As I learned when I joined Seattle Bites Food Tours for a Pike Place Market tour earlier this year, the company makes sure its customers are extraordinarily well-fed. My fellow tourgoer and I were overwhelmed by the quantity of food served on the stroll, pitched as a daytime diversion rather than a progressive meal.
But if we'd been able to polish off a sausage sandwich, a pastrami sandwich, a banana Nutella crepe, a bowl of clam chowder, a smoked-salmon flatbread, a plate of chicken tikka masala, multiple bottles of soda, and a side of fruit, we might have been contenders for the company's latest promotional scheme: the "Man vs. Seattle Bites Food Tours" contest on July 22.
Seattle Bites is recruiting an enthusiastic eater to take on I Love NY Deli's Rob Chandler in a "battle of belly capacity." Both competitors will be given 50 minutes to eat as much of the food served on the standard 2.5-hour walking tour as they can.
"It's not whether you can eat all of it," says company owner Mike Breitfuss, pointing out that each competitor will be facing five pounds of food.
Unlike tourgoers, Chandler and his challenger won't be required to walk from vendor to vendor. The food will be presented smorgasbord-style in a single location. "Everyone is going to eat the same food in the same order," Breitfuss explains.
If the challenger outeats Chandler, who "placed second in a chicken-wing contest in New Jersey a couple years ago," Breitfuss is prepared to reward the dethroner with a certificate and two free tour tickets. The winner's picture will also be posted on the Seattle Bites website.
Breitfuss will select the challenger based on "who gets the most excitement from Facebook and Twitter."
"It's going to be a little subjective," Breitfuss says. "We just got into Facebook and Twitter a couple of weeks ago, so we're trying to create a campaign and build awareness of our brand. The idea is just to have some fun."