"You get people cheering you on; people who don't even know you," Borenstein says. "It's just so exciting! In this life that we're all living, we still need excitement."

We end, appropriately, with a burger. The same burger as before, in fact: the Lobby's Three-Pound Burger. It's just as gloriously giant and as dangerously decadent as I remember. But I've grown since last we met. Months' worth of vanquished challenges under my belt, I face my meaty opponent a wiser — if fatter — adversary.

Jamie Peachey
Jamie Peachey


Think you can eat as much as an elephant eats? Visit any of these Valley restaurants to try your hand at the challenges Zach has attempted.

Barney's Boathouse's Anchor Pizza
• The challenge: One giant calzone, shaped to look like the anchor of a boat and hefty enough to weigh one down.
• Prizes: The pizza's free and you get a spot on the wall of fame.
• Where to go: 222 E. University Dr., 480-967-7744
Read the full story

Buffalo Wild Wings' Blazin' Wings
• The challenge: 12 wings coated in BWW's Blazin' sauce and six minutes to finish them.
• Prizes: A T-shirt and a spot on the wall of fame.
• Where to go: 705 S. Rural Rd., 480-858-9464, buffalowildwings.com
Read the full story

Hawg 'n Dawg Express' 3-Foot Junkyard Dog
• The challenge: Three foot-long, half-pound hot dogs nestled delicately inside a three-foot loaf of French bread and topped with a full quart of chili along with pulled pork, bacon, cheese, onions, and French fries. It totals eight pounds and must be finished in one hour.
• Prizes: $50 and your picture on the "Wall of Wieners," plus you get the meal free.
• Where to go: 12020 S. Warner/Elliot Loop, 480-961-3647, hawgndawgexpress.com
Read the full story

Heart Attack Grill's Quadruple Bypass Burger
• The challenge: A two-pound, 8,000-calorie cheeseburger.
• Prizes: One of Heart Attack's sexy nurses will roll you out to your car via wheelchair.
• Where to go: 6185 W. Chandler Blvd., heartattackgrill.com
Read the full story

Durant's 48-Ounce Porterhouse
• The challenge: A three-pound, three-inch-thick steak that must be eaten in a single sitting.
• Prizes: Induction into the Porterhouse Club, for which your name will be emblazoned onto one of the plaques adorning the steakhouse's walls.
• Where to go: 2611 N. Central Ave., 602-264-5967, durantsaz.com
Read the full story

Chik-a-Rib's Lava Jumbo Buffalo Wings
• The challenge: 10 wings that have been deep-fried and coated in a gooey sauce made from four different types of peppers — one of which is the dreaded ghost chili. All 10 must be finished in 10 minutes, and you're not allowed to drink anything until time runs out.
• Prizes: A free meal and a spot on the wall of fame.
• Where to go: 1830 W. Glendale Ave., 602-759-8521
Read the full story

Chompie's Ultimate Sliders
• The challenge: A five-pound plate of 12 Jewish sliders (brisket, jack cheese, and a potato pancake inside a mini challah roll) and onion strings that must be finished in 30 minutes.
• Prizes: A T-shirt, your picture goes on the wall of fame, and the meal is free.
• Where to go: 9301 E. Shea Blvd., 480-860-0475, www.chompies.com
Read the full story

Venezia's Party Pizza
• The challenge: A 24-inch pizza with the toppings of your choice that you and a partner must finish in one hour.
• Prizes: A T-shirt and your photos on the wall of fame.
• Where to go: 33 E. Southern Ave., 480-858-1660, www.venezias.com
Read the full story

Lobby's Three-Pound Burger
• The challenge: Nine third-pound hamburger patties, nine slices of American cheese, and toppings between a sesame seed bun that must be finished within 10 minutes.
• Prizes: A T-shirt, your picture on the wall of fame, and the meal's free.
• Where to go: 3141 S. McClintock Rd., 480-897-1113, www.lobbysbbd.com.
Read the full story

Again the man with the timer counts me down; again, I steadily make my way through the nine greasy patties coated with cheese; again, I hit the wall around the eight-minute mark. But this time, I don't stop. I shake off my fullness, dive back into the burger, and take my last bite at exactly 10:00.

The manager congratulates me, takes my photo, shakes my hand. I sign my name underneath my new spot on the wall of fame and walk out into the sunlight — victorious, content, and very, very full.

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Mike R. Meyer
Mike R. Meyer

Awesome story, man. I was going to say that I want to start a band now for the sole purpose of naming it the Meat Sweats, but a quick Google search showed that someone already beat me to it. Damn.


A very well written story on an interesting topic. Good work, Zack...Keep on knoshin'...


Well done, Zach! Your writing is great and your eating skillz are even better. Keep it up! You and Erica (just offal and bottom of the barrel) deserve raises.


So let's get this straight..children are starving in this country and the New Times is paying someone to stuff 5 lbs of food in his gullet?They put this on the cover the week before Thanksgiving?!Here's an article this morning in the Republic about how Phoenix area homeless children will not have enough food to eat this year because the food bank is $80,000 short...and this guy is getting paid to competitively eat?!http://www.azcentral.com/commu...

What is wrong with you guys? I always thought the New Times was about social justice.Guess I was wrong. It costs $25 to feed a family of 6, but instead they're paying someone to eat in excess.


Central Scruitinizer
Central Scruitinizer

So let's get this straight, there are horrid injustices being done all over the world, and you're wasting your limited activist wrath on a freebie paper with a puff piece on overeating?

What's wrong with you person?



There aren't any starving kids in Phoenix. Except maybe some whose parents sold their food stamps for more meth.

Now please sell your computer and give the money to some starving family.