We Entered Porky's Eating Challenge and Saw Satan

Written by: Violet Myers

To be honest with you, we’re not exactly the athletic type here at North Four, we’re more ‘sit back and pass the trifle’ than ‘drop and give me twenty’. No one ever picks us first for the netball team and our school sports days are haunted with the curse of blue participation ribbons. But when we heard that Crouch End based American food joint Porky’s BBQ was hosting an eating competition we thought we’d finally found a sport we could excel in. After all, we’re young, eager and hungry, we love a free T-shirt and laugh in the face of gravy!

But had we taken on more than we could chew? One brave man chose to risk raised cholesterol levels, indigestion and ever doing his belt up again, in order to reign supreme as North London’s greatest rib eater.

Meet our contender, Mike, he’s 26, is one of North Four’s photographers and once ate a whole cheesecake in one sitting, needless to say he was feeling pretty confident.

Porky's Eating Challenge, Crouch End, North London, Ribs, North Four Magazine

“What have you done to prepare?” asks Alex, who wasn’t just acting as our server for the evening but was also timing and regulating the monstrous feast. “You didn’t eat lunch did you?” he adds, a little concerned, judging from his silence and his worried expression it was clear Mike had, in fact, had quite a large lunch and his moment of confidence was fleeting. Nevertheless, with utter glee (and maybe just a hint of smugness) Alex laid down the heaving Ben Nevis of food, put twenty minutes on the stop watch and watched Mike attempt to take his place among the eating gods.

Debriefing with Mike later, he revealed he knew he was in trouble the exact moment the tray (think somewhere between what your nan would use to cook a roast in and what you might use to bathe a shitzu) of chips, BBQ beans, homemade coleslaw and four pork ribs the length of a toddler’s arm, was set in front of him. Ploughing into the meat, he stripped one rib within the first five minutes and was already mentally making space for that new T-shirt in his wardrobe, when he hit ‘the wall’.

Porky's Eating Challenge, Crouch End, North London, Ribs, North Four Magazine

“I run marathons…” explained Mike (ok, perhaps one member of the North Four team is athletic) “but I’ve never hit a wall like that before…”

There was a point when it all went dark and all I could hear was my own heartbeat. I thought to myself that if I’m going to die, I may as well die here, face down on a plate of ribs.

As the minutes ran out and the mountain of food became colder, the harsh realities of the challenge became clear and, despite his best efforts, Mike was beaten, a mere two ribs in. Full, emasculated and on the brink of a meat coma, our brave feaster admitted his defeat and left the North London restaurant without his victory T-shirt and about half a stone heavier.

Porky's Eating Challenge, Crouch End, North London, Ribs, North Four Magazine

Better luck next time champ.

Think you could take on the challenge?

Man V. Ribs takes place every Wednesday at Porky’s BBQ in Crouch End and Camden. Anyone who manages to defeat the beast wins a Porky’s Tshirt, while the fastest of the month will win a free meal for two!

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