Sunday, March 1, 2015

A Juan In A Million Taco Challenge

Man vs Food Season 1
Man vs Food Episode 5
Location: Austin, TX
Challenge Results: Man Loses

A Juan In A Million Don   Juan Taco Challenge

Adam sets his sights on Texas again in episode 5, no doubt feeling confident after his victorious trip to Amarillo in episode 1. Wondering if it was Texas sized luck, or just a Texas sized appetite that put him in the winner’s circle at The Big Texan Steak Ranch, Richman takes us to Austin for a face to face with the Juan In A Million Breakfast Taco Challenge, right after 2 other hot stops...


Round Rock Donuts

Round Rock Donuts   Restaurant

About 20 miles north of Austin in Round Rock TX, Adam takes us to where the real Texas sized donuts are made, Round Rock Donuts. Now I've seen some big donuts in my time, but nothing like the Texas Donut. Measuring in at a whopping 14 inches in diameter and tipping the scales at insulin requiring 2+ pounds, the Texas Donut is more like breakfast for 4.

Dale Cohrs, owner of Round Rock Donuts, offers to let Adam take a peek in the back at how things are done at the home of the biggest donut in Texas. To make sure he learns the essence of the Round Rock Donuts basics, Adam starts with a fresh batch of Orange Glaze, a house favorite.

The Big Texan donut

After earning his rookie wings in the art of rolling dough, and cutting out donut loot, it’s off to the fryer and a successful first batch. With some experience now, Adam is given a 5 gallon bucket to use as the dough cutter for The Big Texan donut. With a look of disbelief of both Adam's face and my own, they fry it up and ice it to eat.

The Salt Lick

The Salt Lick Open Pit BBQ   Restaurant

Now, going in kind of the opposite direction from Austin, we head south west to The Salt Lick in Driftwood Texas. Called BBQ's holy land, The Salt Lick comes highly recommended from all over Texas. Offering Adam BBQ is like offering Michael Phelps water. With experience to spare, and the BBQ bar set very high, Adam takes them up on their offer to try the brisket.

First, on his tour of the restaurant, Adam discovers at least part of the secret at The Salt Lick. A huge open pit wood fired BBQ smoker, considered illegal in nearly every State. Owner of The Salt Lick, Scott Roberts shows us how they get the tenderest brisket west of the Mississippi. Hours of slow cooking over carefully controlled open flame fire using only the densest type of oak.

The Salt Lick is also well known for their Hill Country Smoked Sausages, and BBQ Ribs. After trying his first bite of their very unique Brisket, Adam confirms to his camera crew that "this may be the best brisket I've ever eaten"...not something he says very often. You can be sure when visiting there that every piece of meat that makes it to the pit will have one of the 120 year old dry rub treatments that keep patrons lining up for dinner.



now we bask in Adam's suffering...

The Don Juan Taco

The Juan In A Million Restaurant in Austin is owned by Juan P. Meza. The Don Juan Breakfast Taco here is delicious, popular and huge as you might expect. Over time, a contest emerged where patrons would try to break the existing record for the most Don Juan Tacos eaten. The record currently stands at 7½ of these monstrosities, and it was set by someone visiting here from outside the United States. According to Adam that makes this an International Event...and I think he’s right.

The first record was set in 1996 by a young guy who ate 3¾ Don Juan’s and it slowly escalated from there. Then in 2004 "The Hong Kong Hero" set the bar at 7. In the years that have passed since, Juan In A Million has had thousands of challengers but no new champions. Exactly what Adam wanted to hear (not really).

Now Adam noticed all the winning challengers had been given fancy culinary nicknames like Bob 'big belly' Smith, and he had to have one too. Although he hasn't won yet he doesn't want to chance being given an old childhood nickname on television, so he makes a request of and is given permission by, Juan Meza to code name himself 'Relámpago Blanco' or White Lightning (shakes head and smiles).

Each of these breakfast tacos will have 1 whole Idaho potato, seasonings, bacon and 2 eggs with cheese on a tortilla. The rules are simple. No bathroom breaks, no time limits. Beat the existing record of 7 and get your name on the Juan of Fame and take your place as the new International Champion. The owners son, Juan Jr., brings out the first 2 tacos and officially starts the challenge.

After losing the   challenge, Adam is awarded a celebrity sympathy win

With fire in his soul and heart burn on his mind, Adam throws himself head first in to a taco abyss. He gets through the first 4 without much struggle, then makes a fatal strategic mistake and decides to take a break since there's no time limit. When he finally decides to order the fifth Don Juan and starts eating it he realizes he has hit 'the wall'. Not wanting to admit defeat, but clearly beaten, Juan Jr. awards him with a win in their new category of Celebrity Challengers. We however, still call this A LOSS FOR MAN.


0 #1 Amin 2012-02-04 14:12
After I had seen this Episode in German TV Food was never the same againe...
I world love to taste only one slice of this bresket !!!!
If I will ever come around Austin, I will definitively go to the Salt Lick!

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