Monday, April 20, 2009

Amarillo, TX

Once again the circus proves it knows how to take over a joint and rock it to the ground.

The venue: The Big Texan Steakhouse

The Event: The Big Texan Super Circus Steak Showdown

If you're not familiar with The Big Texan their main selling point is this: If you can eat their 72oz steak, baked potato, salad, shrimp cocktail, and roll in an hour, it's free.

My boss came up with the concept for the evening. We gathered sponsorships for those willing to tackle the mammoth task and were able to cover everybody's $80 meal so even if the didn't finish, they wouldn't have to pay.

The Big Texan provides free limo service to and from the restaurant upon request. Twas an awesome moment when 4 limos with huge horns adorning their hoods rolled onto the lot between all the trailers. Perpetuating every Texas stereotype in existence, the boot and cowboy hat clad drivers chatted the whole drive offering tips and techniques to the participants regarding the best way to down the mass of meat that was to be placed in front of them.

The restaurant was forewarned about the mass of people who would be infiltrating their establishment but they were still somewhat unprepared when 60+ of us rolled on in. The joint looked like something straight out From Dusk Til Dawn. There was a stage and long table in front of it set up for the entrants. As I was snapping pics of the dudes filling out their waiver forms, my phone went off. It was Mr. Jeff Boudreau who on my tip, was checking out the event via the Big Texan's webcam. I picked up the second time and got the 'you asshole, you can't hang up on somebody when they're watching you on a webcam.' Ha.

When the starting starting bell sounded, they dove right into the steak. Corey had an impressive lead right out of the gate and it seemed as though he'd have the thing polished off in no time. Raffa was holding his own, but screwed himself by sending the steak back multiple times to be cooked longer. Big Mike in his usual methodical manner was in no rush and steadily worked away at the hunk of cow on his plate. Big Mikto (well...the ONLY Mitko but it's entirely necessary to throw the 'Big' in their once you've seen the man haul a 68K lb semi trailer across a parking lot) was steady and methodical as well.

As time rolled on, the sweat starting pouring and the looks of enjoyment turned to sheer determination. The Russian Acrobat (apologies but I don't know how to spell his name) starting struggling early on. Corey, who had an early lead soon began to slow down. Raffa, Mike, and Mitko all seemed to have a handle on things with Raffa being the underdog.

I should mention as a side note that on this particular evening, there was a god awful pseudo Vaudville/retarded Hee-Haw troupe that was trying in vain to entertain the crowd. I think it was their 'audition' for future performances at The Big Texan. Unfortunately for them, the timing couldn't have been worse with our entire crew there cheering and crowding the table. They were barely heard (which isn't necessarily a bad thing). The crowd around the combatants was three deep at one point when this old woman came up to do her bit on the stage. Halfway through her "act" Mitko was close to finishing off the meal. So began the chant of "Mitko! Mitko! Mitko!" completely cutting the woman off and bringing her act to a grinding halt. She was none too pleased. To everyone else in the joint our chant probably sounded like "Meat Go! Meat Go!" which incorrect, but still appropriate.

Corey bowed out waving a napkin stuck on a knife with an extremely pained expression on his face. The favorite along with Mikto, Big Mike, wasn't able to pull it off. It wasn't a matter of him being full, he just found himself unable to swallow the steak. A dipping sauce was provided but he took one sniff of it and pushed it aside which was probably his downfall.

At this point, Mitko had forgone the provided utensils and was gnawing away on the steak with his hands. With about 8 minutes left in the allotted hour, Mitko popped the last bit of Steak into his mouth and our crowd went nuts once again bringing the unfortunate performers' act to a screeching halt.

When the MC came over and asked Mitko for his winning words, he replied: "I need a dessert!". A huuuuge hunk of Carrot Cake and a 32oz beer were provided and quickly vanished. The manager took a guess on how to spell "Mikto" on his shirt and the Wall of Fame. He will forever be immortalized at the Big Texan as "Meat-Co". Awesome.

The instant the the hour was up, Raffa made a B-line to the bathroom taking out an old lady on his way and recycled a good portion of the meal. The stall next to him was occupied by a similarly suffering Russian Acrobat.

Another successful outing.


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