Grand Rapids / West Michigan eating challenges and contests category

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West Michigan eating challenges
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West Michigan Whitecaps Nathan’s qualifier

Full results of the Nathan’s qualifier at tonight’s West Michigan Whitecaps game. Darrien Thomas Instagram video update WCSG has an article

1st 22 Darrien “Cheesecurd” Thomas
2nd 20 Tanner Gray
3rd 14.5 Nathan Klein
4th 7.75 Paul Van Dussen
1st 8.5 Cherish “Five Pounds” Brown
2nd 7 Rubianne Garcia

Comments (15)

2024 Nathan’s qualifier circuit announced

Six Nathan’s qualifiers were posted today. Registration opens April 12.

  • May 11 Comstock, MI West Michigan Whitecaps game
  • May 17 Times Square, NYC
  • June 6 Cleveland, OH Parma Rib N Rock
  • June 8 Bristol, CT
  • June 15 Pleasanton, CA Alameda County Fair
  • June 22 Washington, DC Giant National Capital BBQ Battle

The last Central or Mountain time zone qualifier was at the Iowa State Fair in August 2019.

Comments (10)

Molly Schuyler has uploaded a video of her visit to The Rockford Corner Bar in July 2021 to attempt to break Tim Janus' 2006 record of 43.5 chili dogs. (article about the challenge)
Poncho's Tacos in Wyoming, MI will hold taco eating contests tomorrow awarding $500 to the top male and female.
WKRF has an article about Michigan food challenger Nathan Klein. has a profile of Nathan Klein, who has attempted 75 restaurant challenges in Michigan.
Molly Schuyler ate 50 chili dogs in 22 minutes to set the house record, which was previously held by Tim "Eater X" Janus, at the Rockford Corner Bar in Rockford, MI. I think she is the first female to eat 50 hot dogs with buns in any eating competition or challenge. has an article about Mark Gdd's trip to Michigan to successfully complete four restaurant challenges, which included setting the house taco record at Downtown Trini's & Margarita Joe's in Sparta, MI.
WZZM13 reports Mark Gdd ate 41 tacos in 1:26 to set the house record at Downtown Trini's Mexican Restaurant in Sparta, MI.
Hopcat will hold fry eating qualifiers at its 17 locations (mainly in the midwest, but also Port St. Lucie, FL) on January 19. Winners will receive a $500 prize package and the chance to compete for a $2000 prize in Ypsilanti, MI in July. The chain previously called its signature side dish used in the competition "crack fries", but will changing the name because it was considered insensitive to drug addicts. has an article about Stephanie Wu completing the chili dog challenge at the Rockford Corner Bar in Rockford, MI and setting the house record for the hot dog challenge at Dog Central in Mt. Pleasant, MI.
The West Michigan Whitecaps announced it will discontinue its Fifth Third Burger Challenge after the 2018 season concludes Labor Day weekend. 12,000 spectators have attempted the challenge in the 10 years it has been available, with 500 completing it. has has an article about tonight's episode of Man v Food, which will feature three restaurants in western Michigan. The challenge will be the DC Challenge at Dog Central in Mt. Pleasant, MI. The program will conclude the second season of the relaunch with Casey Webb; a third season with the new host has been announced. Broadway World reports that ratings have been improving.

2018 Hopcat Crack Fry qualifiers

Here are the results I have for yesterday’s Crack Fry eating qualifiers held at Hopcat locations in the Midwest. Sam Pohlen was the first female to win a crack fry contest. update Ethan Teske won the Minneapolis contest.

2018 Jan 20 1st 3.6 Pat “Deep Dish” Bertoletti Chicago, IL
2018 Jan 20 2nd 3.34 Brandon Clark Chicago, IL
2018 Jan 20 1st ? Kyle “The Hammer” Hanner Indianapolis, IN
2018 Jan 20 1st 1.8625 Sam Pohlen Grand Rapids, MI
2018 Jan 20 1st ? Rob Chopp Kalamazoo, MI
2018 Jan 20 1st ? Nick Adanczyk Kansas City, MO

Comments (8)

The Corner Bar in Rockford, MI was destroyed after a fire that started in a dumpster triggered a gas line explosion. The restaurant started mainting a "Hot Dog Hall of Fame" for customers that could eat 12 or more chili dogs.
Hopcats throughout the Great Lakes area will hold a crack fries contest on January 21 awarding a $500 gift card and a spot in a contest at the 2017 Michigan Brewer’s Guild Summer Beer Festival in Ypsilanti, MI this summer that will award $2000 to the winner. has an article about Emma Dalton becoming the first person to finish the Pop Goes The Cookie Burger at Rub Smokehouse and Bar in Birmingham, England. (video)
John Gonzalez has a report for about finishing fifth in yesterday's Crack Fries eating contest at HopCat in Grand Rapids, MI. Elliott "Bone Collector" Rader won the contest.
Detroit News reports that the winners of the crack fries eating contest at Hop Cat locations in Michigan (Detroit, Grand Rapids, Lansing and Ann Arbor) will be eligible to compete in a contest at the Summer Beer Festival in Ypsilanti, MI that will award $2000 to the winner.
The 5 pound stromboli at Papa Piccione's in Kent City, MI was the top entry in the online poll ran by to determine the most extreme food challenge in Michigan. Rockford Corner Bar's chili dog challenge was the runner up.
Men's Health UK has an article about competitive eating focusing on Randy Santel's tour of the UK and Ireland earlier this year. Takeru Kobayashi is also interviewed. The Ionia Sentinel Standard has an account of Randy Santel and Mitch Dombrowksi finishing the 7 pound burrito at El Mariachi in Ionia, MI, part of a 78 day eating challenge tour of eastern North America.
Stephanie Wu announces that she and an anonymous partner were the first to finish the Big Di XXXL pizza challenge at DiPiazza's in Grand Rapids, MI, earning them a prize of $450.
DiPiazza's in Grand Rapids, MI will award $450 to a duo that can finish its 30 inch XXXL pizza challenge in under 30 minutes. (via
On March 20, Diontaye Gordon and Alex Burrel became the first duo to finish the Colossus Challenge at Greek Tony's Pizza and Subs afer 544 unsuccessful pairs. The pizzeria will award $1000 to the first solo finisher of the 30 inch pizza.
The winner of the Januray 17 crack fry eating contest at Hopcat in Grand Rapids will win $500.
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