As a food writer and natural-born glutton, I regularly make and break my New Year’s resolution to cut back on the grub consumption. Smaller portions, eating sensibly, and taking my time to masticate during mealtime so I feel satisfied without overeating are all strategies for helping me achieve and, more important, maintain my 2015 goals.
So naturally, I entered Dog Haus’ Second Annual Slider Eating Contest this past Saturday. To set up the grand finale that kicked off Pasadena’s Cheeseburger Week, Dog Haus Biergarten had held multiple qualifying rounds at some of its various locations to gather seven of the most formidable binge-burger eaters in Southern California (oh, and me) for a chance to win a huge trophy, 300 bucks, and bragging rights as the most savage of slider crushers in the land.
The objective at Saturday’s championship round was simple: Within six minutes, eat as many as you can of Dog Haus’ certified Angus-blend beef patties topped with American cheese, caramelized onion, and house mayo, all between King’s Hawaiian sweet rolls. (FYI, Dog Haus won last year’s Pasadena Cheeseburger Week prize for Best Cheeseburger.) Droolz.
My resolution guilt was getting to me, however. I had to find out if any of my top-tier challengers were also breaking personal promises while barely into the new year. Here’s what they had to say:
Kevin Ross is a former Major League Eating competitor (2007 -2011). Last year at the first Dog Haus slider competition, he packed away 23 sliders–not nearly enough, though, to beat the 38 that was choked down by 2014 winner Jamie “The Bear” McDonald. Ross told me his resolution is to actually “eat more and, maybe, healthier.”
Kyle “Chunky Bear” Wertenbruck started his fledgling competitive eating career by plowing through a two-and-half-pound monster burger in one sitting at a restaurant. His prize was a comped meal. Wertenbruck’s hope for 2015 is to “eat healthier, ahem, after the contest.”
Jimmy “The Jaws” Lin makes the rounds in the amateur competitive-eating world. He’s conquered hot dogs, dumplings, and anything else he can fit in his sizable mouth. They don’t call him “The Jaws” for nuthin’! He resolves to be more optimistic, which to him means cram more down his gullet.
When the final tally was in, Ross took first prize after devouring 24 sliders—19 1/2 more than I did–in six minutes flat. Now, perhaps, he can start training with veggie burgers and keep true to his resolution.
It’s back to square one for me.
Pasadena’s Cheeseburger Week is going on now!
Dog Haus Biergarten, 93 E. Green St., Pasadena, 626-683-0808