Long Island food challenges: Glory in gluttony
If eating has become a sport, then food challenges are the game. Several restaurants have standing dare-you-to-finish meals on their menus -- from extra-spicy chicken wings to a mammoth-size pizza.
Success is rewarded with the meal on the house and a hearty share of glory. Here's a taste of what's being served.
(SERIOUSLY) LOADED PIZZA
WHERE Nina's Pizzeria, 487 Main St., Northport
INFO 631-261-6822, ninas-pizza.com
The "Heart Attack Challenge" at Nina's Pizzeria just might test your loyalty to pizza or simply make you rethink your eating habits. Picture this: a 30-inch party pie topped with 3 pounds of bacon, 3 pounds of chicken fingers, 3 pounds of French fries and a trio of cheeses (mozzarella, Monterey Jack and Cheddar). Ranch dip is optional. Time for consumption: 60 minutes or less.
"Nobody has done it, but several have tried," says chef Franco LaRocca. "It's intimidating."
THE PRIZE Winners will get a T-shirt noting they beat the challenge, a photo on Nina's wall -- plus, the pizza is on the house.
7-POUND SEAFOOD FEAST
WHERE Port Royal Pub & Grille, 591 Main St., Islip
INFO 631-277-1522, portroyalislip.com
There's no lobster involved, but you'll still need a bib for this 7-pound seafood fest at Port Royal Pub & Grille in Islip. The restaurant's "Davy Jones Locker Challenge" starts with 2 pounds of snow crab legs followed by a pound each of jumbo shrimp, mussels and fried clam strips. Then, you'll be faced with two stuffed flounders, soup or salad as well as potato and vegetable. You have one hour to make it disappear.
"Everybody has a different approach," says owner Bill Garbarino. "Some try to eat the heavy stuff first, while others try to de-shell everything into a mound and eat it."
THE PRIZE Winners get a photo on the restaurant's Facebook page along with a T-shirt, and the cost of the meal is waived.
MONSTER BURRITO CHALLENGE
INFO 516-681-8282, pinatasmexicangrill.com
Call them the two amigos: One's chicken and one's beef. Pinata's Mexican Grill of Bethpage offers the Monster Burrito Challenge, in which patrons must consume a pair of massive burritos filled with south-of-the-border goodness in one hour.
Packed in two extra-large flour tortillas are sauteed onions and peppers, grilled chicken or steak, sour cream, Jack cheese, Pico de Gallo, rice and black or pinto beans.
"It's a fun thing to have on the menu," says manager Johnny Busre. "The customers like it. Some even come back and do it again."
THE PRIZE Winners get a restaurant gift certificate for the amount they paid for the meal.
WHERE The Burger Shack, 3672 Rte. 112, Coram
INFO 631-320-0303, burgershackny.com
It's not for the weak-kneed (or stomached) -- The Burger Shack's challenge involves ingesting six 8-ounce burgers stacked on top of each other, paired with chili cheese fries and a large shake. All must be eaten within 60 minutes.
Only 20 percent of the people who tried this feat succeeded, and 95 percent were men.
"Usually, the big guys can't finish it," says owner Ken Hanlon. "It's the skinny twig who comes in and nails it."
THE PRIZE Winner gets his or her picture on the wall, a T-shirt -- and the meal is free.
A DOZEN VERY HOT WINGS
WHERE Brickhouse Brewery & Restaurant, 67 W. Main St., Patchogue
INFO 631-447-2337, brickhousebrewery.com
The task seems simple: eat a dozen hot wings in five minutes at Brickhouse Brewery & Restaurant in Patchogue. The catch? They are doused in El Diablo's fiery hot sauce.
"On a scale of 1 to 10, these wings are a whopping 10," says bar manager James Skidmore. "There are many who wish they didn't do it. It ends up being a bit of a circus."
THE PRIZE Winners get an El Diablo T-shirt -- and the wings are free.