Post–Hill Country Challenge, Where Can You Eat Big for Free?

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Photo: Daniel Maurer

Now that Hill Country has flushed its “Feed Your Face” down the proverbial toilet, how else can you score a meal that’s both gargantuan and gratis? The jumbo curry challenge has been on the menu at St. Marks' izakaya Kenka for some time, but somehow we never noticed it (maybe because bull’s penis is on the same menu, as well as a cartoon of a bald woman tonguing a skull). Last week, however, we not only spotted it, but decided to give it a go. If you finish the platter of rice curry shown here (compare it to the beer mugs for size), you get it free; if you fail, it’s $25.

According to the waitress, about 50 percent of diners finish this, so we weren’t all that impressed with ourselves when we put it away within about seventeen minutes of speedy eating. Unlike the famous phaal challenge at Brick Lane Curry, this curry isn’t all that hot. As with Hill Country, this is doable, but that doesn’t mean you’ll want to do it. Sure, it’ll be the cheapest meal of your life (especially when you consider that Sapporo and Kirin drafts are $1.50), but you don’t even get a Kenka T-shirt (we asked). And you will definitely not feel like hitting the karaoke parlors after filling your belly to the point of bursting. That said, if anyone can top this off with an order of bull’s penis, we’ll add them to the Grub Street masthead for a day.

P.S. While we’re on the subject of excessive eating, here’s a compilation of “Top Ten Pancake Records,” in honor of National Pancake Day. “Unofficially, the male record is 72 pancakes and the female record is 48 pancakes eaten at one event.”