Related OTB Post: Goin’ Down to the Shore
This last weekend, I was invited to attend and cover the National Windmill Hot Dog Eating Championship, sponsored by Windmill Hot Dogs and the AICE, the Association of Independent Competitive Eaters. Having never attended such an unusual sporting event before, I was intrigued. For starters, I happen to really love Windmill’s hot dogs, just because of how mammoth they are in size, and I also feel they make a the best chili dog in the entire state of New Jersey. So Rachel and I headed down to the Jersey Shore in Lake Como (Formerly South Belmar) at Bar Anticipation to watch the real pros eat mass quantities.
Exhibit A, a Windmill Hot Dog. Over a quarter pound in size fully cooked, they dwarf just about any other hot dog currently on the market and are ideal for heavy condiment loading. These are a special beef/pork hybrid manufactured by Marathon Meats (Sabrett) for the Windmill hot dog restaurants in New Jersey. They are griddle fried for 45 minutes on low heat until the skin gets nice and crispy. Rachel and I were able to share two of these over a course of a few hours, but you’re about to see these things literally inhaled by much more serious eaters than us.
Ready to see about 50 pounds of quarter pound hot dogs disappear in about 10 minutes? Click on the “Read the rest of this entry” link below for more.
The stage area at Bar Anticipation, the calm before the storm.
A pack of restaurant-grade Windmill franks. These are the full sized, foot long hot dogs, which are each over a quarter pound uncooked. As Steve Levine, the owner of Windmill says, “These are not weenies”.
Aaron Levine grills up the dogs before the main event.
Mmmmm. Hot Dogs.
Steve Levine, the Hot Dog king of New Jersey.
A pair of VIP’s enjoying their hot dogs.
Competitive Eater Elvis Van Gorden.
Aaron: “Now, Elvis, just so you understand, we’re eating Hot Dogs at this event, not peanut butter and banana sandwiches, ok?”
The WRAT girls warm up.
Arnie “Chowhound” Chapman, AICE Chairman.
The Chowhound addresses the crowd. “If you don’t have a beer in your hand, dammit, BUY ONE RIGHT NOW!”
One of the lovely Windmill girls.
The dogs are assembled.
The fans gather
Elvis meditates in Zen-like anticpation of his hot dogs.
New Yorker Chris “The American” Schlesinger prepares to do battle.
Ian “The Invader” Hickman, from Virginia.
The food warriors get ready.
The chowing commences!
Chris “The American” Schlesinger inhales a hot dog. AICE requires all its competitors to eat Picnic Style, and does not allow dunking or mutilation of the food. It has to be eaten just like at a picnic.
Competitor “Gentleman Joe” Menchetti hits a speed bump.
Ian “The Invader” Hickman takes first prize with nearly 15 hot dogs (14 and 7/8ths) with Gentleman Joe Menchetti in 2nd with 11.5.
Ian the Invader, a true man among giants. He’s actually going to go and eat dinner afterwards, if you can believe that. I’m not sure how the hell he’s going to do that after ingesting well over 3.5 pounds of meat and 15,000mg of sodium, but more power to him.