Food challenges are always fun. They give you bragging rights only a true, red-blooded American could be proud of, and at the very least make dining out a touch more entertaining.
As far as local food challenges go, I was shocked to discover about 25 people have managed to scarf down the mammoth 6- or 8-pound burgers at Cheeseburgers & More in Jupiter. The ridiculously, super-sized sandwich takes "whopper" to an entirely new level, with half a dozen one-pound patties stacked atop one another to form what can only become a meat-made comatose state.
But if you manage to get it all down -- without any help, and no strict time limit -- then at least you can say you did it for free. Finish everything on your plate, and you don't have to shell out the $100 for the dish, says owner Mike Ferdenzi.
For close to 20 years, Ferdenzi has been serving up burgers at his casual, family-oriented restaurant off Indiantown Road just south of I-95 in Jupiter. The eatery is a feast for the eyes, as well: the main dining room and bar area is adorned with Nascar memorabilia, while dozens of model airplanes hang from the ceiling. The walls are the main draw, however, decorated with photos of all the patrons who have ordered and finished the restaurant's 1- and 2-pound burgers.
When he first opened, Ferdenzi said the menu only offered a few options -- a quarter-pound, half-pound, and one-pound burger. One day, he added a two-pound burger, and took a photo of all the patrons that were able to finish it. Today, more than 300 photos are mounted throughout the restaurant, forever commemorating their hard-earned achievement.
As the years went on, patrons began requesting a more difficult challenge -- and more burger.
"Because people were asking for bigger burgers, we kept going," said Ferdenzi. "For the past several years that includes our 6- and 8-pounder."
If you manage to eat it all -- burger, bun, toppings, plus the side of fries -- there's no charge. You can't take all day, but Ferdenzi said he isn't too strict about how long it takes you to clean your plate. So far, just under 20 people have succeeded, including one man who sat in the restaurant for three hours before taking the final bite.
It's also a popular dish for large groups of people who want to tackle the monster sandwich with a little help. You won't get it for free, said Ferdenzi, but at least you can say you did your best.
"Believe me, it's not easy," said Ferdenzi. "Not everyone succeeds. It's a lot of food."
Follow Nicole Danna on Twitter, @SoFloNicole.
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