Food challenges—if you dare

Coney Island may have a handle on the most famous food challenge, but you don’t have to travel far to get your competition up to snuff.

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Photo courtesy of Lukas Gojda/Adobe Stock

Coney Island may have a handle on the most famous food challenge, but you don’t have to travel far to get your competition up to snuff.

El Cachudo Challenge: Guajillo Mexican, Arlington

When did the challenges start? 13 years ago

How many have succeeded? About two or three people try the challenge each month, but most fail. Ten have succeeded

Stats: The burrito contains pork chorizo, chicken, beef and fish as well as cheese, rice, beans and their spicy voodoo salsa. The burrito is also topped with sour cream, guacamole and pico de gallo. The burrito weighs in at 5 pounds.

What do challengers win if they succeed? The meal is free, and they get their picture posted on the restaurant’s Facebook page.

28-inch Pizza Challenge: Family Pizzeria, Stafford

When did the challenges start? 20-plus years ago

How many have succeeded? 410 attempted and 20 have succeeded.

Stats: The pizza is 28 inches in diameter. It has the typical crust, sauce and cheese, but two toppings are required (garlic, extra cheese and extra sauce do not count as toppings). The challenge is for a pair of people and must be eaten in its entirety in an hour. There is also a $50 fee that the competitor must pay if he or she loses the contents of their stomach on the establishment’s floor.

What do challengers win if they succeed? The meal is free, and they walk away with a T-shirt and $40 cash.

40-ounce Reuben Sandwich: Chutzpah Deli, Fairfax

When did the challenges start? Three years ago

How many have succeeded? 25 attempted and three have succeeded.

Stats: The sandwich is a traditional Reuben with corned beef, sauerkraut, imported Swiss cheese and Russian dressing, served with a side of hand-cut fries. However, unlike the traditional Reuben, the 40-ounce sandwich is a triple-decker.

What do challengers win if they succeed? The sandwich normally costs $45, but if they can finish the sandwich in 30 minutes, the meal is free.

(July 2017 Summer Guide)

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