I was in the Waikiki Tony Roma’s a few weeks ago picking up a takeout order of ribs for my birthday (took it the beach). Where up on the front wall just as you enter was this “Man vs Ribs Hawaii” poster.
Here’s the transcription:
MAN VS RIBS HAWAII
20 Bones Baby Back Ribs
20 Bones St. Louis Ribs
1 Full Onion Loaf
$96 or FREE!
You have 25 minutes to finish.
*Meal is FREE if entire plate is eaten within time limit.
(rib bones must be clean, with no excess meat)
*If you do not succeed, meal must be paid in full.
This is a one person challenge… GOOD LUCK!
Challenge available in Hawaii only.
That sounds absolutely insane! As far as I’m concerned, I’d NEVER be able to do that. Think you could?
Well, I spoke with Joe, one of the managers at the Waikiki restaurant, who said a number of guys (including a 17 year old) have actually won the challenge. Not surprisingly, most of whom were “really skinny fellahz”. Which reminds me of Joey Chestnut and Takeru “Tsunami” Kobayashi, also both skinny guys who won the Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating Contest.
While there’s now a handful of Tony Roma’s Man vs Ribs winners, Joe said there were indeed more “losers” who ended up having to fork out the $96 for the unfinished “meal”… or what I would more aptly call “Edible Torture”.
I asked him if the 25 minute time limit was too short, being you’d have to eat at least 2 ribs per minute if you do the math. Which he said actually time wasn’t the issue, as the challengers get through the ribs pretty quickly, being a good portion of its bulk are bones.
The ones who didn’t finish usually couldn’t down the last few ribs, being too full at the very end point. Oh man, so close to winning, yet no can!
He also noted most challengers start by downing the Onion Loaf first, then go through the ribs. I can just hear that “40 Rib Countdown” now.
Accordingly, a typical full rack of Tony Roma’s Ribs has 12 bones. However if you look it up online, others say most typical pork baby backs served commercially have 16 ribs. Whatever the case, essentially this challenge is about 3-1/3 full racks of Tony Roma’s Ribs + an entire onion loaf in 25 minutes.
The Man vs. Ribs Hawaii challenge is (obviously) being offered exclusively at Tony Roma’s Hawaii restaurants only, located in Aiea (Westridge Center, Ewa-bound, across from Pearlridge) and Waikiki (corner of Kalakaua Ave. and Pau Street). It began in September of 2013, and as long as it remains popular, will continue indefinitely, according to management.
Well, I’d like to see Man vs Food’s Adam Richman return to Waikiki and take on Tony Roma’s Man vs Ribs Hawaii challenge. Except, knowing guys here have successfully done it, I suggested to Joe that they add more stuff to the Man vs Food-meets-Man vs Ribs Hawaii challenge “special edition”. Like not just the Onion Loaf, but ALL the sides that usually go with their ribs, including the fully loaded baked potato, rice, corn on the cob, baked beans, cole slaw and dinner roll.
So come on Adam, come back to Waikiki with your Man vs Food crew and bring on the Ribs, baby!
Speaking of which, here’s that Tony Roma’s full rack of Original Baby Back Ribs I ordered for takeout…
For about $30, you get the full rack (12 bones, cut in half), complimentary dinner roll(s), plus your choice of starch and one other side. While normally I get their awesome baked beans as my side when dining in, for takeout I opted for the easy-to-tote corn on the cob…
Here’s all the condiments they packed for my favorite “fully loaded” baked potato and the corn…
And how was the ribs? Freekin’ awesome! If I’m going to eat meat, THIS is what you call good eats on-the-bones meat! I LOVE Tony Roma’s! By far my favorite baby back ribs, mainly because I love their original tomato-based, sweet ‘n tangy BBQ sauce. The best!
Tony’s “BBR’s” are consistently fall-off-the-bones tender, while still having some “chew”. Then there’s that super tasty ‘n smokey “papa’a” seared caramelized edges from the flamin’ hot grill applied to the generously coated sauce. Man, that’s makin’ me hungry again just thinkin’ ’bout it!
Even better yet when you combine that BBQ goodness with the negative ions coming from the salt water spray from the beautiful Hawaii ocean. LOVE that! A well deserved “treat” for my BD.
P.S. Knowing how much us Hawaii folks love to “grind”, it’s rather odd how uncommon eating challenges are offered at restaurants in the islands. The Tony Roma’s “Man vs Ribs” challenge is the first one I’ve come across in a while.
It would be fun (and ono for sure!) to have an eating challenge with say, Hawaiian food.
Here’s my proposal for any popular Hawaiian food restaurant to consider:
Man vs Luau Challenge
1 Pua’a Laulau (1.5 lb.)
1 Bowl Kalua Pua’a (1.5 lb.)
4 Pipi Kaula Ribs (1 lb)
1 Bowl Squid Luau (16 oz.)
1 Bowl Chicken Long Rice (16 oz.)
1 Bowl Lomi Salmon (8 oz.)
1 Serving ‘Uala (8 oz.)
1 Serving Haupia (8 oz.)
1 bowl Poi (16 oz.)
Total weight: 8.5 lbs.
$97 or FREE!*
*You gotta’ grind every’ting in 7 minutes. Nah, jus’ kidding, make ‘dat 37 minutes. Da’ serving plate and bowls gotta’ be “polished” clean (no can stay get pieces of food or remaining liquid, laddat). Only you can grind ’em, not da’ whole gang. You no finish em’, hand ovah da’ Kala (money) braddah-sistah-aunteh-unko-cuz!
Other eating challenges I’d like to see:
• Man vs. Loco Moco (4 one pound beef patties and 4 eggs on top 6 scoops rice, 4 scoops mac salad on da’ side and gravy all ovah in 25 minutes)
• Man vs Manapua (1 dozen in 12 minutes)
• Man vs. Saimin (2 gallon’s worth in 20 minutes)
• Man vs. Shave Ice (easy! das’ only shugah waddah!) lol
… you get the idea.
Gosh, I got full just writing this post. :-\