The Diary: A strong stomach needed for meaty challenge

Alex Fodor
Alex Fodor
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It’s a food challenge that’s not for the faint of heart – or of stomach.

“We had one guy try it, and about half way through he ran out the restaurant,” says waiter Alex Fodor. “He was sick all over the street. We had to go out and clean up.”

This is Man Versus Food at independent city eatery Smoke Barbecue, in St Paul’s Place.

Diners there who feel a regular platter – featuring turkey legs, smoked ribs, chicken, sausage and pulled pork – isn’t quite enough to match their appetite are invited to have a bash at a specially created super meal.

If they finish the £25 monster in half an hour, they get it half price. If they finish it quicker than anyone else that week, they get it free.

But it’s no easy feat: the plateful includes four beef patties, pulled pork, brisket, and cheese and onion strings in a burger bun with 500g of fries, slaw, cornbread muffin and – “the killer,” according to Alex, who devised the dish – a two pint milkshake.

It’s been running two weeks but so far no-one has conquered the challenge.

“These things are dime a dozen in America and the trend is creeping into the UK,” says restaurant founder Duka Nagy. “This is a fun way to experience an eating challenge and, if you beat the clock, the kudos of getting your picture on our wall.”