At­ten­tion Amer­ica: Our evo­lu­tion­ary needs are be­ing met at Texas Road­house in Hamil­ton

Daily Local News (West Chester, PA) - - SUNDAY SELECT - Jeff Edel­stein Colum­nist

Demo­crat or Repub­li­can, Mets or Yan­kees, pro-life or pro-choice.

We sure can sep­a­rate our­selves in this coun­try. We’re re­ally good at it.

But there is one thing we can all agree on, and that is we like to eat un­til we’re full, and then we like to eat more. We are glut­tons. So be it.

Of course, there is some science to this. We’re fight­ing bil­lions of years of evo­lu­tion here. Our bod­ies are trained to store fat. Hard to stay alive through bru­tal win­ters 10,000 years ago with­out your body keep­ing the pounds on. We’re hard­wired to eat un­til we burst. This is why ev­ery­one strug­gles with di­ets and the like. Makes sense. Plenty of science backs this up.

And yet, there are still lim­its to our abil­ity to pound down the food. Un­less you’re Joey Ch­est­nut and train your body to eat 70 hot dogs in 10 min­utes, you know that at a cer­tain point, you just … can’t … have … one … more … bite.

And then 10 min­utes later? OK One More Bite Just A Teense.

Bot­tom line? We live to eat. (And for those of you who “eat to live,” guess what? You’re do­ing it wrong.)

Which brings me to Texas Road­house in Hamil­ton. Full dis­clo­sure: I love Texas Road­house. Went there for the first time a few years ago, liked it so much, thought they did such a great job, I even di­verted some of my daily fan­tasy sports win­nings and bought stock in the com­pany. Got it at $20, it’s now $38 (got as high as $48, should’ve sold, oh well). And lis­ten — I’m not a chain restau­rant con­nois­seur. When I eat out, I want au­then­tic, I want small, I want the chef and the owner to be the same per­son. But Texas Road­house? They do it right.

And so when I heard they are, for the month of Oc­to­ber, host­ing the Texas Sized Chal­lenge, I had to ded­i­cate a few col­umn inches to it.

Ba­si­cally, they are of­fer­ing a free meal to any­one who walks in the door. Only hitch? The meal is four rolls, two sides, and one steak. One 64-ounce steak. That’s right. They’ve pulled a page out of “The Great Out­doors” and of­fer­ing us, the Great Amer­i­can Glut­tons (GAGs), the chance to prove, once and for all, how ridicu­lous we can be.

Let me say this: It’s huge, this steak. And 64 ounces is so big a num­ber, it’s prac­ti­cally ab­stract. Con­sider this: A quar­ter-pound ham­burger, naked on a plate. Now con­sider 16 of them. That’s what you have to eat. (And if you fail? You pay. $65 and change.)

And the rules? They’re no joke. Re­ally. No jok­ing. Dead se­ri­ous rules. You have an hour, can’t stand up, will be watched closely, will fail if you get “sick.” They won’t make you eat the fat, but they’re go­ing to make you eat ev­ery last shred of meat.

I tried to get a group of GAGs to­gether to take on the chal­lenge. I had plenty of in­ter­est. One by one, peo­ple backed out. It’s a lot of food. I would fail mis­er­ably.

“If I had noth­ing to eat the day be­fore, I could prob­a­bly do it,” said Alex Cooper of Hamil­ton, who eyed up the 64-ouncer with me the other day. “I’d walk around preg­nant for the next day.” His wife, Gay, is not so sure. “Oh my good­ness,” she said. “I don’t think I could eat the lit­tle one next to it.” The “lit­tle” one is 8 ounces. So lis­ten: Is eat­ing four pounds of steak (plus four rolls and two sides, don’t for­get) a good idea? Of course it isn’t. But it’s a beau­ti­ful, glut­tonous, evo­lu­tion­ary, ul­tra-Amer­i­can idea.

If you go for it, take pic­tures, video, the whole thing. Send it to me. I’ll share.

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