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Big Eats in the Big City


Are you one of those people whose stomach is bigger than their eyes? Well, then belly up and try an eating challenge at a Chicago restaurant! These places have huge food items, so come hungry.

What to Eat: the Towering Burger
Where? Tavern at the Park, 625 N. Michigan Ave.

It’s breakfast and lunch all in one large burger. The burger only has two patties, but all the toppings makes it look cartoonish: apple wood smoked bacon, cheddar cheese, garden garnish, a fried egg and English sausage patty so you can get both meals in one. But after this, you just might still be hungry – fries come with the burger. Yes, it’s not quite an eating challenge with a reward at the end, but you can eat a Towering Burger just for the love of the game.

What to Eat: Lucky’s Challenge
Lucky’s Sandwich Co, 3472 North Clark St.

One Lucky’s sandwich may be filling enough for most people. They make their sandwiches with meat, tomatoes, fries, coleslaw all in the sandwich itself. But say you’re really hungry – if you can polish off three complete Lucky’s sandwiches in an hour, you’re a winner! You get the third sandwich for free, a Lucky’s t-shirt, and a picture on their wall of fame. You also get a sense of self pride.

What to Eat: Bacon Bomb Challenge
Paddy Long’s, 1028 W. Diversey Ave.

Paddy Long’s concocts an interesting and unique menu item. According to their website, the Bacon Bomb is “five pounds of ground sausage, pork and beef mixed with spices and wrapped in brown sugar bacon, and then slow cooked on our pig roaster.” Yum. If you finish it all in 45 minutes, you get the bacon bomb free, plus a t-shirt and spot on their wall of fame. But since the Bacon Bomb is $60, you better bring your “A” game.

What to Eat: Big Timmy Challenge
Timothy O’Toole’s, 622 N. Fairbanks Ct.

Timothy O’Toole’s may have the most do-able eating challenge: finish a burger with two half pound patties topped with four cheeses, bacon, onion straws, lettuce, tomato, red onion and BBQ sauce, plus clear the plate of fries and onion rings. But, you know, you still have to focus to complete the challenge! Winners get free t-shirts.

What to Eat: Bartolini’s 10 lb. Meatball Challenge
Bartolini’s Resturant, 14420 S. Pulaski Rd., Midlothian IL

Bartolini’s challenge is like your big brother who would still beat you in basketball even though he would shoot with his opposite hand. They feel so confident you will perish that they have variations of their contest – though in the end, a 10-pound meatball sandwich must be completely consumed, they’ll allow you to get some help from your buddies. The catch? You get less time. If you decided to go for it alone, you get three hours; with three helpers, you only get 15 minutes. If you win, you get the sandwich free. If you break the solo record by yourself (48 minutes), you get $250.

What to Eat: 3 vs. 30”
Where? 30’s Pizza Factory, 719 East Dundee Road, Arlington Heights, IL

The name of the restaurant comes from their signature dish – their 30 inch pizzas. Gather two hungry friends (or if you’re really bold, go alone), and tackle the 30-inch pizza in under an hour. You win the pizza for free, a t-shirt, and a spot on their wall of fame.

3 concierge prefers Big Eats in the Big City.