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Route 66 Food Challenges

America's Route 66 isn't short of a place or two to tuck into super-sized portions of regional specialities, from Chicago's Deep Pan pizzas to juicy flame-grilled steaks in Texas, but TV has taken giant servings to the next level. Insane food challenges can now be found in various eateries across the States, including several meat-eating marathons and inferno chilli-based dishes. Fancy earning yourself a free meal, a t-shirt, or just bragging rights? Test your appetite with five of the most outrageous food challenges than can be tried (and completed?) on a Route 66 holiday – in order of appearance on the road...

Old Route 66 cafe sign

Lucky’s Sandwich Company – Chicago, Illinois

3472 N. Clark St., Chicago, IL 60657

Start your Route 66 holiday as you mean to go on and head to Lucky’s Sandwich Company for a hearty lunch. Here you’ll find delicious yet enormous sandwiches, bigger than your head! Just half a sandwich is more than enough to satisfy a hearty appetite but diners up for the challenge can try and devour THREE of the overstuffed beasts in just one hour. Filling options include roast beef, pastrami, ham and Cajun chicken and conquerors will receive their third sandwich for free, a t-shirt and their photo on the Wall of Fame.

Joe Rogers Chilli Parlour – Springfield, Illinois

820 S. 9th St., Springfield, IL 62703

The Firebrand Chilli Challenge at Joe Roger’s Chilli Parlour involves eating as many bowls of extra-spicy Firebrand chilli as possible. Anyone who ties with (or breaks!) the current record of an incredible five bowls will join the Wall of Fame. It’s no mean feat though – those chillies are almost too hot to handle.

Elote Cafe – Tulsa, Oklahoma

514 South Boston Ave, Tulsa, OK 74103

Make a stop at Elote Cafe in Tulsa to take on the Puffy Taco Challenge. Puffy tacos are corn or flour tortillas that are filled with air and deep-fried until they puff out. They are then stuffed with tasty yet filling toppings, and as many as possible must be demolished in 90 minutes in order to complete the challenge. The current champion sitting at the top of the leader board managed to devour 23 puffy tacos. Could you do better?

Big Texan Steak Ranch – Amarillo, Texas

7701 E Interstate 40 Amarillo, TX 79118-6915

Adjacent to the Big Texan Motel, the Big Texan Steak Ranch sits on the “Mother Road” and offers a 72oz (4.5lb) steak challenge – if you finish eating it, trimmings and all, within one hour, you get the entire meal for free. Bread roll, prawn cocktail, jacket potato, ranch beans and salad (for good measure) complement the meat and must be polished off too!

Orochon Ramen – Los Angeles, California

123 South Onizuka St., Los Angeles, CA 90012

In a plaza in Little Tokyo, Los Angeles, sits Orochon Ramen, a small Japanese restaurant. Orochon means bravery in the indigenous Japanese language, so it will be no surprise to learn that the test at this restaurant is to eat a bowl of the spiciest ramen. For the Special #2 challenge, visitors have just 30 minutes to finish the large bowl of ramen, broth and all. Winners get their photo taken for the wall of bravery.


**This blog post was previously published on Medway Leisure Travel, now trading as Pettitts Travel**

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