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


train_wreck_whistle_stop_depot.jpeg
The Train Wreck. | Zach Garrison

Train Wreck
$25
Whistle Stop
(1 Carson Road, Ferguson; 314-521-1600)

The Whistle Stop resides in what was once the Ferguson train depot along the Norfolk-Southern freight line, and to this day you can watch trains chug up and down the tracks -- you can also sometimes watch victims of the Train Wreck Challenge puking up melted frozen yogurt, according to owner Charlie Stark.

The task is pretty straightforward: Eat thirteen generous scoops of frozen yogurt. The flavors are my choice of vanilla, chocolate, butter pecan or any combination of the three, and two toppings (one liquid, one solid). There's a 30-minute time limit, no bathroom breaks and absolutely no upchucking. Stark has only seen five competitors wolf down all thirteen scoops, but he offers that some have been more successful after churning the whole concoction until there's more liquid than solid, then slurping it all down. That sounded easy enough.

I chose a mixture of all three flavors, with hot fudge and Oreos. A colossal glass bowl was placed in front of me, replete with a giant swirl of whipped cream and a dainty cherry sitting on top. Dark swirls of fudge sliced through thirteen baseball-size scoops piled high -- it looked like the perfect dessert, just supersized. With wild abandon, I picked up my jumbo metal spoon and dug in.

Whistle Stop's frozen custard was delicious, and I destroyed the largest chunks of Oreo first. But I quickly noticed that even while I was scooping up decent-size bites, the mountain of ice cream looked relatively untouched. After five minutes, I was still faced with around ten scoops. That's a hell of lot of dairy, and I began thinking about those milk-chugging contests that almost always end poorly.

With ten minutes left, I had a lake of melted chocolate, vanilla and butter pecan in front of me. My spoon pathetically sunk to the bottom as I switched to a straw and began to suck, but I ultimately made very little progress. With my stomach gurgling angrily, I tapped out. Realistically, I don't think I even made it halfway.

As he took the bowl away, Stark told me about the time a 62-year-old man from Kansas brought his family into the Whistle Stop for Father's Day. He ordered two Train Wrecks -- one for himself and one for the rest of the family -- and eviscerated his thirteen scoops. I'd like to find that man and shake his hand.

Aftermath: In a word -- constipation. And the dam did not break for many days, leaving me to sit in the bathroom for long, fruitless hours, wondering how it was that I'd sunk so low.

Difficulty: +++
A stomach can only hold so much dairy before it revolts.


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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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