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September 18, 2014

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Gut check: Six of the most stomach-churning eating challenges in Las Vegas

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Sam Morris

This is the Devo Hat Challenge at I Luv Yogurt, a 100-ounce mass of frozen yogurt, shown April 26, 2012. Finish it in under 30 minutes and it’s free.

It’s unlikely the average diner can down 103 hamburgers in eight minutes like competitive eating champ Joey Chestnut or swallow 57 cow brains in 15 minutes like gurgitating guru Takeru Kobayashi.

But how about a six-pound burrito in 45 minutes? Or 87 ounces of noodle soup in an hour and a half?

That’s more doable. In fact, it has been done here.

A growing number of Las Vegas restaurants have added oversized food challenges to their menus. It’s marketing brilliance — and gastronomical torture.

Here’s a taste of what’s out there for those who want to put their stomachs to the test:

    • The Original Graziano's



      The Original Graziano’s pizza parlor at Desert Inn and Durango is home to the Monster Pizza Challenge, which pits diners against a 10-pound pie as wide as a table.

      The pizza made for two includes 2.5 pounds of dough, two pounds of mozzarella cheese, 1.5 pounds of sauce, two pounds of meat and two pounds of cheese. If you and a friend can finish it in 45 minutes, you win two free large pizzas (as if you need more food), two T-shirts and, of course, bragging rights.

    • Las Vegas resident Miki Sudo won $1,510 at Pho 87 by eating 7 pounds of Pho in 67 minutes.

      Pho 87



      This Vietnamese bistro on South Jones Boulevard offers the PHOzilla challenge: Eat a heaping bowl of Pho, Vietnamese noodle soup, in 87 minutes or less and win a cash jackpot that grows with each failed attempt.

      Las Vegas resident Miki Sudo met the challenge in December, sopping up the soup in just 67 minutes, and took home a $1,510 prize.

      Losers, beware. If you fail to finish the soup, you must reimburse the restaurant $35.

    • This 2-foot-long burrito from White Rabbit Food Truck is enclosed in six tortillas and contains six eggs, 3 pounds of meat, six scoops of rice and 12 slices of cheese.

      White Rabbit food truck



      The White Rabbit food truck that zips around Las Vegas and Los Angeles dares adventurous eaters to conquer its six-pound Filipino fusion burrito. Only two people have succeeded.

      The burrito is almost 2 feet long, is enclosed in six tortillas and contains six eggs, three pounds of meat, six scoops of rice and 12 slices of cheese. Diners must finish it in 45 minutes or pay $20. Victors receive a photo on the company’s website and a limited-edition staff T-shirt which entitles them to half off future purchases.

      Up for the challenge? White Rabbit will be at the Las Vegas Foodie Fest at the Silverton this weekend.

    • A juicy hamburger

      The Pub at Monte Carlo



      The Pub at Monte Carlo challenges a single diner to down an eight-pound burger on his or her own in a half-hour. The burger is piled high with vegetables and topped with a giant bun.

      Tame the beast and win a free T-shirt. Fail and pay $50.

    • I Love Yogurt



      The frozen yogurt parlor known for its 1980s theme, offers the Devo Hat Challenge: Eat 100 ounces of yogurt in under 30 minutes and it’s free. The giant confection, served in an oversized red plastic bowl, normally sells for $19.84.

      Customers pick two flavors of yogurt and two toppings, and the servers pile on the rest. The result: A giant concoction of yogurt, fruit, cereal and candy. So whip it. Whip it good.

    • Las Vegas Weekly party at Born and Raised Tavern on Jan. 14, 2010.

      Born and Raised



      The menu at Born and Raised Tavern on South Cimarron Road describes the challenge as a “bar gamble:” Eat 15 sliders in an hour or less and win a T-shirt. If you fail, be prepared to fork over $50.

      Choose from beef, chicken, turkey, pork or salmon sliders. But beware. The menu warns that “Vegas wasn’t built on winners.”

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    1. stupid food for stupid people.

    2. Cute gimmicks while the entire country is enveloped in an obesity epidemic.

      Family of fatso's walk into burger joint---
      "double cheese chili burgers all around"
      "cheese fries for everyone"
      "side chili too"
      "4 onion rings, extra chili"

      "oh, yeah. 4 DIET Cokes all around"

      LOL.

    3. Stories like these aren't funny-they're disgusting. A country full of fat laden idiots.

    4. I remember with the old Sahara jumped the shark by offering its huge burrito challenge. Frankly, when an eatery needs to resort to gimmicks to sell food, it's time to pass it by.