Thursday, February 10, 2011

Stucko's "Joe Gonzales 'America' Burger"

Stucko’s                                                               8pm                                                       Tuesday Night

The stage was set. Nick and I had trained for this. Push-ups, curls, and Shakespeare. Both mental and emotional perfection were needed to win the opening round of this fight. Nicks girly pink t-shirt the topic of conversation on the way to Stucko’s; we try not to talk about the meal too much.
                  “It’s not pink jerk…its salmon,” Nick fires back at me exiting his boat of a car.
 We head to the door and now the meal and the blog are all we can talk about. Strategy is the only thing that remains. Do we drink the shoop (32 ounce chalice of beer) to get a good buzz on and then eat, or do we slowly use the beer to wash down the meal. Opposite ends of the thought process, Nick decides to drink his beer fast and hope for a good drunk before his meal; I opt for the slow sip.

To give you a bit of setting, Stucko’s is an amazing bar/pub on Third Street in Marquette. It has a homey feel to it, as if the bar from ‘cheers’ has been resurrected and modified for the times. Hard wood floors, sports memorabilia and patron painted ceiling tiles give the hideaway a unique and friendly appeal.
              “Can I start you guys off with something,” our unknowing companion on this journey asks.
              “Two schoops of bud-light please and could you tell us about the burger challenge you guys have here?” I immediately interject with a crackle in my voice.
               “AH, it’s called the Joe Gonzales ‘American’ burger,” Chris, out waiter, says with a smirk. “I’m just going to give you a menu and let you read about it.”

Nick and I both open to the page listing the challenge. “1 pound burger topped w/a ¼ pound beef hot dog, 3 slices of bacon, 3 slices of American cheese, lettuce, tomato & served with a pound of fries!
Joe finished this and a shoop in 7 minutes and 37 seconds on 9-12-10!”
                   “Give me a break!” I moan to Nick as his reading catches up with mine.
                “We got this man,” he fires back, hidden doubt pouring out with his words.

Chris returns and takes our orders. Today is not about the time, it’s about completion. We are not here to set a record; we are here to find out what we are made of…
A waitress comes out from behind the bar with our plates, “I am just going to show these to this table over here really quick if you don’t mind.”
                 “Take your time,” I say trying to be as cool and collected as I can.
A hush falls over their table as they all stare into the beast that is our meal.
                 “You’re going to eat all of that,” the man with glasses turns and questions.
                 “Ha, damn straight we are,” Nick smirks back.
A few of the group come over and ask to take pictures and write about our meal. They are from ‘Travel Michigan’ and now the stakes are much higher than before. The offer is given to me to write as a celebrity blogger on my Yooper vs. Food travels. I accept.

Now the food is back at our table. Sitting in front of us. Taunting us. Nick and I agree that cutting the meal in quarters is the best approach. Our one and only super fan walks through the door, as Nick and I saw through three pounds of burger. Jaclyn, the super fan, sits down and immediately has a comment.
            “That’s all this meal is…I could do this,” She mocks. “If you guys can’t do this, you suck. Plain and simple.”
I threaten to take her super fan status away if she keeps it up. She falls silent.
Nick and I dig in. Bite after bite. How Mr. Gonzales did this in less than eight minutes is beyond me. Rumor has it, he stood the entire meal; punching himself in the stomach to help make room.

Ten minutes in and the food tastes amazing. Nick and I laugh and joke about this challenge and our inevitable victory.

Eleven minutes in and I am almost in tears because I don’t think I will finish. I pray to Hulk Hogan to give me strength. ‘I am a real American, fight for the rights of every man…” is on a loop in my head. The Hulkster never gave up or tapped out and neither will I.
         “The fries are soooo dry,” I complain. They aren’t dry at all, I am just whining .
         “And my burgers cold,” I pout. It is cold, but still very tasty.

Fifteen minutes in and near seventy percent done with his meal, Nick stares into my eyes. “I can’t,” he whimpers. Time slows down as I see him grab his white napkin. These napkins are our white flags of surrender. Before I can say anything, Nick waves his flag and throws it on his plate.
          “It’s up to you now,” he says in a cheesy 80’s movie voice.
This gesture breaths new fire into my soul. My body tingles with one part near vomiting fullness and one part pride. I will not let you down Nick. I will not fail America.

Twenty minutes in I rest my face on my shoop glass; defeat flag on my meal. It’s over. Eighty percent and not a bite more. Food has won this round.
Nick and I fist bump to show that we both hold this failure as our own. We will be back Stucko’s. And next time….we come for blood!

Challenge rating 4.5/5
Yoopers- 0          Food- 1
p.s.  pictures will follow once I figure out how to post them.


  1. A good effort! And so happy you have a superfan already. I'm sure there will be more as you continue on.

  2. This is so crazy! I cant even imagine doing it. It reminds me of that True Life episode where they are training to compete in food competitions all over the world. To train themselves, they eat and get faster and faster and then do their work out or whatever. I couldn't imagine eating to the point where I am so full that I just wanna keel over. hhaa, but good luck to you..this was a very good idea.

  3. I really enjoyed this post! Entertaining as hell, and made me laugh out loud several times. Keep it up, I can't wait to read more!