Santel kills the “Monster Challenge” at Legends | News, Sports, Jobs
Pretty intimidating, right?
For professional competition eater Randy Santel, the Legends American Grill Monster Burger Challenge was 8 minutes, 58 seconds well spent.
Santel stopped by Legends on South Center Street as part of his Midwestern Food Challenges Tour. He was in Altoona on Tuesday to take on the Brick and Ivy Rooftop Chicago Dog Challenge where he devoured eight fully loaded hot dogs.
On Wednesday he turned his attention to something scarier than a few dogs. He came to take up the Monster Burger Challenge.
The Monster Burger is more than a burger, really. It’s two hamburger patties, ham, pepperoni, pork tenderloin and homemade breaded onion rings, all topped with jalapeno cheese and onions. The final touch is a creamy white queso cheese. On the side, legendary fries which are signature waffle fries.
In total, the meal weighs almost 5 pounds.
Santel upped the ante with an optional personal challenge on top of it all. He took care of finishing the dishes and two beers from the Confluence Brewing Company, brewed in Des Moines.
To win the challenge, Santel had to complete everything in less than 30 minutes. Fifty-two people have attempted the Monster Burger Challenge in its year of existence. Only seven completed it. The fastest time before Wednesday was 30 minutes.
If Santel rose to the challenge, it would be his 986th successful food challenge. Once he dove into his plate of food, it didn’t take long to find out if he would remove it.
Santel, nicknamed “Atlas,” had a clear game plan from the start: divide and conquer. He parted the burger, eating it piece by piece with an occasional sip of his drink to wash it down. He commented on the pepperoni adding a nice flavor at the start, but predicted the pork tenderloin would be his favorite part. Moments later, his prediction was confirmed.
Several members of the packed house shouted about 15 minutes predictions for Santel to complete the challenge before it started. About 6 minutes into the challenge start and some thought it would end in 8.
The official time with both beers was 8 minutes and 52 seconds.
“I have to give credit. It was an incredible challenge ” Said Santel. “There wasn’t a part of this Monster Challenge that I didn’t like. My favorite part – I was right from the start – this pork tenderloin. They really know how to cook pork tenderloin all over the state of Iowa.
Chad Tiller, chef at Legends, designed the Monster Burger Challenge. He’s been a chef for about 20 years, 11 of them with Legends in Marshalltown.
“We knew we wanted to take on a burger challenge,” Tiller said. “The Legends Burger is one of our signature burgers. We’re known for our onion rings and fillets, so it’s kind of like that. Putting the question on it – it really made a difference. “
Like others in attendance, Tiller expected Santel to finish the Monster Burger in about 15 minutes.
“It was insane,” he said.
The chef says he is a fan of Santel and often watches his Youtube videos. Once the challenge was up, he decided to send Santel a message about coming to Legends and giving it a go. To his surprise, he got an answer.
“It was great to have actually come,” he said.
Legends recently added a second food challenge to their menu called the Viper Challenge. It’s a spicy wing challenge where brave eaters attempt to complete 12 wings, dipped in Tiller’s custom Viper sauce, in under 10 minutes. They do not receive sauces, drinks, or even towels. Along with the wings, they must eat a Viper quesadilla that contains the hot sauce and spicier ingredients. After completing the wings and quesadilla, they should sit still for 10 minutes, still without relief.
“The two things I did first” Tiller spoke of the challenges. “We have to know it’s okay, so I punished myself before I punished someone else.
Twelve people took part in the Viper Challenge and four passed.
After winning the Monster Burger Challenge, Santel is on his way to Kansas City for another challenge on Thursday.
To follow Randy Santel’s journey of food challenges, go to randysantel.com or find his videos by searching for his channel on Youtube.
Contact Joe Fisher at [email protected]