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Calling all overeaters: 7 best food challenges in Columbus

614now Staff

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Your boss dropped that report on your desk Thursday afternoon and laughed because he never thought you’d finish.

But guess what, it was bound and ready to go once quitting time rolled around on Friday.

You get stuff done. That’s just the type of person you are.

But when it comes time for lunch, you’re not even trying. We’ve seen you at your desk eating those limp tossed salads with wrinkly cherry tomatoes. We want more out of you. We want to see you champion your meals.

The food challenges we are about to share with you are not for the faint of heart (or stomach), but even though your boss may not, we here at 614NOW have full faith that you can achieve anything you set your mind to.

What are you waiting for? Get out there and make your gut hate you!

The Melt Challenge

Melt Bar & Grilled, 840 N. High St. Columbus, OH

An entire platter of food is yours for the taking. Four luscious pounds of a thirteen cheese medley nestled between two thick slabs of buttered toast—all cuddled up beside heaps of French fries and cole slaw.

Coming in at a hefty 5.02 pounds and $35, this monster of a meal comes with more than a cardiac arrest once completed. Winners receive a t-shirt, a $10 Melt gift card, and, most importantly, their picture on the wall of fame.

BROUGHT TO YOU BY

The Thurmanator Challenge

The Thurman’s Café, 183 Thurman Ave. Columbus, OH

The Thurman Café has been a staple in German Village for over 70 years. One of their claims to fame is the Thurmanator. With a name like that, you better step back a couple of feet to make room when it enters.

Two, 3/4-pound beef patties under a half pound of ham and bacon, covered in mozzarella and American cheese, lettuce, tomato, mushrooms, sautéed onions, pickles, jalapeno peppers, and mayo. The condiments alone could suffice as a meal but this is America so why limit yourself?

Mega-Meat-Mega-Challenge

Joseppi’s Pizza, 4767 W. Broad St. Columbus, OH

You + 1 friend + 28”, 13.2-pound mega meat pizza + 1 hour = gluttony stardom. The makers of this challenge must not believe it’s achievable because the prizes are dope.

Any pair to devour the whole pie will receive $100 cash, $150 Joseppi’s Pizza gift certificates, a t-shirt and, of course, their greasy smiles on the wall of fame.

The Mucho Macho Burrito Challenge

Cazuela’s Mexican Grill, 2247 N. High St. Columbus, OH

“IT TASTES LIKE PAIN.  Like pain that makes you want to saw off your tongue while you’re pouring sweat, shaking in your chair and crying. What a huge mistake.”

That was one of the top reviews of the challenge on Yelp.

A 12″ tortilla filled with rice, refried beans, chicken or steak—all topped with hot habanero sauce. Big whoop! Prove those Yelpers wrong and mow down that burrito.

And slap the accomplishment on your resume when you’re done.

8 Pound Omelet Challenge

Hangover Easy, 1646 Neil Ave. Columbus, OH

Photo courtesy of Tony Carter of The Lantern

Although you may not spot it on the menu, we have it on good authority that if you have enough conviction, the General Manager of Hangover Easy will schedule a time with you to dominate a 12 egg, 8-pound omelet.

As if eating a dozen eggs is not enough of a challenge, this omelet is also stuffed with ham, sausage, bacon, potatoes, tomatoes, peppers, onions, mushrooms, cheddar cheese, sausage gravy, and five biscuits.

The beefy guy pictured above succumbed to the challenge but don’t let that intimidate you.

Monolith Sandwich Challenge

Neighborhood’s Deli, 2142 W Henderson Rd, Columbus

The Monolith Sandwich Challenge at Neighbor’s Deli in Columbus has everything you could think to put on 4 pieces of bread; turkey, ham, roast beef, pastrami, bacon, 4 different cheeses, but mayo, mustard, horseradish, slaw, veggies and pickles.

Oh, and don’t forget the mammoth-sized side of potato salad.

Finish under 20:173 and you get it free.

Johnson’s Banana Split Sundae Challenge

Johnson’s Real Ice Cream, 2728 E Main St, Bexley

Hankering for more of a sweets overload? Johnson’s Real Ice Cream in Bexley is dishing up the treat for you!

The Banana Split Sundae Challenge comes with:

  • 3 whole bananas
  • 8 scoops of ice cream (your choice of flavor)
  • Topped with almonds, whipped cream, and cherries
  • 8 additional toppings of your choice

If you can finish the ice cream mountain in less than 4:28 minutes, you get the $19.99 sundae free and your name on the wall of fame.

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Food & Drink

Restaurant Week Sneak Peek: Wolf’s Ridge Brewing

Regina Fox

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In less than 10 years at its natural sunlight-soaked digs on N 4th Street, Wolf's Ridge Brewing has managed to become a place revered not only for brewing some of the best beers the city has to offer, but also for serving some of the best food.

What better time to experience them both than Restaurant Week January 20-25?

We were lucky enough to get a sneak peek of Wolf's Ridge three-course menu before it was released to the public, and we think you're really going to like it.

First Course: Choice of baked brie, endive salad, or bread and butter

The endive salad offered depths with every bite: the brightness of the shaved pear, the fresh earthiness of the endive, the texture of the fennel, the crunch of the walnuts. But the star of this dish was certainly the pool of tangy, creamy blue cheese dressing hiding below the colorful mixture.

Second Course: Choice of salmon, grilled cauliflower, or pork tenderloin

Without a shadow of a doubt, I believe each one of the entrees offered during Restaurant week are slam dunks, but to me, the choice was obvious: pork tenderloin.

The three plump and pink cuts of pork were so tender, they could be easily cut with just a butter knife. The succulence of the meat played well with the sweet, nutty sunchoke puree, and rich smoked hazelnut butter. Like the french origin suggests, the demi-glace soaked into the tenderloin truly was the "icing" on top.

Third Course: Choice of cheesecake or fudge bar

If at the end of your meal you're feeling bright, light, and flirty, the cheesecake is for you. The toasted coconuts coating the mousse-like rum cheesecake, icy pineapple sorbet and orange marmalade will send your palate on an all-inclusive trip to the seaside.

Feeling a little more dense or moody? The punch of the espresso ice cream, thick chocolate bar, and sticky caramel crémeux will have you closing your eyes, and "mmm"ing through every bite.

At $40, the Wolf's Ridge Restaurant deal is quite possibly the best time to experience the creative, elevated menu. But, you and the other 900,000 residents of Columbus already know that, right? So, don't wait to make your reservation!

To learn more about Restaurant Week January 20-25, visit eat614.com.

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Food & Drink

Restaurant Week Sneak Peek: Pig out on amazing deal from Hoggy’s

Mike Thomas

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Longtime fans of barbecue in Central Ohio will remember Hoggy's, the family-owned local barbecue chain which originally opened in 1991. Recent history saw Hoggy's step away from the restaurant game in favor of a thriving catering business. With a newly-renovated store on Bethel road, this OG Columbus BBQ joint is getting back in the retail mix.

Scroll down for an exclusive giveaway

We recently stopped by Hoggy's to preview all the delicious goodness they've cooked up for Restaurant Week. With a deal this sweet, it's time you got reacquainted with this awesome, homegrown barbecue spot!

Restaurant Week Deal: Choose three meats, two sides, and your choice of cobbler or banana pudding, all for $15.

You read that right: THREE meats. While Hoggy's brisket, pulled pork, or pulled chicken are all solid choices, be sure that one of your trifecta of picks is the baby back ribs. These are truly some of the best ribs we've tried in town.

Bonus sleeper pick: we found Hoggy's wings to be exceptionally crispy and flavorful, serving as the perfect delivery method for their great BBQ sauces.

When it comes to sides, you really can't go wrong at Hoggy's. From the potato salad to the "cowboy style" baked beans, each side has the same home cooked flavor that you'd hope to find at a family cookout.

As long as you're treating yourself, don't be afraid to go double-starch in the sides department. The mac and cheese (with both penne and elbow macaroni) is a can't-miss, but then who in their right mind can can pass on cheesy potatoes?

If you have any room left for dessert, either of the available options will be sure to send you over the edge into a food coma. Hoggy's satisfying cobbler is served oven-hot, just like grandma used to make. Likewise, the decadent banana pudding is everything it should be and more, with a fluffy, creamy texture that is unlike anything we've seen elsewhere.

When it comes to Restaurant Week, Hoggy's isn't playing around. For $15, this is one of the best bang-for-the-buck deals on the entire RW lineup. Don't sleep—there will be time for that after you've stuffed yourself with sides, dessert, and all the delicious smoked meats you can handle!

To learn more about Restaurant Week January 20-25, visit eat614.com.

Comment your favorite BBQ side dish to be entered to win dinner for two at Hoggy's!

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Food & Drink

New plant-based diner takes root in Downtown

614now Staff

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From the people who brought us Eden burger comes a new plant-based diner sure to satisfy your hunger.

4th & State is a vegan cafe and diner located in the heart of downtown Columbus under the leadership of Chad Goodwin.

Click here to read more about Eden Burger

Featuring fare aimed at both breakfast and lunch, hours will soon be expanded to cover dinner service to coincide with the launch of the restaurant's beer and wine program.

Below are pictures of a few of the most popular breakfast items thus far:

4th & State is located at 152 E State St. and is open Monday through Friday from 7am- 3pm, and Saturday through Sunday from 9am- 4pm. To learn more, check out their Instagram.

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