As I was channel surfing a few months ago, I happened upon one of the greatest food shows of our era. And to think I stumbled upon it on the Travel Channel? I was stunned and yet captivated. To see this man eat a ten pound burrito was simply amazing. The premise of Man v. Food is simple—one man travels around the country in search of food challenges to take on. The man, Adam Richman, has been all over the country and he’s conquered his fair share of eating challenges. Not only is it to find places with insane food challenges, but he also tries to find some of the best traditional food that the nation’s various cultures serve up.
Richman worked in the restaurant business and has a lifelong passion food. He appreciates both the process in making it and devouring it. In every episode, he’ll usually go to three local eateries and sample the food, watching the local chefs make them. Most of the dishes are simple, a little salt, some pepper, basic ingredients. But in that sense, that’s sometimes the best. Viewers all have their favorite eateries they go to and if you’re like me, sometimes the best ones are the hole-in-the-walls. You know which ones I’m talking about. We don’t need a five-star French restaurant to tell us what’s good and what’s not. Sometimes it’s the greasiest, most unhealthy pizza that will satiate our needs.
Back to the show, at each one of these restaurants, there’s some sort of food challenge. If you complete the challenge you often get a t-shirt or a picture on the wall of fame saying you survived. About half the time he completes the challenge. There was one in Oregon where he ate a 12 egg omelet complete with hashbrowns—that was one of the weaker ones since I think I could’ve done that. Another was a 12 milkshake challenge in St. Louis which was just plain gross. Who in their right mind would want to drink 12 pints of assorted ice cream flavor. I bet his stomach hated him after that one. My two favorites were the atomic chicken wings in Pittsburgh and the carnivore pizza challenge in Atlanta. The atomic wings are ridiculous hot, so hot that you have to sign a waiver saying the restaurant isn’t liable for any damage you might do to yourself. The carnivore pizza is 30 lbs.–no human can eat that. It was great to see him try but we all knew that he would fail.
At the conclusion of every show, Richman ends with a fake press conference, fielding questions about the challenge and how he felt. All the questions are staged but it’s a funny way to end the show, especially when he looks like he might keel over and pass out.
In the upcoming season, Adam makes his way to Baltimore, Washington DC, Detroit, and Brooklyn, just to name a few. Man v. Food airs on the Travel Channel on Wednesdays at 10/9 pm. Episodes re-air often throughout the week on the Travel Channel. If you’re bored on a Saturday or Sunday afternoon between football games, it serves its purpose as an entertaining 30 minute break.
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