The time had come. Time to try and tackle “The Big Shank”, it was a lot harder than I thought it would be….
We arrived at about 6pm Friday night. I was surprised at how few people were there for a Friday though, but we were led to our table and took our seats.
The "Big Shank Challenge" is (from the SSS web site):
If you can personally eat and finish a meal consisting of an entree and our monster Beef Shank (including potato and salad) and dessert, we will give you your dessert absolutely free and recognise your achievement on the Big Shank honour roll in store and online!
There were 4 contestants, myself, Wayne, Ken, and Sean.
7:10pm - Entree's Arrive
We started with the Entree's. It was all a bit of a mystery, no pictures of the entree's on the menu, we had to guess which of these had the least amount of volume so we could fit in more of the shank. Ken chose the chicken wings. We later found these to be breaded, so probably not a good move. Sean went for the Calamari, again breaded, but with a salad, so evened things out. Wayne made the best decision, and chose the soup, while I went for the beef ribs. Although small, I'd forgotten that I was about to eat the biggest beef shank ever, beef overload... I should've gone the soup.
7:30pm - "The Big Shank(s)" arrive
Right about here I'm pretty excited. I've just returned from a trip to the bar, and have had a few vodkas, in addition to the half dozen I'd had during the day (hey, it was a Friday!). You see, I had a theory. Based on my earlier 1kg Park Road Challenge, I'd determined that a big breakfast and no lunch other than Vodka was the magic recipe. I'm not sure that I was totally wrong, as the shank was absolutely massive, but re-tested the theory none the less. Anyway, I got stuck in pretty quickly, as I was damn hungry by this stage, even after the entree...
7:45pm - Half of the shank eaten
I powered on hard in the first stretch, and managed to knock off the lesser half of the shank, and made quite a good dent in the next half. I have to admit, looking back I was pretty surprised at how much I ate in such a short time. The problem was, the shank was actually pretty dry, so the further I went on, the harder it got. Swallowing was becoming difficult, so the BBQ sauce bottle was getting a good workout. (ended up finishing half that bottle by myself)
8:00pm - "The Big Shank" takes its first victim
After a day of solid eating, and hitting the free peanuts and popcorn a little too hard before the entree, Ken throws in the towel. Not surprising really, he had a full breakfast, full lunch, and quite a bit of food before the meal had even started. Even though he's tackled "The 4 Whopper Challenge" (more on that later), he understandably decided to call it a night. Sean followed soon after, leaving only Wayne and I to continue.
8:22pm - Wayne's finished the shank, and moves onto the salad
Yep, Wayne "The Machine" destroyed the shank in record time, less than an hour and it was gone. Comfortable, relaxed, unnerved by the whole experience, he casually glances up to the camera for this rather relaxed photo
8:45pm - Dessert arrives for Wayne, Billy keeps going on the shank
Wayne chose the Macadamia Nut Ice Cream served in a bowl made of toffee. There was a sorbet on the menu, but it was served with 4 slices of orange which scared us off a bit, so this was the dessert of choice for us both
9:00pm - Wayne finishes dessert and earns his place on the Shank Honor Roll
Even though I was in too much pain to take a photo, it really was something else. 1.5hrs, Soup, 2.5kg shank, and dessert. Unbelievable. I tip my hat to the destroyer. Right about now though, I feel like my stomach is about to explode like Ripley's dream sequence in "Aliens"
9:10pm - Billy finally finishes the shank
Close to 2 hours later, I manage to painfully squeeze in the last piece of shank, much to the enjoyment of the other guests. By this stage, they were getting somewhat frustrated at my continual distractions away from the task at hand... but alas, I had done it. I'd tackled the entree and the big shank. Thank god. But that wasn't the end... now it was time for dessert, time to find my place on the honor roll... I'd been working toward this now for a few weeks, although without dedicated training, I was convinced that I was going to beat this challenge.
9:25pm - Dessert arrives
... much to the concern of the manager of the evening. Second glances, and discussions of former failed "Big Shank" attempts resulting in "walking 2 steps out the door before spewing all over the footpath". But no, I wasn't going to let them stop me. It was ice cream and a bit of toffee. Pure liquid, there'll be room... I'll do this... I have to do this...
9:45pm - The last spoonful
Supported by my friends, I downed the last spoonful, resulting in much applause from not only everyone with me, but from the Kitchen also. While there was a brief period of joy and happiness, shortly thereafter the pain started to show once again... now the challenge of keeping it down....
And that was it... we all got up pretty much straight after, paid, then walked back to work to get our things. (after the glory shot in front of the board of course!)
For about the next 24 hours straight, I was in pain. Yep, I'll admit it... I won't lie to you, thoughts of purging did cross my mind, but the shame of it all was just too much, so I was determined to stick it out, even if that did mean sacrificing my Saturday activities to being bed ridden and snoozing all day long.
This was (in my book) a challenge to be reckoned with. Hardest food challenge I've ever had to face, and I'd have to say, I doubt I'll be lining up to do it again. But alas, after all of this, I can look back as I see my name on the roll and think, "It was all worth it"...