silver Spoon Cafe, 2601 South Tacoma Way, Tacoma, 253-472-0157, find them on Facebook here
The scramble ($12.99) at Marcia’s Silver Spoon is a monster pile of food. It’s a meal on a plate. Actually, it’s three meals on a plate. “There has only been one person in 22 years finish it and it took him two hours,” said Tracie Fowler of Marcia’s Silver Spoon about the giant plate of eggs, hash browns, meat and cheese served at Marcia’s.
How much does it weigh? “I’m not sure,” said Fowler. “The plate is heavy. With the plate, probably 10 pounds. It’s huge. It’s enough that we have families come in – the parents and a few kids – and they feed the whole family.” The meal is so big that the staff has to cut off orders of the dish at 11 a.m. because it takes up too much space on the grill.
The ingredients? Ham, bell peppers, white onions, hash browns, 5 scrambled eggs, cheddar cheese, fresh tomatoes and green onions on top. It comes with toast. The cost is $12.99. Just look at the picture here to get an idea of how massive it is.
One diner in the history of Marcia’s has finished it, but it “took two hours. He drank six hot chocolates,” Fowler said. Is it a food challenge? Not exactly. “Mostly due to the fact that many people haven’t finished it. If they would start finishing it, we’d probably do something like that,” she said.
Do you dare?
Don’t Be A Chicken
Where: The Buttered Biscuit, 1014 N. St., Sumner, 253-826-6099, http://thebutteredbiscuit.net
Chicken fried steak comes in three sizes at the Buttered Biscuit: “Chicken Little,” “Chicken Fried Steak” and the “Don’t Be a Chicken.” It may not be listed as a food challenge on the menu, but in the arena of food dares, this would be a big one. Stretch pants definitely required.
The Biscuit menu describes the Don’t Be A Chicken ($12.95) as “chicken fried steak meets SOS.” It starts with a bottom layer of two biscuits, next is a layer of scrambled eggs with chunks of ham. Then a layer of sauteed green peppers and onions. Layer three is thinly sliced fried potatoes, topped with a crispy, crunchy 11-ounce “monster” portion of chicken fried steak. It’s all smothered with a peppery sausage gravy.
Of the three menu items featured in this post, the Don’t Be A Chicken was the only plate of food I tackled (I just couldn’t go through with the others. I don’t get paid enough to eat that much food). Two of us barely made a dent. It was enough for a second meal – for both of us, except that chicken fried steak is one of those things that should not be reheated. Still, if you’re feeding four people, this would easily do the job. It’s meant for sharing, but it would be an enormous food challenge for a solo diner.
Good luck conquering that one, you’ll need it.
Masa Six-Pound Jefe de Jefe Burrito
Where: Masa, 2811 Sixth Ave., Tacoma, 253- 254-0560, http://www.masatacoma.com/
The six-pound Jefe de Jefe burrito challenge at Masa in Tacoma started as a Cinco de Mayo contest. It became so popular, it found a permanent home on the menu. Executive chef Joel Mertens described the contents. It’s four 13-inch tortillas “held together with shredded cheese, lettuce, a choice of taco meat, bean puree, Masa rice, pico de gallo, crema, more cheese, and then topped off with red and green enchilada sauces, pico de gallo and guacamole.”
Mertens said the burrito sometimes is ordered just for sharing, but others order it for a food challenge. The menu challenge is available any time of the year and the champion wins a T-shirt and the burrito is free if they can beat the standing fastest eating time. Can’t stomach that much food? The regular Masa burrito is a miniature version of the 6-pound Masa burrito – but it’s only 1.5 pounds of ingredients.
YOUR TURN: Where have you seen big food? How about big food challenges? Does the whole idea of eating massive quantities of food make you squeamish?