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Saturday, July 23, 2011

Man v. Food Season 3 DVD Review

Adam Richman and his seemingly bottomless stomach conquer food challenges across America.  Get ready to watch Adam defeat the most monstrous food challenges to date.  The five pound grilled cheese challenge at Melt Bar &Grille in Cleveland, Ohio and the insanely spicy ludicrous wing challenge at Chicken or the Eggin the Jersey Shore, and a lot more.  I have a friend named Drew Maguire who would have been perfect for this type of show, since he's never sat down to a meal he didn't finish, regardless of the portion size, spiciness or time frame in which he was required to finish.   Watching him eat over the years definitely prepared me for this show so it's no surprise that I enjoyed watching this.




Film (3 out of 5 stars)
For those of you not familiar with the concept, Man v. Food is a show on the Travel Channel where host Adam Richman travels to different cities taking on food challenges and other “big eats”.  Completing in the food challenges at various restaurants often wins him a picture on the wall, sometimes a t shirt, and usually a free meal. Occasionally, there are even cash prizes or trophies.  My favorite food challenges come with a wall of shame of those who have tried and failed, but more often they only celebrate the winners, not punish the losers for trying.

Every episode has a challenge, but he also just goes to places with good food.  I would take notes if I were planning to travel to any of these cities as he uncovers some great food known to all the locals, but maybe off the radar for those traveling through town.  The third season of Man v. Food has Richman travel to 20 locations where his limits are tested.  The final tally is 8 wins for food, 12 wins for man…with one of those wins for food declared by Adam.  The following challenges are found on the three disc set:

  • San Diego – Adam visits Lucha Libre Gourmet Taco Shop for the “Surfin’ California Burrito” and Phil’s BBQ for a tri tip sandwich called the “El Toro”.  The Broken Yolk Café offers the test with a 12 egg omelet called the “Broken Yolk Iron Man Challenge.”
    Boulder – Beau Jo’s offers the Grand Sicilian, a mountain pie (large pizza) weighing 14 lbs.  He also visits The Buff Restaurant for Saddlebags (pancakes with bacon or sausage mixed in).  The challenge comes at West End Tavern for the “Wing King Challenge” – 5 lbs of wings in under 30 minutes.
  • Cleveland – One of Adam’s favorite cities, Adam tries Steve’s Gyros and Hot Sauce Williams.  The Melt Bar and Grill gives those with tattoos of sandwiches 25% off for life and serves up the Melt Challenge – a 4 lb grilled cheese sandwich.
  • Richmond – Adam visits Buz and Ned’s Real BBQ and Black Sheep (famous for large submarine sandwiches known as battleships).  At Caliente, he faced the Stupid Wing Challenge which has beaten 270 out of 300 challengers.  Stupid Wings required a signed waiver, but he emerged victorious with an I’m With Stupid T Shirt.  He claimed this was one of the hardest challenges in three seasons.
  • Salt Lake City – Adam tries the Double Crown Burger from Crown Burger, the Machine Gun sandwich at Bruges Waffles andFrites and finally the Hell Fire Challenge at Kobe Sushi.  Only 12 of 400 people have completed all levels of the Hell Fire Challenge with tests Adam with increasing levels of heat (spice).
  • Phoenix – Adam samples The Big Unit, a 22 inch Vienna Beef Frankfurter, at Alice Cooperstown.  His second stop is the Torta Del Rey at Los Reyes doe la Torta.  The challenge is actually in Tempe, at Chompie’s New York Deli for the Ultimate Slider Showdown.  12 Jewish Sliders are to be eaten in 30 minutes or less with a ½ pound of crispy onion strings.
  • Puerto Rico – Adam tries Chuleta Kan-Kan (7lb pork chop) at Restaurant Raices and a dish called the Mixto at the El ChurryFood Truck.  The challenge comes at La Vaca Brava for the Vaca Acostada – an 8lb steak with fries that had to be consumed in 40 minutes.
  • Long Island –Adam’s first stop is Ciao Baby for  a 7 ½ lb “Nonna’s Old World Meat Platter”, as well as other items on the menu.  Then he visited the International Delight Café for a 2 /12 gallon gelato sundae called “The World”.  Finally he faces the “Davy Jones Locker Challenge” at O. and Grille for a 7 lb. platter of seafood.
  • Oklahoma City – Adam tries the “Presidential T Bone” at Cattlemen’s Steakhouse, and a fried onion burger at Sid’s Diner.  Adam earns a trophy for his showing in the Fried Catfish Callenge at Steak & Catfish Barn.
  • Kansas City – Adams samples Kansas City BBQ at multiple locations then heads to Papa Bob’s Bar-B-Que for the “Ultimate Destroyer Challenge” – a 5lb hoagie with 1 ½ lbs of fries and a 45 minute time limit.
  • Indianapolis – At Edwards Drive-In Diner, Adam is surprised to be presented with a man sized 9 lb version of their signature sandwich. He visits Gray Bros. Cafeteria and stops by the Indianapolis Motor Speedway for some motivation.  The “Big Ugly Burger Challenge” at Bub’s Burgers & Ice Cream awaited him with a challenge with no time limit.  The amount eaten increases the size of the picture on the wall of fame in this case.
  • Jersey Shore – Adam stops at Maruca’s Tomato Pies and Hoffman’s Ice Cream before the “Ludicrous Wings Challenge” at The Chicken or the Egg Restaurant.  15 minutes seems like a long time for 12 wings but this was the most intense spicy wing challenge.
  • Portland (Maine) – Adam visits the Lobster Shack Restaurant, Nosh Kitchen Bar and finally the “Manimal Challenge” at TheTradewinds Café.  The “Manimal Challenge” requires Adam to eat an eight patty burger known as the “Ochoburger”, 2 hot dogs topped with coleslaw, French fries, a soda and the “Mother Futcher” milkshake in less than 20 minutes.
  • Niagra Falls – The Riverstone Grill offers a “Bone in the Stone”48 oz. ribeye.  Next up is the “Haystack” at New York’s Silo Restaurant.  Then the 90 minute challenge at Mick & Angelo’s Eatery & Bar where he is given a 7 pound Italian Challenge.
  • Butte – Adam travels to Joe’s Patsy Shop, Muzz and Stan’s Freeway Tavern and took on the “Jumboli Challenge” at Trimbo’s Off the Hook Pizza.  This time the 5 lb challenge had never been beaten when Adam attempted it.
  • Sacramento – This was the city I was most interested in, since I live there.  Adam visited the California State Fair for deep-fried goodies, then Jim Denny’s (a block from where I work) and faced his challenge at Parker’s Hot Dogs.  The “Knucklehead Challenge” at Parker’s is 5 ¼ lb. hot dogs in a 16 inch roll topped with insane amounts of chili, cheese and other toppings.  Only one person out of 200 had seen success in this challenge.
  • Syracuse – Dinosaur Bar-B-Que offered the “Pork-Sket” sandwich and Heidi’s of Liverpool has white Coney dogs and red frankfurters.  The challenge in Syracuse is a 6 pound scrambled egg dish at Mother’s Cupboard.
  • Des Moines – Adam visits High Life Lounge and Black Market Pizza.  Jethro’s BBQ offers the “Adam Emmenecker Challenge” which is an enormous sandwich and a pound of fries in under 15 minutes.
  • Knoxville – Ye Olde Stek House offers customers steaks of any size and Adam chooses a 60 oz New York Strip.  Then he is on toDixson’s Bar-B-Q for a pig burger before taking on the 4 lb burrito called the “El Gigante Comida Challenge” at Sweet P’s
  • Ann Arbor – The Season Finale takes Adam to Krazy Jim’s Blimpy Burger for a five patty “Blimpy Burger”.  Then he is on to theMaize and Blue Delicatessan for the “Triple Play Rueben”.  The final challenge comes at Tios Mexican Café where Adam faces the “Mount Nachismo” – a 5 lb plate of nachos.
Video Quality  (3 out of 5 stars)
Man v. Food is presented in 1.78:1 widescreen.  This is not a show that requires high quality video or audio and I spent most of my time focused on all of the “big food”.  I wish there was a way for me to smell and taste all that yummy food.  The picture quality is comparable to regular broadcast quality.


Audio Quality – (3 out of 5 stars)
Man v. Food is presented in 2.0 Dolby Digital sound.  As with the video quality it’s basically comparable to regular broadcast TV but it works for the show and it delivers what it needs to.  The dialogue is clear and you can hear every sizzle, pop, and bubble of the tasty dishes being cooked which is all I really needed anyway.


Special Features –  (2 out of 5 stars)
I honestly didn't expect the show to have any special features.  For future season’s I would suggest some features with some before and after looks at Richman's weight and cholesterol checks.  This show cannot be making host Adam Richman a very healthy man.

Disc three includes the one and only bonus feature – a Miami Live Special. 


Final Thoughts (3 out of 5 stars)
I enjoy watching Adam Richman's take on the food challenges, and love the unique names and gastronomic atrocities the various cities have come up with.  In addition to the insane food challenges, you do get an idea of some great local gems across the country.  I will definitely look back on this review if I visit any of the cities in Season 3 and plan to visit Parker’s Hot Dogs in Roseville, California very soon.  I’d love to try their dogs, but will not be attempting the Knucklehead Challenge.

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