CLEARFIELD, Pa. Jan 16, 2005 — A 100-pound female college student is the first to meet the Denny's Beer Barrel Pub challenge: down the restaurant's six-pound hamburger and five pounds of fixins' within three hours.
Kate Stelnick, 19, of Princeton, N.J., made the five-hour drive with two friends from The College of New Jersey on Wednesday, after they saw pictures of the monster burger, dubbed the Ye Old 96er, on the Internet and on TV's Food Network.
"I just saw it on TV and I really thought I could do it," Stelnick said, after downing the burger in two hours, 54 minutes.
Stelnick didn't eat for two days to prepare for the challenge. "I felt very full, but I was too excited that I actually ate it to notice," Stelnick said.
Denny Leigey Jr., the owner of the bar 35 miles northwest of State College, had offered a two-pound burger for years and conceived of the six-pounder after his daughter went to college and phoned him about a bar that sold a four-pounder.
But nobody had finished the big burger in the three-hour time limit since it was introduced on Super Bowl Sunday 1998 not even competitive eater Eric "Badlands" Booker. The 420-pound Booker who has eaten such things as 49 glazed doughnuts in eight minutes and two pounds of chocolate bars in six minutes tried three times to eat the burger and finally did on his third effort. But it took Booker 7 1/2 hours.
The burger takes 45 minutes to cook, and those who try to meet the three-hour limit must use no utensils and eat all of these fixins: one large onion, two whole tomatoes, one half head of lettuce, 1 1/4 pounds of cheese, top and bottom buns, and a cup each of mayonnaise, ketchup, mustard, relish, banana peppers and some pickles.
Leigey said he was pretty sure somebody would meet his burger challenge, though he didn't have a petite woman in mind.
"I wouldn't have made it if I didn't think it was possible," Leigey said.
For her trouble, Stelnick got a special certificate, a T-shirt and other prizes and as advertised Leigey picked up the $23.95 tab for the burger.
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