Opinions about french fries are like assholes. Everybody’s got one. McDonald’s or Wendy’s? Shoestring or crinkle cut? Waffle or freedom? But when it comes down to actually devouring a Biggie-sized serving of the deliciously deep-fried artery-murderers, most folks would normally stop there. On January 27, Bikinis Bar & Grill hosts the 2007 French-Fry-Eating World Championship, which in previous years has been held at the venerable Nathan’s Famous in Oceanside, N.Y. A $2,000 prize is on the line for the winner, the favored of which is San Jose, Calif., resident Joey Chestnut, who recently placed in separate sausage and hamburger eating competitions, devouring 91 of the latter in eight minutes. It’s those feats of gastrointestinal fortitude that 15 other competitors, 12 of which are ranked, are up against for the allotted 10 minutes. Local eaters Levi Oliver and “Nasty” Nathan Biller (who took first place at the State Fair of Texas’ World Corny Dog Eating Championship last fall), as well as quotation-crazy eaters Sonya “the Black Widow” Thomas, Tim “Eater X” Janus, and “Humble” Bob Shoudt, hope to bring down Chestnut in grease-splattered defeat.
The only hurdle, besides a gag reflex, could be the fries themselves. According to Richard Shea, president of the International Federation of Competitive Eating, this “elegant but demanding” competition could be especially daunting due to the use of the restaurant’s own Bikini String Fries, the flavor of which may be too distracting for some competitors. To top all this fun off, the waitresses at Bikinis actually wear bikinis. It’s almost too American! It all kicks off at 1pm.
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