I fought the steak, and the steak won!

One of the most intimidating culinary challenges in Toronto is The Hail Mary at Real Sports Bar and Grill: a 67 oz steak, pound of fries and pound of slaw. Only five people have finished, and a few folks have probably died trying. Now, I’ve eaten some pretty crazy things in my day, including a garbage plate, a Bypass Burger (with bacon!) and a week’s worth of nachos, so I thought I was up to the test…

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I guess I was expecting this to be just one huge steak, but really, it was more like a four-pound roast. You could feed an entire family with this, bro! I mean, this steak was so big that it was still raw in the middle after being cooked for elevenfinity hours. I actually had to send it back so they could warm it up some more!!!

Now the deal with this challenge is that you hafta finish in an hour. They even kept a security guard at my table with a timer to make sure I wasn’t cheating. But after I got to the uncooked centre within five minutes, they had to call timeout and stop the clock. I’m not sure if that was a good thing. Sure, I couldda scarfed down some slaw or stuffed my face with fries, but my strategy was to go after the steak first, since it required the most chewing. The fries and slaw could wait!

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You know when you’ve eaten too much, and you can’t really taste or chew your food? Yeah, that was me after half an hour. My stomach still felt fine, but my mouth was about ready to throw in the towel. I then discovered that putting some slaw in my mouth at the same time helped the steakicine go down, since it was easier to chew the slaw…but I was well off my blistering initial pace at that point. I couldda pulled a Kobayashi and gulped down a buncha H2O to get the food down into mah belly…but I didn’t wanna die of autoasphyisteakshun. (I’ve heard it’s the silent killer!)

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In the end, I finished about two-thirds of the meat and three-quarters of the slaw. I hardly even touched the fries, though. The good news is that they gave me the rest to go, so I’ve got enough leftovers for two normal-sized lunches. In case you’re wondering, this is what a pound of fries looks like:

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No trip to Ottawa would be complete without a visit to Fake Real Sports

(Originally written August 27, 2014)

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Now, I’ve been to the real Real Sports Bar & Grill a handful of times, mostly to watch football–whether it was the Super Bowl, a post-Seahawks-shitstomping-Buffalo celebration, or, more recently, when I had basketball tickets on the evening of the Hawks’ Wild Card playoff game.  The one time I went there for the Stanley Cup Finals, I couldn’t get a seat.  But the Ottawa edition certainly wasn’t packed for an afternoon CFL contest and some NFL preseason action–not even at 7:30 on a Saturday.  (Then again, isn’t that when most Ottawans hit the hay, anyways?)

That said, ownership has done a pretty good job of making the George St. location seem like Real Sports on steroids–if steroids made your junk smaller.  (Oh, wait!)  It’s almost like a miniature version of the real thing, what with its frosted glass bar, back wall of beer taps, and a centrepiece TV that you can see from the scaled-down second floor.  Of course, while the real Real Sports boasts a giant screen the size of a Toronto townhouse, the Ottawa edition is roughly as large as your MP’s office.  Which is to say, you still gotta crane your neck to watch the action when seated at the bar.

I will say this, though:  While I wasn’t impressed with the food in Toronto the one time I ate there, I’d say my capital-city meal was a major improvement.  Although I can’t say it was an Ottawa thing–the two menus are virtually identical; in fact, the sandwich I ordered features prominently on the Toronto Real Sports’ website.  That said, the Triple Threat puts three good things between two pieces of bread: namely, pulled pork, beef brisket and peameal bacon.  The first two blend together quite nicely, while the latter adds another texture to the dish.  And the best thing about this sammy?  No veggies in sight!

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UPDATE: It would appear that the Triple Threat is no longer on the menu…but they do offer something called “Winner Winner Chicken Dinner,” which is most likely trademarked by Guy Fieri. 😉