Thursday, October 29, 2009 Eat N Tweet Challenge...

This Is Why You're Fat is a weird little website. It posts pictures of the most ridiculous and most fattening foods. Here's an example...

This monstrosity is the Banana Peanut Butter Cup And Marshmallow Grilled Sandwich. Looks scrumptious.

Well, for the next two weeks, I've got little to do since I'm waiting for the new job to begin. When I saw the Eat N Tweet challenge, I knew I wanted in. In essence, it was a food scavenger hunt with 6 mobile food cart vendors participating. Each vendor cooked up their own TIWYF inspired item. The mission was to keep your eye on twitter, starting at 11AM, every 20 minutes and wait for a location to be announced and the first person to tweet pictures eating each item would win a free party for 25 people catered by the food cart of your choice. I wasn't sure how many people would participate and what mode of transportation would they be using. You could bike, go by car, take a taxi. None of which I had or could afford to do. My method of transportation would be hoofing it on foot and, if needed, using the subway.

I figured the best way to get an edge on the competition was to do some prep before the contest. I test tweeted pictures to make sure I properly imputed the information they needed. I followed each vendor on twitter and went to each website, looking at their schedule. I mapped out each probable location and wrote their phone numbers down if needed. I then had to make the best guess on where to start since I would be starting blind. I tweeted to one of the vendors and asked if they were going to be the start point and they tweeted back and that they would be the second stop. This was a good clue, but still had no idea where to start. When I looked at the list of vendors, they were second on the list so naturally my first instinct was that the first place would be the first vendor, which would be located on 38th St & 5th Ave., so I went there and was going to wait for the start time. I got there at about 10:30 but there was no cart in sight. I looked at their schedule and also called their number and they both said they wouldn't be there til 12PM. I thought that perhaps they would arrive at 11 for the contestants and then open for the public at lunch time. Then I looked at the listing and noticed one was a waffle stand and thought that perhaps they would be the first place since they were the first to open (8AM) and they were a breakfast type food. So I took a chance and walked really fast over to their location at 45th St. & 6th Ave. Turns out I was right. At that point I met the contest organizers Kiwa And Susan. Two lovely young ladies that were meeting us at each point to take pictures and make sure everything went smoothly. But also there was my first indication of a challenger. A man and woman team that were biking.

The vendor at this location was Wafels And Dinges.

Their item : Double Liege Wafel Ice Cream Sandwich with smashed speculoos cookies & whipped cream.

I figured that the couple had the edge with bikes and I felt the possibility of defeat but I took a bite of the waffle, threw out the rest and trudged on. I figured that I knew the second location already and could try to figure out the next one and stay one step ahead of them.

So I hit the R train to get to Cupcake Stop located on 23rd St. & 5th Ave.

Their item : Cinnamon Roll Cupcake - Hands Down, one of the best cupcakes I've ever had.

When I got there, there was a camera crew waiting and doing interviews for a project for Columbia University. Naturally, they loved the competitive eating angle and wanted to interview me. I asked for help from the vendor but they didn't have any ideal of the next location. I also asked them if the bike couple had hit the spot yet. Not only did they already get there, but they said they came an hour ago. which would have meant they were there around 10:30. I was furious. Not only did they already have an edge over me with the bikes, but they were getting it done way in advance?

I looked at my list and the next closest location was right up the block on 17th St. & 5th Ave. I figured that it was right there and if I was right then I scored and if not, it's not like I journeyed far away from the previous spot. It turned out I was right. I asked them if they were next and they said they were but wouldn't serve until 11:40 which was the tweet time, but they cooked it up for me.

Bistro Truck

Their item : Big Mouth Bistro Burger - Fried Onions, Fried Sunny Side Up Egg, Garlic Mushrooms, Fried Mortadell, 2 Cheese Burgers, Lettuce, Tomatoes And Bistro Sauce

This one was my runaway favorite. Which is interesting since I'm more of a sweets guy. The combination of onions, perfectly cooked burger, runny eggs and everything else was overpoweringly good. This was the one I wished I would have finished out of all them but didn't want to consume all the calories. I was actually using this as exercise, so the least I had to eat, the better.
The good news about this location was that I beat the bike couple. The vendor told me they had already tried to get the burger but the truck denied them. The bad news that more competition was starting to come. A kid named Nick stepped into play.

I got my burger first and high tailed it out of there, pondering which location to hit next. It was about to be 12pm, so I took a chance and hopped back on the N train and went back to my starting location. I checked my phone and I was wrong. The next location was tweeted. At this point, I said "screw it". If the bike couple was not only going to start earlier than they were supposed to but also go out of order, so would I.

I hit Treats Truck next on 38th St & 5th Ave

Their item : Super Duper Dessert Nacho's

This was my least favorite. Which, again, is odd because of my love of sweets. I think at this point I was suffering from flavor overload. The bike couple was just leaving as I got there. 2 other guys were ordering them but were nice enough to let me have their order instead of waiting. I took my bite and walked east toward 53rd St. & Park Ave.
I took the 6 train 1 stop and got to Cravings Truck

Their item : Deep Fried Dumplings and Pork with White Rice

The line was long. I became crestfallen. I went to the back of the truck and told them I was there for the challenge and asked if I had to wait on line and the guy said yes and I got on line. I waited for about 5 minutes or so and the guy was nice enough to come out the side of the truck and hand me the bag. I took my bite and walked as fast as I possibly could to get to the train station on 49th St. & 7th Ave.

At this point, I figured that I had lost. The bike couple had to have gotten to the last location, my only hope was that the extra staff at the last vendor, Van Leeuwen Artisan , had not arrived yet. This was the wild card. The last vendor had several trucks and the girl at the truck, which was located within very close proximity to the cupcake and bistro trucks, had no clue about the challenge. My only hope was that this threw off bike couple but turned out to be the right place. They also had tweeted previously that they would be at the 23rd St. location even though their website said differently.

I got to the train station and JUST MISSED the R train, which would have taken me back to 23rd St. & 5th Ave. About 5 minutes later, the W train came.

I arrived at the last truck Van Leeuwen Artisan

Their item : Decadent Michel Cluizel Brownie Sundae

I didn't have any of this so I don't know how good it was. A girl that was just starting was nice enough to let me take a picture with hers.

I didn't see bike couple when I got there. What I did see was Nick, sitting on his Vespa and the two organizers. Nick had beaten us all. I had he wouldn't be a factor because I assumed that he was on foot as well. What was most disheartening was that I asked him how long he had been there, he said about 10 minutes. I had just missed out on winning. I inquired about bike couple and no one knew what happened to them.
Nick left and I spoke to Susan and Kiwa for a bit and we left.
If anything, I was happy that if I didn't win, at least bike couple didn't win either. I took second place as a badge of honor that I not only beat people on bikes but came > < this close to beating a someone on a motor scooter.

The bike couple are bitching on twitter that they were robbed and actually telling TIWYF about how they hit everything early, lol. Sorry guys, but you got beat by a fat guy on foot :)

Lastly, here's a nice write up by Kiwa and Susan that made me smile with a few more pictures...

Fierce competition today in the TIWYF Eat N’ Tweet Food Truck Challenge! Nick McGlynn won after coming armed with a Vespa, GPS and of course, Twitter. Another motivated couple were biking their way from truck to truck, not even waiting for the @tiwyf Twitter feed to announce the special or location! But we were probably MOST blown away by competitive eater Will Millender (a.k.a. @bigwillthechamp) who came in SECOND while doing the contest on foot! WOW! Now that’s the competitive spirit. Thanks to everyone who participated in the challenge — and remember, even though the winner has been announced, the TIWYF Specials are available all day long until selling out!

Thanks again to the six incredible food trucks who rocked it today with their heartstoppingly delicious delights! Also, a big shout out to Kayoko of UMAMIMART and Zach of Midtown Lunch for their awesome coverage and support!

1 comment: