Northwest Military Blogs: Served blog

April 19, 2010 at 11:53am

Drinking and eating challenges in Tacoma

If you drink many pints of Guinness Doyle's will let everyone know.

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The common definition of the word "sport" usually goes something like this: an athletic activity requiring skill or physical prowess and often of a competitive nature.  This vague definition leaves a lot open for interpretation.

A buddy of mine asked me whether or not I thought competitive eating was a sport. I actually do. What's that you say? There's no physical activity in eating? Don't make me laugh! Have you ever seen a person sweat while holding four hot dogs in their mouth at once? Have you ever tried to drink 10 pints in one sitting to be the first to hit an award-winning mark? Have you ever tried to hold in vomit?

That's a whole lot of physical activity, to be sure.

Tacoma has several competitive eating and drinking competitions underway.  Here's a taste:

Sport Drinking

It may not be so politically correct to boast membership in a "drinking Club," butDoyle's Public House's free-to-join 100 Pint Club encourages Guinness beer lovers to aim for quantity. The club challenges brew lovers to take their time and drink 100 pints of Ireland's most famous export. Simply ask the bartender for a tally card and each time you order a pint of Guinness, have it punched. Once you have completed your target level (100, 250, 500 or 1,000), fill out the form, grab your club shirt and smile as your name is added to the member's board. 208 Saint Helens Ave., Tacoma, 253.272.7468

If you think you need to know a secret handshake or be related to the original firefighters to join the Engine House No. 9 Beer Club, think again, beer nut. No pedigree is required. A love for beer is your secret handshake. All you need to do is quaff all 47 domestic and imported beers, lagers, porters, ales and stouts served by E9 (excluding Bud Light and ilk) in 90 days. After the E9 bartenders punch all 47 beers on your beer card, you'll receive the official Engine House No. 9 Beer Club shirt, a membership card and your named engraved on the Beer Club plaques, behind the first member, Howard Jensen (Aug. 11, 1983). Drink all 47 three times, and you'll join the Beer Club Hall of Fame and enjoy happy hour prices on draft beers in your special 22 ounce glass for the rest of your life. And keep your eye on Frank C. Durham Jr. who has hit the Beer Club mark 76 times. 611 N. Pine St., Tacoma, 253.272.3435

Sport Eating

Someone finished the Varsity Grill's 72 oz. Steak Challenge - which includes double mash potatoes, double vegetables and buttered rolls - in 17 minutes. (Immediatley after, he ate an apple turnover with two scoops of ice cream.) Roughly 70 percent who take the challenge – that requires 24 hours notice and an hour to polish the meal off – finish the meal. If you finish it, you'll receive applause, recognition on VG's Web site, and the meal gratis. If you fail, you'll leave with $49.99 less in your wallet. 1114 Broadway, Tacoma, 253.627.1229

On Cinco de Mayo, Masa will kick off its Jefe de Jefe Burrito challenge. The first person who eats all 6 pounds of the behemoth in 15 minutes, will be crowned champion, receiving recognition on Masa's wall, and $500. Second and third place finishers will also receive awards. All participants will receive a T-shirt. If there's a tie before the 15 minutes expire, more burrito will be added. Basically, the first person to eat the most burrito wins. Those who can't attend Masa's burrito eating contest May 5 will still be able to achieve burrito gut-busting fame. Anytime after the event, when you push open Masa's massive door, announce you're up for the challenge, and throw down your $25, the staff will lift you onto the DJ platform and serve you as much burrito as you can eat in 15 minutes. If you beat the last competitor, you will be crowned the new champion. 2811 Sixth Ave., Tacoma, 253.254.0560

John Hoff currently holds the champion title for finishing The Red Hot's gluttonous hot dog challenge, The Gauntlet, in record time – 14 minutes 52 seconds.  In order to register your name upon The Sixth Avenue tavern's esteemed wall plaque, one must ingest every single hot dog variation listed on the menu in one sitting.  

The Red Hot has suspended the Gauntlet while it retools the challenge.

"We're waiting on finalizing the liability release form with our lawyer," explains owner Chris Miller.  "When it's back – to the eaters favor – there will be two less hot dogs on the menu, and you can eat them in any order you want.  To the challenge's favor, there is less time.  We are still under most eating challenges by weight, and our time limits are in line with most as well.  It will start back this summer sometime."

The new Gauntlet rules: One person at a time must sit at the bar. All the hot dogs will arrive at once – no substitutions.

"The Red Hot's beertender's time is official – 60 minutes or less and it's free," adds Miller. "You'll get your name on the Gauntlet Plaque on our wall ... take any longer and you pay the piper.  You can be disqualified for any food 'reversal,' as well as being a jerk."

The Red Hot quit counting at 100 failed attempts, less than a dozen have succeeded. 

"We usually tell people not to do it, but they insist time and time again," says Miller. 2614 Sixth Ave., Tacoma, 253.779.0229

OK big eaters, what have I missed?


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Served, a blog by the Weekly Volcano, is the region’s feedbag of fresh chow daily, local restaurant news, New Beer Column, bar and restaurant openings and closings, breaking culinary news and breaking culinary ground - all brought to the table with a dollop of Internet frivolity on top.

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