When it comes to flagrant displays of conspicuous consumption, you'd have to go a long way to beat the World's Largest Buffet. Organizers of the event, held Saturday at the Holmes County Amish Flea Market, in Ohio, sought to beat the world's record held by the Las Vegas Hilton.
The AP reports that Denny's has obliterated all largest hamburger records with a whopper that weighs in at 123 pounds. If you're planning to feast on one, be sure to save up. The price tag - $379.
I'm not a lifelong vegetarian. As a matter of fact I was a pretty serious carnivore at one point. But never serious enough to put away a 50-lb hamburger.
If you think you (and whose army?) are up to the task, head out to Denny's Beer Barrel Pub, in Clearfield, Pennsylvania. They have a 50-pounder they call the Beer Barrel Belly Bruiser. By my math that works out to about 200 quarter pounder's worth, though I guess you have to allow for the fixings. Denny's estimate that this whopper will feed about 30 people. But I guess that depends on who the people are.
If you are itching to take a crack at it, you'd better call and let them know at least 24 hours in advance. As you can imagine, they're not able to whip up a 50-pounder on a moment's notice. Oh, and the tab for this beauty - $179.95.
If you're in the mood for something a little less gargantuan, Denny's also has burgers in 2, 3, 6 and 15-lb sizes. These are all challenge-type burgers. In other words, if you can eat them in less than the specified time, they're on the house.
There's something about eating contests that never fails to make me feel a little uncomfortable. I don't know if they're strictly an American type of phenomenon but they do dovetail quite nicely with our culture of materialistic excess. Seems a bit unseemly to make a sport out of gorging yourself when so many people around the world die of hunger every day.
Just a thought. Having said that, I'll point out that eating machine Takeru Kobayashi recently added another notch to his belt, as far as eating contests go. It's a pretty small belt, in Kobayashi's case. If you've never seen him before you might be surprised that such a wispy little fellow could be such a powerhouse when it comes to putting it away.
But put it away he does. Kobayashi's most recent triumph came at a hamburger eating contest - the Krystal Square Off World Hamburger Eating Championship - where he put away 97 little burgers in 8 minutes. Read all about it here, in the Chattanooga Times Free Press. That's not him, by the way - just a stock photo.