Big Plate Special

Written by Carey Sweet Category: Three Bites Issue: April 2012
Chef Dujardin (his official stage name) dares anyone to finish it within 30 minutes; if they do, the $20 monster is free. Fortunately, the beast is delicious, packed with beans, rice, shredded beef, shredded chicken and cheese, then smothered enchilada-style with red salsa and more cheese. Since the boisterous restaurant doubles as the Speakeasy Comedy Lounge, it’s a given that anyone attempting the feat will have quite the cheering squad. But be warned: According to lounge operators Mike Kennedy and Brian Mullan, only three brave souls have succeeded so far. The record is just under three minutes by a professional “speed eater,” while the other two each finished in about 13 minutes.


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Dirtwater Springs
586 W. Apache Trail,
Apache Junction
480-983-3478
dirtwatersprings.com

Between the big screen TVs and grisly ghost story in this Old West-style saloon, you’ll have plenty to distract you while wolfing down the 72-ounce (HOLY COW!) “Gambler’s Choice” prime sirloin. But don’t let that slow you down: Finish the steak and sides (soup or salad and a choice of homemade mashed or baked potato or hand-sliced French fries) in one hour and the $59.95 bill will be waived. Apparently, a 4.5-pound slab of red meat isn’t as daunting as it sounds, given that owner Dick Parks limits the challenge to one attempt per person, per year, and meals must be pre-ordered to meet demand. If you prefer surf to turf, spring for the all-you-can-eat fried Alaskan cod on Mondays and Wednesdays ($11.95). Either way, this former gas station is sure to fill you up – and leave you haunted. Staff have purportedly spotted the ghost of the murdered former fuel station owner and heard the phantom bell that rang when customers drove up.


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Crazy Otto’s Diner
3502 W. Greenway Rd.,
Phoenix
602-298-2993
azcrazyottos.com

This cozy diner’s sister location in California has been a legend for 35 years, proudly laying claim to the “World’s Largest Omelet.” In 1993, the owners snagged the Guinness World Record for whipping up an omelet that spanned 1,364 square feet. In 2010, they outdid themselves with a 2,500-square-foot omelet, earning a spot on Ripley’s Believe It or Not. The Guinness record has since been broken by rival omeleteers in Turkey, but Crazy Otto’s refuses to be yoked to the past. After opening a West Valley location in 2005, owner Carlos Serrano threw down the Hobo Eggs gauntlet. For $13.45, servers lug out a platter loaded with seven pounds of eggs scrambled with tomatoes, bell peppers, onions and mushrooms atop hash browns. They pile on bacon, sausage or ham, plus toast or biscuits and gravy. The customer has one hour to lick the plate clean and get the meal free. In seven years, only seven contestants have egged themselves on to victory.