Plainly put, the Travel Channel wants to transport a cult experience to the hallowed Westport Flea Market.…
The Travel Channel, for crying out loud!
Somehow – don’t ask – the cable channel that wants to spirit us off to exotic, restful, amazingly beautiful locations – has determined its devotees have somehow become enamored with people who eat ridiculously large portions of food in ridiculously short periods of time.
Make sense to you? Me neither.
Nonetheless, that’s the Travel Channel’s game plan. Now it’s up to us to make sure they come here. To Kansas City. To perform their gauche ritual at the Flea Market. To that end, we all must go – today – onto the Travel Channel’s Facebook page, throw caution to the wind and vote for a St. Louis dude named Randy Santel who intends to eat 55 ounces of Westport Flea Market burger, plus buns, 15 strips of bacon, a half pound of American cheese and two pounds of fries in 30 minutes.
But that’s Randy’s problem. Our problem is to flood Man versus Food’s Facebook page with votes for KC, so we can all go down and fantasize about what it would be like to wolf down Flea owner Joe Zwillenberg‘s rolling Westport Flea Market Burger out front.
The biggest thing Santel has ever competitive eaten to date?
"The biggest thing I’ve eaten is five pounds of Pig Wings," Santel says. "And three pounds of fried corn nuggets. And I did 144 ounces of milkshake. I did the first five shakes in 4.5 seconds, then it took ’em 10 minutes to make the 6th one and I drank that for dessert."
Why the Flea? For starters because he likes it and "because it’s not a crazy amount of food," Santel says.
"And I wouldn’t take the challenge if I thought I was going to lose on national TV."
Santel familiarized himself with "regular" Flea burgers when he worked here as a construction estimator for J.E. Dunn.
As for the chances of say, me or Zwillenberg choking down a Flea Market Challenge, those would be slim.
"The average person can’t eat six pounds of food in 30 minutes," Santel says. "The average person can eat about 2 1/2 pounds usually on challenges. I see people get to the two pound, two and one-half pound mark, then they’re basically done."
As for that caution people get on Facebook when voting, not to worry, Santel says.
"It’s no big deal," he says.