Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Move Over, Joey Chestnut

*caution: do not read directly before or after eating.

I am now going to tell you about something a bit gross. It involves a lot of hot dogs.
You may be aware that on the 4th of July, in addition to being Sam's birthday, is the Nathan's Hot Dog Eating Contest in Coney Island. Sam has always had a fascination with competitive eating, so we decided to attempt an at-home eat-along this year.
Without thinking, I had created an awesome birthday breakfast, all ready to eat just two hours before the contest. No matter. We pressed forward. We boiled up a bunch of dogs and prepped the eating station.
The contest lasts for ten minutes, during which time you eat as many hot dogs (and buns) as possible. If you, ahem, toss your cookies, you are disqualified. We set some goals-- Sam: 10 Courtney: 2. And then we began.
I started slowly and finished slowly. Two hot dogs was definitely gross, but I didn't feel in any danger of my stomach exploding. I took the rest of the time to bask in my achievement and document Sam's journey.
Most competitive hot dog-eaters dip their dogs in water to help them move on down the gullet. (Nathan's Runner-up, Patrick Bertoletti, dips his in fruit punch.) If the whole thing weren't nauseating already, the thought of eating a soggy hot dog bun is enough to make me dry heave.

And just like that it was over. I chowed down my two with ease. Bria ate 1.5 (we didn't encourage speed with her, since we weren't keen on doing the heimlich). Sam dominated with a hefty SIX hot dogs. To say we all felt a bit disgusting is an understatement. I'm not sure I'll be able to eat a hot dog for another year or so.
But now let's ponder the reigning champion, Joey Chestnut, who pounded 62 hot dogs in ten minutes. SIXTY-TWO.

I'm sorry for ruining your appetite.


  1. I had 2 Nathan's hot dogs over vacation a month ago and got the worst bout of food poisoning. You and me both will not be eating hot dogs anytime soon.

  2. You are guys are so freaking cool.

  3. A. Ewwwwe.

    B. I've got a friend in town and she wants to go out to lunch in Old Town - can you recommend a couple of places? Ones I could bring a toddler to and not be glared at...

  4. Ah yes, I can make some recommendations!

    BGR (Washington and King) is very family-friendly. I am wild about their burgers and sweet potato fries (and shakes!). Don't order the turkey burger; it's gross. They only have burgers, though, so don't go thinking you could get a salad.

    Eamonn's (King and Columbus) is great for fish and chips.

    Cosi (Washington and King) isn't exactly exciting, since it's a chain, but you'll never feel out of place with a child, and I like their salads.

    Le Pain Quotidien (Washington and King) this could be iffy with a rowdy child, but I've taken my daughter several times. It can lean a bit pricier, but it's such a fun little restaurant. There is a ham and cheese croissant which is great for kids (and adults). Definitely get a tart or pastry after your meal.

  5. I just read about this contest for the first time today! One of my ESL students wanted to know what a "world record" was so I randomly googled "hot dogs." Apparently there's a Japanese champ who soaks his buns in Sprite. Hmm.