A Taste of Food Challenges in Arizona

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T-shirts, free meals, and your photograph on the restaurants wall of fame are just some of the enticing rewards for completing crazy and obnoxiously large food challenges. Arizona Sonoran New Services dives into some of Arizona’s very own food challenges to get a taste of what contests are available across the state.



“The Deuce”

The Roadrunner Restaurant and Saloon has been around in New River, Ariz. since 1974. But the Travel Channel’s Man v. Food inspired owner Jason Kirkpatrick to start his own food challenge about a year and a half ago. The challenge is called “The Deuce.” It’s a 2-pound burger served between three grilled cheese sandwiches, served with 1 pound of fries and 1 pound of onion rings. About a dozen people have tried the $30 challenge, but so far no one has been able to complete it. If someone does finish the whole thing, they get the meal for free, a t-shirt saying they “Beat the Deuce,” and of course – bragging rights.

 “Gambler’s Choice”

It’s not very often one hears about a 72 ounce steak. But Apache Junction’s Dirtwater Springs has the bragging rights to serving Arizona’s largest steak. The haunted former gas station turned restaurant calls this massive steak challenge the “Gambler’s Choice.” The daring task entails eating all 4.5 pounds of U.S. prime sirloin and sides, which include soup or salad and a choice of homemade, mashed or baked potato or fries. If it’s all eaten in under an hour, the Dirtwater fronts the $59.95 bill. Around 50-60 people have tried it and only around 10-12 have succeeded, according to owner Dick Parks. Those attempting this beefy challenge can only do so once per year and must call ahead to notify the restaurant and place the order.

“The BOCA Challenge”

Maria Mazon
Seventeen tacos and a 2 pound potato, this is just one of the food challenges that can be found Tucson. BOCA a modern taco stand turned restaurant opened their doors about two years ago. Chef and owner Maria Mazon decided to create a taco challenge – one taco for each type they serve, plus a loaded baked potato. The challenge is no longer on the menu, but Mazon says she’s still looking and hoping for someone to beat her challenge. The reward for the challenger winner is getting the $50 worth of tacos for free, a picture on the wall, and a restaurant T-shirt. To participate in the challenge, Mazon needs one day in advance notice to stock up and prepare all of the food needed for this massive challenge. In addition to the taco challenge, BOCA also offers a hot dog challenge (45 minutes of eating Sonoran hot dogs wrapped in two tortillas) and a nachos challenge, so large that was created to feed seven and fills a giant platter.


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“The Sugar OD Challenge”

Four Big A$$ brownies, Four pieces of cheesecake, Four scoops of ice cream, chocolate sauce, and Four cherries on top makes up Tucson’s dessert destination Sugar OD Challenge. Something Sweet created this sugar overload food challenge a few years ago in December of 2009. The contenders are allowed 45 minutes to complete the challenge. Winners receive a Something Sweet t-shirt, their photo on the wall of fame, and the get the $45 dessert for free. In the three years that dessert lounge has offered this sugary contest only seven have been able to lick the plate clean, with one man doing it twice. However, those contestants who go up against the massive dessert and fail still get their photo placed on the restaurants wall, but, under the wall of shame collage.

Wall of Shame
Wall of Winners

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“Wagon Wheel Pancakes Challenge”

Besides being known for big forests, Prescott is also known for one other massive thing, Zeke’s Eatin’ Place‘s Wagon Wheel Pancakes. Three 12 inch pancakes make up the Wagon Wheel Pancake challenge. Competitors are given 20 minutes to complete the task. If all three massive pancakes are consumed under the 20-minute time limit there they receive the pancakes for free and are also awarded a free t-shirt. Besides being known for their Wagon Wheel Pancakes the restaurant is well known for the large portions. Restaurant goers say this is the perfect place for any food competitor.

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