Don Moses Lerman heard of Pinata's Mexican Grill in Bethpage NY, just a couple of weeks ago. They have a special challenge, to help commemorate their grand opening:
Anyone who can eat two of their THREE POUND burritos in one sitting, gets them FREE.
The rules, must be done in one sitting and you cannot stop for a break. No cigarette breaks, no bathroom breaks and presumably, no bowel movements at the table, although we did not ask.
Now that is a challenge that any veteran competitive eater cannot take lightly and Moses and I plotted the day of attack.
We chose the Saturday of Memorial Day Weekend to attack, with the goal of being the first two people to ever take the challenge head on and demolish it. The owner, Chris, told us on the phone (he had NO idea who he was REALLY speaking to), that there was a Wall of Shame and a Wall of Fame. So far, only the Wall of Shame was populated and no one was worthy of the Wall of Fame.
Moses, Lorraineasaurus Rex and myself arrived at 6:00 pm sharp. Moses and I walked innocently up to the counter, like putzes, hiding our timers and ice cream scoops and knives in our pants. We asked how much the burritos were and how big were they. They told us about the small and medium ones and we asked if they had something a wee bit bigger. They told us about the MONSTER BURRITO'S, $9.50 for Chicken and $10.50 for Steak. I next asked if there was some sort of challenge if you ate two. We thought we might have seen something in the paper. He then proceeded to show us how big they were and I said to Don, what the heck, we can always put them in doggie bags and take them home for our doggies. The owner smirked and barked the orders to the kitchen to begin preparing the monsters for the schmucks who just walked into his establishment.
Lorraine decided to try to eat one and Moses and I ordered two each. Don chose water to drink and I chose soda, normally a bad choice for an eating contest, due to the gas build-up and feeling of bloating that can come from too much soda.
We sat down and the owner kept smirking at us, was he calculating his profit on the burritos (to those who have never seen these burritos, over $50 for five burritos would seem insane, even if they weigh three pounds each) and the three gringos who had just walked into his establishment.......
[Chris, the owner, Kevin "Krazy Kevin" Lipsitz, Don "Moses" Lerman]
Moses got his burrito's first and I patiently waited for mine. We were going to start together. Lorraine's and mine came out together. All I could say was MUCHO GRANDE, MUCHO GRANDE, with a (phony) look of horror on my face, as if to say, I just paid $21 for two burritos and there is no way I am going to do this. Meanwhile, inside, I was doing the smirking.
[Kevin "Krazy Kevin" Lipsitz and Don "Moses" Lerman with the Monster 3lbs. Burritos]
Then Moses and I got serious and stopped all the charades for the owner. Now that our burritos were made, they could no longer get bigger because of our reputations, during their preparation, as had happened to Don, Ed Cookie Jarvis and I at a previous challenge at another establishment.. We whipped out the ice cream scoops, Don's timer and Don's knives. A look of fear came over Chris, the owner's face. He saw the plastic bags and thought for a moment that we were going to hide some of the burrito, ie. cheat. Then he saw the timer and ice cream scoop and wanted to know what that was all about. He really did not know what to make of these three gringos who seemed to now be laughing at his challenge and mocking it.
We told him these burritos were going DOWN and we would be outta there within 30 minutes. Oh, and by the way, bring over the camera.
The smirk was gone and a serious face came over Chris. Lorraine did the countdown and we attacked.
I picked the monster up like a snake and bit off its head. Within 10 seconds, I had a third of it all in my mouth. Shortly after that the monster gave up, became viscerated and exploded all over my plate, as it fell apart. I was very careful to keep ever bean, even onion piece, every pepper, every piece of the tortilla wrapper and every piece of steak on my plate. Moses slit its belly with the knife right away, like a fisherman on a boat, about to fry the fish he just caught, right down the middle and then scraped out its' innards all over his plate. Then then attacked with a vengeance, similar to his possessed demeanor when he set the baked beans world record.
The race had begun. No doubt about that.
Chris the owner left the counter and came over to sit at the next table to take a look at what was going on. The restaurant had just opened a few weeks ago and every dollar counts during a restaurant's opening weeks. I think he begun to realize that he just donated $40 worth of burritos to these two "putzes" who maybe really were not two putzes after all....... and figured as long as he was going to lose 40 bucks, he might as well get a free show out of it. As other patrons walked in, he announced to them that history was being made.
Shortly before our burritos came out, a nicely dressed couple, with their two children walked in and took the only available table, next to myself and Moses and Lorraine. They placed their order and it arrived shortly before ours did, as their portions were normal size and were easier and faster to prepare. They had no idea what was going on, but a look of disgust came over their faces, as they realized two real pigs were at the next table, setting a very bad example for their children, whom they were trying to teach some table manners and fine dining etiquette.
This other couple ordered their food and it came quickly for them. At this point, Moses and I started belching, me more so than Moses due to the carbonation from my Diet Coke. This actually turned out to be a blessing in disguise, freeing up more room in my stomach. Moses cut loose a real noisy smelly fart and not to be outdone, I followed suit. I tried to make mine musical, so the couple next to us would not think it so bad. This really helped give us a second wind, although the wind that it created was really smelly and the couple next to us was getting even more disgusted. They were NOT amused. Their kids though it was funny, until their parents silenced their laughs. They almost left, but I think they decided to stay in order to show their kids how not to behave in a restaurant. The farting and belching was getting out of hand, but Moses and I were possessed and began for forget that we were in a restaurant, not a free for all, win at all costs eating event!
The first Burrito went down for Moses in 3 minutes, 49 seconds and mine went down in 5 minutes flat. Midway through the second burrito, the pounds took their toll and we both slowed considerably. Eventually Don looked like he was going to suffer urges contrary to swallowing and he was turning greener than the Guacamole dip on the table. Chris, the owner, feeling that it would be easier to catch the vomit rather than mop it up, acted quickly and grabbed a huge trash can. However, as Moses has often done in the past, he recovered quickly, was it all an act? .......... and polished off his second burrito. Moses's grand total for both burritos, 19 minutes, 1 second. During Moses last few seconds, I considered shoving what was left on my plate into my mouth (just part of the soft torilla shell was left), but decided against it, as it would be sort of cheating and this was a friendly competition and I also might have lost everything I had put down. .......and after all, this was about getting a couple of FREE burritos and what good would it be, if my free burritos were all over the floor, instead of my stomach.
[Don "Moses" Lerman contemplates whether the burritos that went down will stay down.........]
This was a delicious burrito, for sure and Lorraineasaurus Rex finished off her 1st three pound burrito at the exact moment I finished my second one, in 25 minutes flat. She thorougly enjoyed it and I was very proud of her for finishing it. But then the wheels started turning in my head..........
[Kevin "Krazy Kevin" Lipsitz licks the plate clean]
[Kevin "Krazy Kevin" Lipsitz shows off his last plate, 25 minutes, DONE!]
Being the thrifty minded soul that I am, I suggested rather strongly to Lorraineasaurux Rex that she should eat a second one, so we not have to pay for her meal, but the look I got from her convinced me that that would not be a good thing for me to keep suggesting. Also, as she reminded me, she was holding the keys and it was a long walk back to Staten Island from Bethpage, so I decide to acquiesce.
At that point, we told Chris who we really were and told him, if he were interested, we could send down all our eating friends. He assured us, he was not looking for us to encourage that, but a challenge is a challenge and for anyone who is interested, you can reach Pinata's at 1-516-681-8282.
[Kevin "Krazy Kevin" Lipsitz gets all his money back, making this a most delicious FREE meal!]
As of this writing, there are only two faces on the Wall of Fame, but we would not mind sharing some of the space with our eating friends. They make a VERY DELICIOUS BURRITO and it IS big WALL OF FAME. ......and if by chance, you wind up on the WALL of SHAME, there is always NEXT time.
This article may not be reprinted without the express written permission of Kevin Jay Lipsitz.
- Kevin Jay Lipsitz
© 2005. This article may not be reprinted without express written consent of Kevin Jay Lipsitz.
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