Men have ‘almost fainted’ trying to tackle it. People stand in awe at the sheer spectacle of it. It has become known throughout Manchester as ‘death by burger’… and yet now they ask: does anyone want to try it?
That’s right, monster burgers have arrived in Manchester in time to haunt food lovers on Halloween.
The Northern Quarter’s sci-fi saloon TV21 is inviting 12 daring ‘volunteers’ to come try their hand (or is that stomachs) on the Halloween version of their tummy-terrifying Manc v Food burger challenge on Thursday – this time being dubbed the Monster Mash-up.
Competitors are challenged to eat no fewer than four half-pound beef-burgers (that’s a whopping two pounds of meat if your maths ain’t great), each smothered in slabs of cheese, bacon, salad, hash browns and onion rings.
This meaty monstrosity, which takes two hours to prepare, towers over you at a staggering 12 inches tall.
As if that isn’t enough to send potential suitors running for the hills it also comes with a hefty portion of chips smothered in chilli.
DEFEATED: MM reporter Patrick was a little worse for wear
And how long do you have to devour it? Just 30 minutes – or you lose.
MM were (un)lucky enough to take on the challenge ahead of tomorrow night. The pictures might show reporter Patrick Christys putting on a brave face and giving a valiant effort – but for the record he failed ‘miserably’ (according to sources). This is probably for the best.
TV21’s own menus include a health warning that eating this much food in one sitting ‘could seriously damage your appetite, amongst other things’. We bet that’s right – after having a go, MM do not recommend trying to eat this much food in one sitting!
Last year’s Halloween monster burger challenge concluded with no competitor successfully devouring the devilishly large dish.
Max Bennet, 22, a barman at TV21, said that he has seen challengers ‘nearly faint’ as they tackled the Goliath of the burger world.
He said: “People always start off cocky but they’re not the same at the end. They never do it.”
Although late challengers are welcome the event currently consists of three rounds of three people who will each take it in turns to chew their way to glory, and maybe to hospital.
Adrienne Shaw, who has been one of the managers of TV21 for four years, said that the restaurant has gone to great lengths to account for every eventuality during this monstrous challenge.
“In the event of a tie specialist scales will be used to weigh peoples’ leftovers. The winner will be the person whose sloppy seconds weighs the least” she said.
Ms Shaw said: “The winner gets a t-shirt from TV21 and I Love Manchester as well as getting their meal for free.”
She added, with a knowing grin: “They can even order a free desert on the house if they’d like to.”
Opinions vary as to how best to tackle the beastly burger.
Jason Morrison, 24, a supervisor at TV21, said: “I’ve seen people take all the bread off and squash it into a pulp before swallowing that first.”
But Mr Bennett disagrees. He said: “You have to get the chilli and chips out of the way first and leave the meat till last otherwise it’s just death by burger from the start.”
However, challengers should be aware that rumours of a semi-mythical German teenager still linger around TV21.
If legend is to be believed a young, slim man entered the restaurant one day and decided to take on the monstrous burger.
Within 16 minutes his plate was clean and he disappeared into the crowds of the Northern Quarter, never to be seen again.
For anyone who believes that they have the guts to complete the challenge, the event begins at 7pm at TV21.
Spectators are welcome and there will even be an award for the best costume.