MAN V BURGER
WILL THE BIG BOY BURGER BE CONQUERED? ONE JOURNALIST WENT INTO BATTLE AGAINST A MOUNTAIN OF BEEF PATTIES AND BACON, LASHINGS OF CHEESE AND ENOUGH ACCOMPANIMENTS TO FEED A SMALL FAMILY
MWO R D S : R OWA N S PA R K E S PHOTOS : S TEWA RT M C L E A N en – we’re a competitive lot.
So, naturally, when the idea of tackling a food challenge came about, it didn’t take long for me to bravely, or perhaps, foolishly step into the arena.
The gastronomical gauntlet in question – the Big Boy Challenge – is offered up by the good folk at Apex Milk Bar at Manunda.
The challenge involves wolfing down the Big Boy, a 25cm-tall burger with five beef patties, five slices of cheese, a hash brown and a pineapple fritter, all topped with crispy onion rings.
Oh, and it doesn’t end there, not by a long shot.
You’ll also have to scoff a large serving of shoestring fries and a large milkshake – all within 12 minutes.
Having binge-watched all three seasons of at university, I had some idea of the method that would help me get through this meaty madness.
Consume the meat and cheese components first, followed by any vegetables or other foods, and then get to work on the starch-heavy carbohydrates.
On the day of the challenge, I wake up early and do some light exercise to build up my appetite.
I keep breakfast small, opting for a muesli bar and a coffee. From now until the challenge, I’ll only be chugging water.
By the time of the challenge, I’m pretty hungry and my pangs give me confidence that I can successfully take this gargantuan beef-beast down.
Upon entering the milk bar, I coolly instruct the staff to start the preparations.
Perhaps a little too blasé, as the owner is quick to inform me that of the 65-plus meat-heads who have attempted the challenge so far, only three have prevailed.
With this piece of information, my prefeast confidence begins to slowly fade.
Nerves take over, accentuated by the growing crowd of spectators who have just wandered in after finishing the day at Trinity Bay State High School. Have I bitten off more than I can chew? Taking a seat at my table of fate, I ponder advice gained from watching food challenges on YouTube and give myself a final pep talk as the beef blockbuster, fries and shake are placed in front of me.
The theme song sounds over the speakers and, with that, the clock starts.
Wasting no time, I rip the top bun off, remove the hash brown and pineapple fritter and get to work on the beef and cheese – the bulk of the meal.
The patties are fantastic – juicy, wellseasoned and straight off the grill.
I start off with promise, powering through two of them within two minutes.
I keep at the patties, breaking up the flavours by nibbling on a couple fries or an onion ring in between mouthfuls, and using small gulps of water to help them slide down my throat.
Now five minutes in, I notice my pace slowing.
So too does the crowd, who try to rally me with excited squeals.
I struggle to make a dent in what is left on my plate as I focus my attention on keeping the food I’ve already eaten in my stomach. And, here come the meat sweats. Beads of part-sweat-part-beef juice cascade down my face like Barron Falls in the wet season.
I dab my forehead and try to take another bite. I can’t.
I feel the disappointment of the three victorious challengers, whose photos are pasted on the ‘Wall of Fame’ behind me, as they look down on me with shame.
With four minutes left on the clock and a fair amount of the burger buffet still sitting in front of me, it becomes apparent that this gluttonous glory will not be mine today.
With a bellyful of beef, I look around at the dejected crowd – they recognise defeat too.
I entertain them by taking a few more bites, hoping that with each nibble I can restore a bit of pride.
Anyone who knows me probably won’t be too surprised to learn of my failure.
I started off strong, but in the end it was just too much food. Hats off to the team at Apex Milk Bar. They put on a delicious spread, didn’t laugh too hard when I crashed and burned, and even dedicated a song to me –
– as I walked out the door disappointed in my efforts, but well-fed none the less.
Take on the Big Boy challenge at Apex Milk Bar, 24 Hoare St, Manunda. It’s free if you successfully complete the challenge – otherwise it’ll set you back $29.95.