I generally consider myself a good and decent person…but I’m not above occasionally watching a friend suffer a bit for my own entertainment. And so it was that I found myself accompanying my friend, Chef Ken Dempsey, to the semi-recently opened BASH Burger Co. on Bowman last night. Perhaps you’ll remember that Ken has an unnatural attraction to putting his body through excruciating amounts of pain by consuming ungodly helpings of food in a single sitting. (See our prior adventure here for more details.)
You see, BASH has developed a burger challenge the is bordering on insanity. I mean, there might be a signed waiver and a physician on site required at all future attempts. Naturally, when dear Kenneth heard about this challenge, he committed his mind, body, and soul to conquering it.
The burger challenge at BASH is actually a dynamic record-breaking event. The challenge is completed and conquered only by beating the previous champion’s eating accomplishments. Prior to Ken’s arrival, this challenge specifically involved consuming the following in 30 mins: a burger with 6 patties and 6 slices of bacon and cheese, a basket of fries, basket of onion rings, and either a side of macaroni and cheese or slice of cheesecake. Once this record has been met, the next challenger must eat a burger with one additional burger patty and slice of bacon to become the new champion.
Ken wanted to ensure he not only became the new record holder, but that his record would also endure. Naturally, he ordered a burger with EIGHT PATTIES…instead of the required seven. At this point, I really started to worry about my friend’s mental health. But I wasn’t about to stand between this man and his burger ambitions.
Ken blew through this behemoth of a burger with uncanny speed. It was unbelievable to behold. He devoured beef and bacon with brute force. It was both beautiful and grotesque…and also slightly scary.
I sat there…amazed at what he just did to that burger, and as he finished it, he moved onto the onion rings. And the onion rings were even more spectacular. I literally looked at Ken sitting in front of a full basket of onion rings…turned my head to speak to another dining companion (maybe 30 seconds)…looked back at Ken and the onion rings were gone. I’m still not convinced they weren’t instantaneously abducted by onion-loving aliens…but he claims he ate them.
Then the basket of fries. But I saw it. The pain, the anxiety…the fear. It trickled down his face in small beads of sweat. The food was catching up with him.
“I don’t know if I’m going to make it,” he moaned.
But that’s when good friends are crucial to the process…
“Ken, you’re a complete failure in life if you don’t eat those fries,” I assured him. “Don’t punk out on me now.”
He started shoveling potatoes into his maw with gusto. Eyes closed, red-faced…a prominent vessel could be seen pulsating on his temple. It was getting ugly. He stopped for a moment and took a few bites of cheesecake to (hopefully) relieve some of the pain of potato. It didn’t help.
He tapped out with about 10 fries left. He pressed his mouth shut with his hands to avoid any violent gastric eruptions. It was just not meant to be that night.
But I have to give Ken some serious credit. I’ve never seen anything like this display of strength in real life. Should he have settled for seven patties instead of eight? I’ll probably never know. But he’s still a hero in my eyes.
Think you’re up to the challenge? Head to BASH and see if you’ve got what it takes to become the next burger champion.