Gluttony: It's not just for the fair. Overeating is obviously one of our national pastimes, and some of our favorite local restaurants are not above watching you push your limits, then laughing at you.
Five ways to get gluttonous, one day before the official start of the fair. Because why wait to get fat and happy?
Eat a three-and-a-half-pound, two-foot long banh mi at Lu’s Sandwiches
You may have thought a standard banh mi was big and substantial enough, but you’d be wrong. Just follow the dudes lining up to take the big banh mi challenge at Lu’s, one of the Twin Cities best banh mi sandwich makers.
The good news is that Lu’s bread is made fresh daily, along with perky veg, house-made pates, and mayo, so stretching your limits will be as pleasurable as possible.
Finish in 25 minutes and get the sandwich for free, a T-shirt advertising your dubious distinction, and your name on the wall of fame.
2624 Nicollet Ave. S., Minneapolis
10 6th St. NE, Minneapolis
Get a footlong burrito or dinner plate-sized torta at El Taco Riendo
Consistently one of the best taquerias in the Twin Cities, the urge to binge at Riendo is almost logical. Watch as the culinary goddesses pile your tortilla to mind-bending heights, then wrap a footlong colossus without a single breach.
The “big torta” involves a sandwich bun designed for a crowd, but you’re not trying to hear that, are you? Cut it if you like, or just pick up the entire 12-inch-circumference affair and watch people stare in a strange fusion of envy and disdain.
2412 Central Ave. NE, Minneapolis
Slurp a 10-pound bowl of Pho at iPho by Saigon
Wise is the man who perfects his slurping technique before attempting this feat, where the bowl has been described as an easy double for a lifeboat.
Order your choice of pho, finish all the noodles and meat within 45 minutes (they have a little mercy and don’t make you polish off the broth) and get the $15 worth of soup for free. (The fact that 10 pounds of food comes for $15 is a head-scratcher in itself, and possibly worth making a complete fool of yourself for in any case). You’ll also get a T-shirt, and if you can’t do it (and you can’t) pay an extra $5 for a shirt reading “I’m an iPho loser”.
704 University Ave. St. Paul
Have a sausage party at Gasthof Zur Gemütlichkeit
If your idea of fun is ingesting a full meter of meat, you can order the equivalent of about eight brats in one unholy link. Forty inches of glorious tube meat arrives with sauerkraut for $25. The obvious accompaniment is their infamous boot of beer. The prize for one person finishing it in one sitting: a very official, Germanic, “certificate of completion.”
2300 University Ave., Minneapolis
Get 3,000 calories for $10 on Fat Pants Friday at 6Smith
What started out looking like a bad idea indeed has turned into a fan fave at 6Smith, where every Friday the kitchen staff tries to outdo one another with the most ridiculously gluttonous dishes they can dream up in their fiendishly perverse little minds, then release it on the general public.
A few examples include a ham and cheese poutine explosion that involves fries, cheese curds, and sausage gravy flowing forth from a Pullman Loaf like lava from a volcano, then hidden under layers of ham, Swiss, bacon, pickles, and Gruyere.
Or, how about two layers of chipotle carnitas and black bean nachos, a chile relleno taco, a huevo ranchero, guacamole, nacho cheese sauce, all piled on a toasted bun with a boiled egg and one grilled asparagus spear?
And they come with killer names: the Cuban Missle, the Whoop Ass Wafflewich, the Eggomanica, and the Mon Dieu Monsieur.
The only restriction on the kitchen is that the dish must contain at least 3,000 calories.
Because this is the land of milk and honey, these leviathans are available for $10, Fridays in the bar only, while supplies last.
294 E. Grove Lane, Wayzata
294 E. Grove Lane, Wayzata