Sunday, April 3, 2011

Yummy Grub

Yummy Grub, an ice cream and sub sandwich restaurant in Sun City, hosted its second annual ice cream eating contest yesterday.

Things were a bit disorderly at first. There didn't seem to be any competitors on hand. Entry fees were still up in the air. Prizes were unknown. All we knew is that there would be an adults' division and a children's division, with a grand prize to the winner of each.

The format was originally billed as hands-free, which would have been unique for me. I don't participate in many formal competitions, so either way I was looking forward to a new experience. My hands-free contests have been limited to small events at the Orange County Fair in years past. I've done a plate of caramel corn and a huge Texas doughnut. Those didn't go so well.

When it turned out there were only two competitors on hand - Matt Cohen and I - the manager gave us alternative contest options. It would be first to finish in any case. Instead of a hands-free 3-scoop contest, we could alternatively hold a contest with a 32 oz ice cream sundae or a huge root beer float mixed with 32 oz of ice cream.

We went with the ice cream sundae option. 32 oz of our choice of ice cream topped with chocolate sauce, strawberry slices, and banana pieces. I went with vanilla, Matt chose strawberry, and a third last-minute entrant chose chocolate. We paid $5 to participate. So details were settled.

There were no names or introductions. Just a lot of flash photography. Rules were pretty simple. We had to eat with spoons, cups could not be lifted off the table, and the first to completely finish the contents of the cup would be declared the winner.

After a simple countdown, we were going. Plastic spoons are a little delicate for working with semi-solid ice cream. I went about it much the same way I attacked the Kitchen Sink in Walnut Creek. Scoop, bite, swallow.

Matt's technique was solid. He seemed to create a continuous stream of consumption, almost as if he were drinking the sundae. His experience with sweets and ice cream shone through vibrantly. In less than two minutes he was scraping the bottom of the cup with his spoon.

"How much more do I gotta go? I can keep going here!"

And with that, the contest was over. I had a few ounces to go. Couldn't resist finishing even though there was nothing on the line. Our third competitor left the table shortly.

"Sweet Tooth" always does a fine job in these sprinting competitions. I have a lot of work to do if I want to offer him a serious threat in that field.

The grand prize, as it turned out, would be a store coupon and your picture on the wall (in the middle of a paper plate you could decorate with drawing instruments). It was more about the thrill of competing than anything else.

The ice cream was made on-site, too. It was excellent. We'll see if they bring it back next year!

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