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October 24, 2014

I'm a glutton for Man v. Food

by Nick Zaino, posted Aug 5th 2009 2:04PM
Adam Richman Man v FoodThe idea of a guy traveling around America and making a glutton of himself in a different city every week doesn't sound, at first blush, very appealing to me. No one needs another over-eating American stereotype gorging themselves for our amusement every week. Did we learn nothing from Morgan Spurlock?

That said, I love Man v. Food, which begins its second season tonight at 10PM on the Travel Channel. I love the show mainly because I like the host, Adam Richman. Richman is amiable and a bit shlubby, and I identify with that. And as unpleasant as that stereotype of the gluttonous American might be, I love comfort food, and that's what Man v. Food is all about.

Richman doesn't travel to the ritzy restaurants, the places with celebrity chefs and long waiting lists. He finds the best burger joints, the diners with the biggest omelets, places I probably would have visited if I lived in that particular city. They are mostly small business, generally neighborhood hangouts that could probably use a little TV exposure.

And it's clear that Richman appreciates the food, as the show follows each meal being made - the pizza slice that's bigger than a baby (this is one of my favorite images from the show, someone holding a pizza slice next to a baby to compare the size), the Dagwood sandwich with the fresh cold cuts, or the hot wings made by a kitchen staff wearing gas masks (not a joke, another great image from the show).

The segments where he talks to the cooks making the food for the challenges are often the best scenes in the show. Richman welcomes the opportunity to eat each over-sized meal, no matter how difficult the cook warns him it might be to finish the challenge. On a recent rerun, he sat smiling with a Dagwood sandwich that was about as big as his head, bragging about how it would soon be in his belly as if he was Fat Bastard from Austin Powers. And I don't even hold it against him when he stops a few bites from the finish line, seeming to throw in the towel a little early in deference to the restaurant and the cook.

Tonight he's in San Antonio, visiting Big Lou's Pizza (trying the Texas brisket pizza), Lulu's Jailhouse Café (for cinnamon rolls and chicken-fried steaks) and Chunky's Burgers for their Four Horseman Burger. He'll visit 19 cities this season, taking on bacon-wrapped hot dogs in Charleston, South Carolina, chili dogs in Tuscon, Stromboli in New Jersey, reindeer chili and sausage in Anchorage, and what has to be a misprint in the press kit - the 164-lb burger at Mallie's Sports Bar & Grill in Detroit. Even Richman isn't that crazy. I'm in for another season of altruistic face-stuffing.

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Jon

I can't get enough of Man v. Food, I found this site http://www.ibetyouwont.com that lists a bunch of other challenges that haven't been on the show, I may give a couple a shot.

August 20 2009 at 9:01 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
A. Lowhorn

Adam is always respectful of the people he's talking to, and he seems to really love the stories and food culture of the towns he visits.

http://thebrowntweedsociety.com/2009/08/06/pursuit-of-meaning-in-man-v-food/

August 07 2009 at 1:26 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Jim Kosmicki

several interviews with Adam recently have stressed that he does not eat like this all the time and works out constantly to compensate for the amount of calories he takes in. The show really could present that information as well -- they often have scenes of Adam working out, but they stage them as humor pieces - they need to show that he really does work out to "pay" for the extra calories.

August 06 2009 at 9:05 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Nathaniel

For what it's worth I have eaten at two of the challenge places.. The Big Texan in Amarillo and Eagle's Deli in Boston.. Both are great places and Eagle's really is a small little place that was busy as heck.. (No I didn't try the challenges at either place.. though I did manage to put down the 1lb burger at Eagle's.)

August 06 2009 at 12:52 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Nathaniel

Sounds like that 164lb burger is not a joke.. It is on the menu at Mallie's Sports Bar & Grill.. http://malliesbar.com/menu.htm He is probably in a team of 30!! ($500.00 for a Hamburger... Crazy!!)

August 06 2009 at 12:48 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
RobynM

It took a little while for Adam to grow on me, but I'm pretty fond of him now.

The challenges aren't all quantity, however - in a number of them, it's all about the heat. Habanero fritters, atomic wings, etc. I'm looking forward to tonight's episode, which according to the promo posted here, features a burger so spicy you have to wear gloves to handle it.

August 05 2009 at 9:35 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
divineparasite

I'm kind of a sucker for The Travel Channel's food shows. I also enjoy watching the countdown shows for the best restruants to get....(hot dogs, burgers, etc.) Would I eat at those places? Probobly not, but watching the shows are the next best thing, those meals that Adam eats look really tastey so I'll experiance those meals through him.

August 05 2009 at 4:59 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Shawn Roth

He came to Grand Rapids, MI to eat the 5/3rd burger...1 2/3 lbs of meat, cheese, lettuce, tomato, fritos, etc...it is sold at the local minor league ball park...and it was like Elvis was there...I was at the game where he ate the burger and the crowds were crazy for him...it almost made the game secondary...it was great...and he finished that 4000 calorie burger...

August 05 2009 at 4:22 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Sam the Deaf

I love that guy who will challenge over the food.

Yet, it also help me to find an interesting place to eat whatever I visit any city. So much thank to Richman!

August 05 2009 at 2:51 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Steve

How long before Adam and Guy Fieri(of Diners, Drive ins & Dives) either have a quadruple bypass or die?

August 05 2009 at 2:45 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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