Alexi Duggins is at your mercy. You decide what London experience you’d like him to have. This week: The Devastator challenge.
This is not going to go well. The challenge: scoffing nearly a kilo of burger in ten minutes at Hoxton’s Red Dog Saloon. Look at me, ferchrissakes. I look like Mr Muscle impersonating Jack Whitehall. Poorly. That kind of meaty payload is gonna have me yodelling liquid. Add in the fact that this 3,300-calorie meal is topped with six slices of cheese, 200g of pulled pork and six rashers of bacon and there’s only one way this is going to end: my stomach is going to elbowdrop its way through my bumhole.
If I can bring myself to eat, that is. As the Devastator Burger turns up, it looks, well… manky. Sweaty patties weep gluey neon cheese. Greying piles of pulled pork are splattered with abscess-red splashes of sauce and there’s no chance of cheating, as a stopwatch clutching waitress will ensure I don’t conceal burger chunks in my pants. But hey, if you lot want me to eat it, who am I to argue? I am after all, your gracious servant. Right?
Wrong. ‘I definitely have to eat it ALL, do I?’ I whinge at the waitress.
‘Yes,’ she responds.
‘Even the coleslaw?’
‘Even the coleslaw. The fries too. Oh, and the milkshake. Ready?’
‘Erm, you’re sure you don’t want to just look away for a minute?’
‘I’m starting the timer.’
I rip the top off the bun, and scoop greasy handfuls of pulled pork into my gob. I squish half patties in whole and swallow bacon rashers without chewing. As hiccups build in my chest like a head of steam, I try to wash them down with a slug of gloopy milkshake. ‘Save that for the end! It’ll bloat you!’ hisses my waitress. I’m starting to panic.
But apparently I shouldn’t. Six minutes in, all that remains of the burger is the bun and a crowd of waitresses have gathered in amazement. ‘Has he really done that?’ gawps one, gobsmacked that this feat could have been performed by someone who looks like an emaciated Trolls doll. Another peers behind condiment bottles for hidden burger. When they don’t find any, they start cheering. ‘You’re doing amazing!’ they shout. ‘Gwaaan my son!’ yells a table of lads to my right. ‘What’s going on?’ asks a suited City boy en route to the loo.
‘An eating challenge,’ replies the waitress.
‘What? With this guy?’ he guffaws. ‘Good luck!’
My luck does not hold out. Burger finished, I struggle to maintain my pace. I shovel fries in, but I’m chewing more and more slowly. As I enter the last minute, I’m losing power rapidly. I need plugging into the mains. Finally, the stopwatch bleeps and it’s all over. The result: I have failed by a handful of chips and half a milkshake. I feel like someone’s poured concrete down my oesophagus. My pores are beginning to drip beefy sweat. And what’s worse, I’ve paid £25 for the privilege. Talk about playing silly burgers…
Feel up to the challenge? Try the Devestator yourself at Red Dog Saloon.
Suggest next week’s task @alexiduggins.