The 6 Toughest Eating Challenges in St. Louis and One Foolish Man's Attempt to Beat Them All


pointersaurus.jpeg
The Pointersaurus | Zach Garrison

The Pointersaurus
$54
Pointer's Pizza
(1023 South Big Bend Boulevard, Richmond Heights; 314-644-2000)

The renowned Pointersaurus is a ten-pound, two-meat-topping (or four-vegetable), 28-inch pizza. It necessitates what must be the largest pizza-delivery box in the world. But, unlike most food challenges, a $500 reward awaits the two-person team able to eat every single bite -- quite the incentive. Challengers have one hour and may not use napkins to soak up the grease, or "pizza juice" as the rules call it. This last stipulation turns out to be significant; its rationale painfully manifests itself by the end of the challenge.

Initially, I couldn't help but think, "I love pizza; this should be no problem." Owner Dave Hughes informed me that over the last fifteen years, out of roughly 4,000 teams, only 33 have succeeded. I simply assumed I would soon join their vaunted ranks.

My friend Mike Boyle also loves pizza, which is why I chose him as my partner. Standing roughly six-foot-four-inches tall, Mike is lanky and lean, like one of those skinny Japanese professional eaters, so my confidence was high. We talked it over and chose bacon and pepperoni for our two toppings, figuring that our favorites would be easiest to eat.

When Hughes set the ginormous pizza down before us, it took up the entire table and jutted off the edges. He cut the pizza into squares, and Mike and I split it into quadrants that we were responsible for eating. The first piece went down no problem. The doughy crust, sweet tomato sauce and piping-hot cheese were so good that I began to think about how I would spend the prize money.

Expectations remained high as I worked my way into the center of the pie. But by slice No. 7, warning signs began to appear. The delicious crust seemed thicker than before and felt increasingly so with each bite. The sauce and mozzarella cheese soon congealed. And the pepperoni and bacon, at first so crisp and wonderful, began to weigh heavily in my stomach. I began feeling as if I'd swallowed a bag of marbles.

As we neared the halfway point, Mike was still bravely piling it in (he's so tall, I reasoned with flawless scientific logic, the food has a longer way travel), but I was flagging -- each bite a bit more uncomfortable, a bit more displeasing. My jaw hurt, my stomach was cramping and my gut hung over my belt. Mike and I looked at each other, red sauce clinging to our lips and fingers, and, despite the fact that we still had ten minutes left, we knew the end was nigh.

It wasn't even close. We got maybe halfway through, and that's being generous. To be fair, Mike ate more than I did, but in the end it didn't matter.

Aftermath: Here's the thing about choosing bacon and pepperoni as our toppings -- there ends up being a lot of "pizza juice." When consuming a great deal of pizza, the grease tends to gather and pool up somewhere above the stomach, where it sits and waits, like volcanic magma. Foolishly, I attempted to go for a walk afterward, and about halfway through, it all came roaring back up with a vengeance. I managed to keep it all down, but it was an awfully unpleasant walk home. But, hey, my refrigerator was full of pizza for the next week.

Difficulty: +++
The first few pieces are very enjoyable; the last few pieces are not.


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53 comments
bjmcbear77
bjmcbear77

This is a very poorly written article, it sounds like it was taken from a high school newspaper. There are numerous erroneous tense changes. Shish-kebabs are held together by skewers, not stakes. The Trinidad Scorpion Pepper hadn't been the hottest pepper in the world for approximately a year before this article was written, that distinction would go to the Carolina Reaper. Mixing dairy with spice isn't a guarantee to puke, dairy is one of the most effective ways to nullify spice, so it's probably banned to lessen the chances of completing The Inferno. It's also fairly common knowledge that adding water to spicy food is like throwing gasoline on a fire, how someone who writes about food even occasionally isn't aware of that is beyond me. And clearly the writer has no common sense. Not realizing that bacon and pepperoni are terrible pizza-topping choices speaks to that. Why else would it be 2 meats or 4 veggies? Even if veggies weren't an option and you had to get 2 meats, no one with half a brain should realistically think that pork products are going to better serve them than a leaner meat like beef or, ideally, poultry. It's not rocket science. This is beyond moronic.

Paul Tissier
Paul Tissier

Cody Palermo I sent u this last night too hahah! Let's conquer all!

Eric Bruce
Eric Bruce

Michael Schreffler this is all you

Heather King
Heather King

Ashley Brittingham You should try the last one

Nick Palazzolo
Nick Palazzolo

Jon Dickerson Tim Worth Brian Gutschwager. Saturday planned??!!

TripleRPhotography
TripleRPhotography

How does the Inferno compare to the level 100 bowl at the Pearl Cafe? I'm working on my second King of Spice (next is level 50 again) just so I can get the black t-shirt. I got paint on my white one. I'd never try to eat volume, but I do love the spice!

Chris M. Jessen
Chris M. Jessen

I would like to see a restaurant offer a different kind of eating challenge... one where you eat a reasonable portion and then place a few dollars on a "gift card" for the homeless, to be redeemed at any number of downtown restaurants for food.

Tania Novak
Tania Novak

With all the hungry people in the world and the overwhelming amount on food stamps, I think man vs food or any eating competion is just plain wasteful. We need to do something a little more constructive with our time.

David Jones
David Jones

LOL Sounds like our run in with ghost chilis Jon Hiltz... I still want to try it though lol

Jon Hiltz
Jon Hiltz

David Jones check out the last one

Adam Usher
Adam Usher

What about Pearl Cafe's eating challenge?

Andrew Stapleton
Andrew Stapleton

Ha. I think I laughed after reading every challenge. Ready to try them myself.

Charlie Hasseldiek
Charlie Hasseldiek

Josh Call ten Braun I didn't read it but it sounds like your bag...baby

estielmo
estielmo

Personally, I think food challenges are weird, but that's just me. I had the good fortune to work at Pointers for a couple years and observed the Pointersaurus Challenge a few times. You could never tell from physique how well they would do.
The one thing I always noted that beyond the gluttony factor of the challenge the pie itself is an impressive thing to behold. It was always a joy to me to see the eyes of the people in an office or school when I walked in the door. It is a party pizza beyond compare!

Randall FoodChallenges Santel
Randall FoodChallenges Santel

I have completed the important 4. I only do spicy challenges for money and even then I don't like them. & the reuben & burger one is just really small Chris Haggard. That's a good article though!! He should have at least done a little research before attempting them. He just needs Foodchallenges.com which will be live in April!

Chris Haggard
Chris Haggard

Randall Santel have you completed all of these?

AJ Purdy
AJ Purdy

need to tell him to come to stony hill missouri and try our burger challenge

Robert Clyburn
Robert Clyburn

I have attempted a couple of these. Reading his experience made me laugh and wince all at once.

Scott Plackemeier
Scott Plackemeier

They all sound like mild torture to be honest. And I think the last one violates the Geneva Convention.

Sharon Johnson
Sharon Johnson

Well, you are a brave guy. And this will help me in my future trip to St. Louis to know where to dine. The Whistle Stop is surely on my agenda.

Elli Snyder
Elli Snyder

I might have tried this when I was younger and dumber. I once won an ice cream eating contest.

1234
1234

meanwhile, in places of the world where people are starving to death............

bridgework125
bridgework125

So…how much have YOU donated to feeding the homeless, lately?  Or, are you just making yourself "appear" to be compassionate; making yourself "feel" better with your intentions?  Lead by example, my friend.

bridgework125
bridgework125

You take the lead, Tania.  Tell us what you've done to feed the hungry people in the world.  Be specific.

jeffamullersman
jeffamullersman

I've taken Pearl Cafes Challenge and passed level 25. That place is awesome. Food is amazing!

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