If you’re a fan of Man vs. Food you are familiar with the concept of a Food Challenge. Usually it’s some sort of absolutely obnoxious type/amount of food to be consumed, sometimes with a time limit and sometimes without. Sometimes the man won, and sometimes the food won. I was recently challenged by someone to complete such a food challenge. Needless to say, for their entertainment, it was attempted.
Residing in Manhattan’s Hudson Station is The Freight Train Food Challenge that consists of two 8-ounce all beef patties topped with tater tots, bacon, pulled pork, mac & cheese bites, American cheese, coleslaw, onion rings, and chicken tenders, all stuffed in between two grilled cheese sandwiches and served with “disco waffle fries”. The challenge was laid out, and so Jay and I whole-heartedly accepted it.
Now I’ll be honest… I tried to research this challenge a bit, but amazingly was unable to find a photo of it ANYWHERE on the internet. Google Image Search, Bing, Yahoo!, and even Dogpile search showed me nothing but pictures of railroad cars interspersed with Denzel Washington and Chris Pine. This meal was like the Sasquatch of food challenges and the absence of proof of its existence was a bit… unnerving.
Finally in the 11th hour (okay, the day before) someone far wiser and smarter than I found a photo (on of all places, Instagram), and honestly… it didn’t look too bad. I mean sure it’s a tower of meat, but that should be easy once disassembled. The waffle fries, the things that caused the most fear, didn’t actually look that bad!
In preparation for taking on the challenge I did quite a bit of walking and drinking large amounts of water. Twenty-four hours before, I had my last meal. Throughout the day I drank a lot more water. Walking into Hudson Station that night, I felt prepared and ready to take it on head first.
The Freight Train Challenge
The rules of The Freight Train Challenge are very simple: 60 minute time limit, everything including the waffle fries need to be consumed, if you win the “burger” is free AND you get a t-shirt. Upon our arrival we were informed that there had only been 5 attempts previously, and NO ONE has done it in the 60 minutes. Remembering that photo, I told myself
When it was time to actually take on the challenge this is what was put in front of me…
Holy. Waffle fries.
This wasn’t the food challenge we thought we’d be facing. The burger was literally surrounded by a mound or waffle fries and tater tots smothered in melted cheese. Even though I knew deep down inside that my task had just become so much harder, at this point, there was only one thing to do… plow ahead.
I started off with the two 8-ounce beef patties, that although a bit rarer than I would have preferred, were quite tasty. After that I moved on to the chicken tenders real easily. From those I moved to the joy of consuming the bacon, pulled pork, and cole slaw for a BBQ theme and which was all quite tasty despite being from New York City. I downed a few tater tots with the mac and cheese bites before moving on to the “bun” of the burger.
Now I am a big fan of grilled cheese. I’m a fan of all different types of breads and cheeses, grilled together to the melting point of food fusion. When it came to THESE grilled cheeses… well… I hit the proverbial grilled cheese wall. Now these grilled cheeses aren’t your average grilled cheeses, they were made on what seemed like four slices of the most widely slices challah bread there is. Still… bite by bite… piece by piece… they went down.
Which left me to the point where all that was left was the waffle fries and some tater tots… a pit clean in the center that showed the bottom of the plate where the “burger” at one time had stood. A few fries in, at the 50-minute mark, that was it. I waved the white flag. There just was no way I was going to get these waffle fries down without heaving everything back the way it had went.
And thus I fought The Freight Train Challenge… and The Freight Train Challenge won….
Think You Can Do It?
Do you think you can take on The Freight Train Challenge? You’ll only find it here…
… even if you don’t want to inundate yourself with The Freight Train, you’ll still have a great time. The staff is uber friendly, the food is good, and they have a bunch of screens if you’re a sports nut that show the New York games. No matter what you’re into, it’s going to be a good time.