Week 21 Food Challenge - The Not So Lucky 13 Challenge

I should be getting better at this.  I’ve packed on 66 pounds, willed myself to put my male grooming kit into a vault, not to return until I could actually see my toes again, and have experienced the best that fast food, restaurants, and American Cuisine has to offer.  Then again, I’ve also found that I’m becoming learned in the art of self-sabotage.  Let’s review:

Yeah, I’m on a roll.  Not being the type to be satisfied with only an average effort of self-sabotage, I have to over-achieve.  After all, I hadn’t explored the world of “heat”.  Okay, maybe I had with some Icy Hot on my legs after I had to climb a full flight of stairs twice in the same day, but I’m talking about a different kind of heat.  A different kind of self-sabotage.  A different kind of food challenge failure.

This week, I was invited to take on another restaurant food challenge.  I would say “I don't know why I say yes to these challenges that no one has ever completed before”, but after three paragraphs of overusing the term “self-sabotage”, it probably wouldn’t ring so genuine.  Needless to say, another restaurant offered.  I accepted.  This one was lovingly dubbed the “Lucky 13 Challenge”.  Uhhh…lucky my…

This challenge consisted of the following:

  • 1 Big Benny Burger

    • 28 ounces of beef
    • Condiments, including: bacon, ham, cheese, sautéed onions and Lucky 13 sauce
    • 1 Lucky 13 burger

      • 14-ounce patty
      • Condiments, including: Belizean habanero puree, roasted habaneros, grilled cheese sandwiches (you know you’re in over your head when a sandwich can be considered a condiment), sautéed onions, roasted jalapeños and roasted habaneros.

The Lucky 13 “challenge” tempts you to finish the Big Benny and the Lucky 13 burger in one hour, and they’ll be free of charge. Math isn’t my strong suit, but that’s over 2 1/2 pounds of meat and God only knows how many Scoville units those chiles ring in at.  Though hundreds have attempted the challenge, no one has yet completed it. The bar has ponied up a $200 cash prize for the first person who does it. They’ll also get their name on the “wall of flame.”

Prior to the play-by-play of the challenge, I feel the need to digress.  Why, on Earth, are we motivated by fame and money?  Even free food that we don’t have to pay for.  Human beings would probably strip naked and prance down the street if McDonald’s had “Free McNuggets if you show your McNuggets” day.  If Taco Bell ran a “Cover your face with beans, and we’ll buy your next Nachos” campaign, the refried bean rejuvenating mask would become a hit at all day spas.  Think back to high school or college.  There was always that guy that would find a half eaten piece of pizza in the garbage and his friends would dare him to eat it.  He’d say no, another friend would offer him a quarter, and the pizza would disappear faster than the guy’s girlfriend prospects.  The next time someone offers free food, or to buy my food if I do something ridiculous?  I’m saying yes.  Oh wait…

But let’s get back to the Lucky 13 challenge.  My strategy was to eat most of the Big Benny Burger, then start on the super hot Lucky 13 burger.  I knew the hotness of it would be pretty unbearable, so I decided to eat a few bites of the hot one and then "cool" it down with the other one.  My own burger version of “Icy Hot”!  I couldn’t lose, right?  Unfortunately, this did not go so well.  As you can see in the video, the food was so spicy; I couldn’t cool it down with anything.  They even let me use milk (avert your eyes at the obvious fact that I’m lactose intolerant), which temporarily cooled it down, but it was too intense.  Even though I had finished about 3/4 of the Big Benny Burger, just 1/4 of the hot Lucky 13 burger had done enough damage that I threw the towel in after just 30 minutes.  Something about the peppers had made me nauseous and I knew that one more bite would do me in.  I didn't want to relive the embarrassment of the Fuddrucker challenge.  I have a reputation to protect!  Yeah…

I’ve had a lot of bad Food Challenges.  I’ve shown so many ways that you can fail one of these.  And I’ve perfected the art of self-sabotage.  But this was my most embarrassing showing so far.  Not only did I have some family and friends there, but also I had some of my little league football team in attendance, cheering me on.  I guess I can only take solace in the fact that it could have been worse.  I mean, it could have been McNugget day, right?

Nah, I wouldn’t do it.  Now, if you’re willing to bet a quarter, we might talk…