Man v. Food (season 1)

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Man v. Food Season 1
ManVFoodSeason1.jpg
Season 1 DVD Cover
Country of origin USA
No. of episodes 18
Broadcast
Original channel Travel Channel
Original run December 3, 2008 – March 25, 2009
Home video release
DVD release date Region 1: October 6, 2009[1]
Season chronology
Next →
Season 2

The first season of Man v. Food, an American food reality television series hosted by Adam Richman on the Travel Channel, premiered on December 3, 2008. The series debuted with back-to-back new episodes airing for the first two weeks then settling down to a pattern of one new episode followed by one repeat episode. First-run episodes of the series aired in the United States on the Travel Channel on Wednesdays at 10:00 PM Eastern time. Man v. Food was executive produced by Matt Sharp, in association with the Travel Channel. The season contains 18 episodes and concluded airing on March 25, 2009.

Man v. Food is hosted by actor and food enthusiast Adam Richman.[2] In each episode, Richman explores the "big food" of a different American city before facing off against a pre-existing eating challenge at a local restaurant. Over the course of the first season, the final record wound up at 11 wins for "Man" and 7 wins for "Food".

Reception[edit]

Ratings[edit]

The first season of Man v. Food was initially picked up for 10 episodes and then, after initial ratings success, an additional 8 episodes were ordered.[3] The Los Angeles Times noted that the Travel Channel received its highest-ever ratings for a new debut with Man v. Food. They highlighted the show as an example of other networks moving in on the traditional turf of the Food Network.[4]

Critical reaction[edit]

CityPages Minneapolis/St. Paul describes the show, "...like the food version of Jackass, with host Adam Richman as its very own Steve-O."[5] In the Star-Ledger, television critic Alan Sepinwall wrote, "It ain't deep, and it certainly ain't healthy (I could feel my arteries clog just from watching), but it's fun."[6] Features reporter Thomas Rozwadowski of the Green Bay Press-Gazette said that "playfully eager host Adam Richman has won me over" and that "it's all in good fun."[7]

Episodes[edit]

Episode Episode Number Original Air Date Winner
Amarillo, TX 01 December 3, 2008 Man
The Big Texan Steak Ranch

Adam journeyed down Route 66 to Amarillo to visit Moose's Sixth St. Bar & Grill for ribs, Biti Pies [8] for dessert, Golden Light Cafe [9] for a Frito pie, Youngblood's Stockyard Café for authentic chicken fried steak, and Coyote Bluff [10] for the extra-spicy "Burger From Hell".[11][12] This episode's challenge was to complete the 72-ounce Big Texan challenge at The Big Texan Steak Ranch[13] which includes the 4.5 pound (2 kg) steak, a bread roll with butter, baked potato, ranch beans, shrimp cocktail, and a salad.[14] Accompanied by members of the Route 66 Roller Derby League,[12] Adam completed the challenge in just 29 of the allotted 60 minutes and was awarded a commemorative t-shirt and had his name placed on the wall of fame.[15] (Approximately 1 in 6 challengers finish in 60 minutes.) Local press coverage places the taping of this challenge on September 29, 2008.[16]

Memphis, TN 02 December 3, 2008 Food
Adam traveled to Memphis for an Elvis sandwich at Arcade,[17] the spicy fried chicken at Gus's World Famous Fried Chicken,[18] plus the ribs, pulled pork, and shrimp at Charlie Vergos's Rendezvous.[19] This episode's challenge was to eat The Sasquatch Hamburger,[20] a total of 7.5 pounds including 4 pounds of beef, 1.5 pounds of vegetables, and a 2 pound bun, at Big Foot Lodge.[21][22] Adam was unable to finish the burger in the time allotted.[23] According to the restaurant's website, this challenge was taped on August 1, 2008.[24] This was the first episode taped for this season.[citation needed] As of December 2008, only 5 people have successfully completed the challenge.[25] In mid-December 2008, just two weeks after this episode aired, the names of Big Foot Lodge and the Sasquatch Burger were changed to Kooky Canuck and the Kookamonga, respectively.[26]
Pittsburgh, PA 03 December 10, 2008 Man
Primanti Brothers

Adam ventured to Pittsburgh[27] and Primanti Brothers for huge sandwiches served with the french fries and cole slaw inside then Deluca's Restaurant for big omelettes and plate-sized chocolate chip pancakes. This episode's challenge was to complete the Atomic Hot Wings challenge at Quaker Steak & Lube by consuming 6 "Atomic" chicken wings in a 150,000 Scoville unit sauce.[28] Adam completed the challenge in the allotted time and was awarded a commemorative bumper sticker and a place on Quaker Steak & Lube's "Atomic Wall of Flame".[7] The "liability waiver" Richman signed before eating the wings was dated October 19, 2008. This is the first challenge on Man v. Food not to have a time limit.

Columbus, OH 04 December 10, 2008 Man
Adam went to Columbus, Ohio,[27] to visit Schmidt's Sausage Haus [29] for cream puffs and an all-you-can-eat sausage buffet plus the Thurman Cafe [30] for an enormous hamburger dubbed "The Thurman Burger." Mentioned, but not eaten, was the even larger "Thurmanator."[31] This episode's challenge was to eat the 212 pound Dagwood Sandwich challenge (plus a full pound of french fries) at the Ohio Deli & Restaurant.[31][32] Before facing the challenge, he psyched himself up with a fantasy sequence involving the Ohio State Buckeyes mascot and cheerleaders at Ohio Stadium. Adam completed the challenge in just 20 of the allotted 30 minutes and was awarded a commemorative t-shirt. As of December 2008, about 400 of the more than 1000 challengers to date have completed the challenge.[31]
Austin, TX 05 December 17, 2008 Food
Adam headed west to the Texas Hill Country to make and devour giant doughnuts at Round Rock Donuts [33] in Round Rock and sample the meats from the open pit at The Salt Lick barbecue restaurant in Driftwood. This episode's challenge was to eat 8 of the Don Juan El Taco Grande breakfast tacos at Juan in a Million [34] in Austin, Texas.[35] Adam finished only four-and-a-quarter of the three-quarter pound concoctions of potato, egg, cheese, and bacon all wrapped in a tortilla but was rewarded with posting of his name and photo on the "Juan of Fame" as the first "Celebrity Champ" and one of the top five all-time eaters.[7][36][37][38] Local press coverage puts the filming of this challenge on September 25, 2008,[36] just before the Amarillo challenge.[35] The date on the posted photo was September 25, 2008.
Chicago, IL 06 December 24, 2008 Man
A Gino's East deep dish pizza

Adam traveled to Chicago to visit Al's Beef for Italian beef sandwiches and Gino's East for deep dish pizza.[2][39] At Al's Beef, after learning the official "Italian stance" for eating such a juicy sandwich, Richman completed a double-meat, double-cheese Reuben sandwich in under 30 minutes.[2] This episode's main challenge was to eat three overstuffed sandwiches stacked with fries inside, in less than one hour, at Lucky's Sandwich Company.[40] Lucky's is named for "Lucky" Charlie Weeghman who once owned a part of the Chicago Cubs and built what is now called Wrigley Field[41] although the restaurant itself is in no way connected to the descendants of Lucky Charlie Weeghman or to the Chicago Cubs.[42] Adam completed the challenge within the allotted time and became just the 11th person to have his photo posted on the Wall of Fame.

Atlanta, GA 07 January 7, 2009 Food
Adam traveled to Atlanta, where he went to college, to visit Gladys Knight & Ron Winans' Chicken & Waffles for homemade food, plus Vortex Bar and Grill for their famous hamburgers.[43][44] Adam spent time in the kitchen with Gladys Knight (he described himself as a "white Pip") making a chicken and waffles plate named "The Midnight Train" in honor of the song Knight made famous. This episode's challenge is to eat a 30-inch, 11-pound Carnivore Challenge Pizza in one hour at Big Pie in the Sky Pizzeria [45] (located in Kennesaw, Georgia) without having the pizza leave the body.[32][43] The pizza consists of six pounds of crust and sauce plus five pounds of pepperoni, ground beef, Italian sausage, ham, and bacon.[46] Because the pizza is so large, the restaurant has set this as a two-person challenge. Adam recruited Drew, a veteran of the Carnivore Challenge, to help him. With a prize of $250 in prize money on the line,[46] Adam finished most of his half of the pizza, but Drew eventually vomited most of his half pizza, losing the challenge for them both. At the time of this episode's taping, the challenge had never been successfully completed by anyone; later in 2009, it was beaten for the first time by Erik Unger and Anthony Reganato.[47]
Boston, MA 08 January 14, 2009 Food
Adam journeyed to Boston to visit the East Coast Grill & Raw Bar [48] for seafood and a super-spicy feast dubbed "Hell Night"[49] and The Barking Crab [50] for a four-pound clambake. This episode's challenge was to eat a 12-pound Eagle's Challenge Burger, which includes 5 pounds of hamburger, 2 pounds of bacon and cheese, 5 pounds of fries, and a giant pickle, at Eagle's Deli and Restaurant.[51] Boston magazine awarded Eagle's Deli their "Best of Boston 2006 Burger" honor[52] and the Travel Channel named it one of the "World's Best Places to Pig Out".[53] Adam, a self-proclaimed New York Yankees fan, faced off against a former Eagle's employee, Chuck Whittall, a Boston Red Sox fan (he even got help from Red Sox first baseman Kevin Youkilis). Chuck finished 6 oz. more of his burger and fries than Adam. Adam lost the challenge and was forced to wear an "I Love Boston" shirt and got his picture on the Wall of Shame (had he won, Chuck would have been forced to wear an "I Love New York" shirt). Local press reports place the taping of this episode in late October 2008.[49] As of January 2009, more than 1,500 have tried but no one person has successfully completed the Challenge Burger.[54] In a March 2009 interview, after the end of season one, Richman contested the loss over issues of portion size and the preparation of the burgers while noting that Whittall was "not a noble contestant".[55]
New York, NY 09 January 21, 2009 Man
Sylvia's Restaurant of Harlem

Adam went home to New York City to visit Sylvia's Restaurant of Harlem for homemade food and Katz's Delicatessen for their famous deli sandwiches.[56] This episode's challenge was to eat Spicy P'haal, claimed to be "the hottest curry in the world", at Brick Lane Curry House [57] and be added to the restaurant's "P'hall of Fame".[32][58] The owner of Brick Lane warned Adam that one time during the challenge a person actually started bleeding from the nose. Despite this and the pain from the curry (Adam made the mistake of wiping his face with the napkin he used to wipe his mouth), Adam finished the curry, got a complimentary beer, a certificate of completion, and his picture on the restaurant's website.

New Orleans, LA 10 January 28, 2009 Man
Adam traveled to New Orleans to visit Mother's Restaurant [59] for a "Ferdie Special" po' boy sandwich and Deanie's Seafood [60] for barbecued shrimp.[61] This episode's challenge was to finish 15 dozen oysters at Acme Oyster House [62] and join the "15 Dozen Club". Adam succeeded in this challenge as he slurped all 15 dozen oysters. As of the time of the taping in December, only 28 of the 150 people who had attempted this feat had succeeded.[55]
Portland, OR 11 February 4, 2009 Man
Adam journeyed to Portland, Oregon, to visit the historic Stepping Stone Cafe for 13-inch pancakes known as "mancakes" and Voodoo Doughnut which features more than 70 varieties of doughnut, including a maple bacon bar with real bacon on top. While at Voodoo Doughnut, Adam prepared doughnuts and witnessed a wedding held in the doughnut shop. The episode's main challenge was at Salvador Molly's "Great Balls of Fire" challenge—five habanero chile cheese fritters with a side of habanero salsa for dipping. If Richman succeeded—and only 50 of the 1000 that attempted this in 2008 did—he would get his picture on the "Wall of Flame".[63] After psyching himself up dressed as a pirate in a fantasy sequence, Adam had no problems completing this challenge. A press release from Salvador Molly's states the challenge was taped on December 9, 2008.[64]
Seattle, WA 12 February 11, 2009 Food
Adam traveled to Seattle for a December 13 stop at Red Mill Burgers for a double bacon deluxe cheeseburger and onion rings,[65][66] to The Crab Pot in Seattle's historic waterfront district for their signature "Captain's Combo" of shrimp, clam strips, calamari, cod, and halibut, plus a challenge taped on December 14, 2008, at Beth's Cafe, in which Adam went up against the "Southwestern Exposure" 12-egg omelet.[67] The omelet, which includes beef brisket chili, salsa, sour cream, and cheddar cheese, weighs roughly five pounds and is served on a pizza platter. On average, only one person in ten is able to complete the challenge and win a Beth's Cafe t-shirt. This episode's challenge was complicated by the addition of a race against a local competitor, also named Adam, who had previously beaten this challenge. In the end, "East Coast Adam" (Richman) beat out "West Coast Adam" by consuming more, although neither were able to completely finish the challenge, with Richman unable to finish the last "2-3 bites."[68]
Los Angeles, CA 13 February 18, 2009 Man
Philippe the Original

Adam traveled to Los Angeles to take on the Goliath Manuel's Special and machaca burritos at El Tepeyac Café in East L.A., French dip sandwiches at Philippe the Original near Union Station, plus the "hot ramen challenge" at Orochon Ramen in Little Tokyo.[69] Any person who can finish a serving of the "Special No. 2", a spicy soup featuring 10 kinds of chilies, within a half-hour, is awarded a place on the Wall of Bravery.[69] Despite the pain from the soup's heat, Richman was able to complete the challenge. The Los Angeles Times reports that Richman was in town in late January.[69]

St. Louis, MO 14 February 25, 2009 Food
Adam journeyed to St. Louis, Missouri, to attempt the $35 "Big Ben" meal at Pappy's Smokehouse which includes a full slab of ribs, 2 sandwiches, a quarter-chicken, and 4 side dishes.[70] Local press reports state this taping took place on December 18, 2008.[70] He also stopped at Iron Barley to try oak-roasted pork loin and a Monte Cristo hot dog.[71] The episode's main challenge was the Malt Milkshake Challenge at Crown Candy Kitchen. To win, Adam had to drink five 24-ounce malt milkshakes in 30 minutes, a challenge offered by the restaurant since 1913.[63][71] The milkshakes were divided into 15 8-ounce glasses for Adam. Adam started strong but he ended up running to the bathroom to vomit it out after drinking 12 out of the 15 glasses.[72] As a result of this episode, Pappy's Smokehouse reported a spike in traffic on their website and increased business from the national exposure, even on Ash Wednesday.[73][74] In August 2009, Richman told a reporter that Pappy's had added a dish to their menu named "The Adam Bomb" in his honor.[75]
San Jose, CA 15 March 4, 2009 Man
Adam traveled to San Jose, California, where he visited Iguana's Taqueria and Henry's World Famous Hi-Life.[76] Iguana's is the home of "BurritoZilla", a five pound (2.3 kg), 18-inch (46 cm) burrito that takes several tortillas to construct.[77] Henry's World Famous Hi-Life, opened in 1960, serves steaks, chicken, and pork chops but is most noted for its baby back ribs.[76] This week's challenge was to complete the Hellfire Hot Wing Challenge at SmokeEaters Hot Wings.[63] To win, Adam had to eat 12 hot wings soaked in habanero chili sauce within 10 minutes—and then had to wait another 5 minutes before eating or drinking anything else to relieve the heat.[78] Richman was able to complete the challenge successfully, but was in pain from the habanero chili sauce. The episode featured a guest appearance by competitive eating champion Joey Chestnut.[79]
Denver, CO 16 March 11, 2009 Food
Adam ventured to Denver for burgers, steaks, and burritos. The show taped on January 20, 2009 at Duffy's Cherry Cricket where Richman had waitresses toss darts to determine which toppings he put on his special "Man v. Food Burger."[80] The production team spent 8 hours at the restaurant.[81][82] (Bacon, a fried egg, guacamole, salsa, smoked cheddar, and grilled Bermuda onions were the randomly chosen toppings.)[80] The Denver Post further reported that he would be taping at The Buckhorn Exchange steakhouse on January 21 and Jack-n-Grill for New Mexican food on January 22.[80] The Rocky Mountain News reports that Man v. Food would tape at Jack-n-Grill in Denver on January 22, 2009, as Adam Richman faced off against a "7-pound monster breakfast burrito".[83] If successful, Richman would get his picture up on the restaurant's Wall of Fame.[84] Richman was only able to finish two-thirds of the challenge before surrendering.[85][86] The restaurant offers any man who can finish the combination of one dozen eggs, 1 onion, 1 pound of cheese, 1 pound of green chili, and 7 diced potatoes, that the $12 price of the meal will be waived.[85] However, any woman who can complete the challenge is offered the right to dine there "for free forever".[85][86]
Research Triangle, North Carolina 17 March 18, 2009 Man
Adam traveled to the North Carolina Triangle, home to three of NC's major universities (Duke, North Carolina, and North Carolina State), to check out Time Out in Chapel Hill for their Chicken & Cheddar Biscuit, then on to The Pit in Raleigh to cook a pig with "local legend" Ed Mitchell.[87] As this week's main challenge, Adam tried to eat 17 hot dogs (including 17 buns, half a pint of mustard, and one pint of chili sauce) to complete the Hot Dogger Eating Challenge in record time at The Roast Grill.[63][87] Opened in 1940 by the grandparents of current owner George Poniros, The Roast Grill is noted for refusing to serve ketchup.[88] The previous record of 16 hot dogs in 50 minutes had been set on August 14, 2008, by Gabe Gigliotti.[88] Adam wore North Carolina Tar Heels and Duke Blue Devils wristbands plus an NC State Wolfpack headband for the challenge.[89] According to local press reports, the visit to The Pit was taped on January 28, 2009, and challenge at The Roast Grill was taped on January 30.[90] Adam completed the challenge in about 30 minutes, and as the winner, renamed it the "Man v. Food Hot Dog Challenge". (Gigliotti returned about a month after the filming of this episode and set a new record of 18 hot dogs in 23 minutes on March 6, 2009, and returned it back to its original name.)[88]
Minneapolis, MN 18 March 25, 2009 Man
Adam traveled to Minneapolis in February to tape the season finale. In January 2009, CityPages Minneapolis/St. Paul and Andrew Zimmern reported that Richman would be in town to tape the show from February 5 through February 8, 2009.[5][91] Richman visited "everything from Juicy Lucy joints to the brewski at local beer bars" and was escorted by fellow Travel Channel host Andrew Zimmern to rotisserie specialists Brasa Premium Rotisserie Restaurant to "see if he can eat everything on the steam table in one sitting."[91] In an interview given during the taping of the North Carolina episode, Adam told the reporter, "I'm about to go to Minneapolis where a certain adorable, cuddly bald bear named Andrew Zimmern will be appearing on my show."[3] Despite an initial press report of a rumor that taping had been cancelled, filming occurred on February 4 at Matt's Bar, on February 6 at the historic 5-8 Club for a Juicy Lucy, and on February 7 at Gasthof zur Gemutlichkeit & Mario's Keller Bar for a giant bratwurst.[92][93] Gasthof offers a Meterbratwurst, a grilled German Bratwurst one meter (just over three feet) long and served with two side items (Adam chose red cabbage and potato croquettes), and anyone who completes the meal is awarded a certificate. Adam completed the challenge with only few minor problems at the end, and he received the certificate.[94]

References[edit]

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External links[edit]