Posted by Tasha on September 5th, 2010 in Food
Last week at about this time I was…on the couch. I hadn’t eaten since the day before, but I was still too full of food to move.
It’d been about 24 hours since I’d participated in the first-annual taco eating contest at Compadres Mexican Grill, a local chain of restaurants specializing in food inspired by south-of-the-border noms.
A group of 15 Tulsans, myself included, took the challenge: To eat as many beef-and-cheese tacos as possible within five minutes. It was all part of an effort to raise money and awareness for PEPCO, or People Empowering People Community Outreach, a north Tulsa community center that closed earlier this year due to budget cuts.
Look how ready we were! The fight was on.
I was a proud competitor, but I admit, I didn’t last long. Though I chewed and stuffed until my jaw muscles burned like a fire, I could only down five of the 10 tacos set in front of me within the time limit.
Which doesn’t seem like much, does it? But it really is. Try it yourselves and you’ll see.
Plus, it was more than my fellow competitor Mary Ann Dutcher, Miss Oklahoma’s Outstanding Teen 2010, could do. She ate one taco.
One taco, y’all. But hey, she’s got a figure to maintain. We bloggers, we don’t need figures. As long as we have a head for Twitter and Facebook profile photos, we’re solid.
Another thing? I want a tiara. If I had a tiara, I would wear it all the time, every day – probably even in the shower and while mowing the lawn.
By the way, five tacos was the same amount eaten by News on 6 reporter Chris Wright.
Which made me feel a little better. But wow, some of those competitors had some serious strategy. Next to me was Geoffrey Simpson, whose strategy was to take tiny sips of water as he took tiny bites of the tacos in an effort to be able to, you guessed it, bypass the chewing process altogether.
Hardcore, Geoffrey. Hardcore.
Another strategy used by a few competitors in the contest was to dip the tacos in large glasses of water before chowing down, thus lubricating the whole thing for more efficient mastication.
These guys had obviously put a lot of thought into this tacoeating contest thing. Winning was paramount. They were intent on having their stomach capacity publicly lauded…a desire I totally understand, actually.
In the end, Manny Groll, Steven St. John and Greg Deardorff tied and advanced to a round of sudden death.
The term “sudden death” is not ironic here. No, not at all.
Ultimately, Manny emerged as the winner. The potentate de taco, if you will.
That fancy trophy wasn’t all Manny took home as his prize. He also won a $250 gift certificate to Compadres.
Which, as I found out this week when I visited the restaurant again with the aim of trying anything but their beef-and-cheese tacos, is a really big deal. The portion sizes at Compadres are huge. The real bonus? The food is really, really good, from the beef chile relleno and the fajita chimichanga all the way down to the salsa and chips on the table. If for some reason you haven’t tried this place, you must. Choose your favorite special (we hear that the Thursday special of fajitas for two, a bowl of queso and two house margaritas for $20 is pretty rockin’) and plan your trip to Compadres accordingly.
The taco eating contest at Compadres started last Saturday at 3pm. The hilarious thing was that I was due downtown for the Oklahoma Championship Steak Cookoff with my family by 5:30pm.
Okay, okay. You can stop laughing at any time. I get it, and so do my arteries, hard and crusty though they are these days.
The second-annual Oklahoma Championship Steak Cook-off was a huge success, by the way. Though I didn’t get there in time to try any, I heard from Brian at Tulsa Food Blog and Joe with Joe’s Burger Search that the variety of appetizers was mouth-watering. More than 50 teams cooked for upwards of 2,000 attendees throughout the day, where the main course was a 16-ounce Certified Angus beef ribeye.
Which is why, by Sunday, I was a useless, beef-filled lump, good for nothing but holding down my living room sofa.
I’m pretty sure my eyes went milky. And my husband said that for three days the back of my neck smelled like steak sweat, and not in a sexy way.
Sounds to me like I need to invest more of my time in the perfection of my Xtreme eating skills. I mean, I can’t have anyone thinking that I eat like a girl. Five tacos and a 16-ounce ribeye in the space of two hours just ain’t cuttin’ it.
Man up, TDT. Man up.
So, have you ever participated in an eating contest before? If so, what was your strategy for the win? I must know. I must unlock the sacred secrets of the order of the belly busters.
Compadres Mexican Grill
Where: In Tulsa at 7104 S. Sheridan; in Broken Arrow at 2200 W. New Orleans; in Owasso at 12551 E. 86th Street North
Call: (918) 451-8970 (Broken Arrow); (918) 274-8970 (Owasso)