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World’s Biggest Hotdog Eating Contest

Brian and I were surfing the channels today and caught a glimpse of Nathan’s hotdog eating contest on TV. That is so sick! It’s an American tradition that has been going on for almost a century. Suprisingly, the most winningest (if that’s even a word) champion is Japanese Takeru “Tsunami” Kobayashi. Kobayashi was victorious for six consecutive years from 2001 to 2006.

In 2007 he met his match in the form of Joey “Jaws” Chestnut. Chestnut won the contest and set the American and world records for most hotdogs consumed in a twelve minute period: 66 hotdogs! I feel sick just thinking of it. Talk about indigestion!

In this year’s contest, the time limit was reduced to ten minutes. Both Kobayashi and Chestnut were tied at 59 hotdogs. For the first time ever, the contest needed a tie breaker to determine the champion. Who can eat five additional hotdogs the fastest? Chestnut won the tie breaker and is now the reigning champion for two consecutive years running: 2007 and 2008. [Click here for more information about this year’s results and here for more on Nathan’s International July Fourth Hot Dog Eating Contest.]

I like hotdogs plenty, but one is enough for me. Anyway, watching the show made me think of my favorite places to eat hotdogs. Brian and I can agree on only one place: Freddy’s Frozen Custard. Freddy’s uses Chicago-style Vienna beef hotdogs.

However, the Chicago vs. New York who has better hotdogs debate is prevalent even in Wichita. I know many people who swear by Metro Grill hotdogs, my other favorite place to eat hotdogs. Metro Grill uses Nathan’s Famous hotdogs.

Brian says that I need to eat at a real Nathan’s in order to get the full experience. I guess that will be on must-do list when vist Coney Island (at some point). For a location a bit closer to us, there’s a Nathan’s in St. Louis, MO. Although at almost 400 miles away, it’s still a little far.

There is this place in Atlanta we saw on TV called The Varsity. Located in downtown Atlanta, this place holds the world record as the “world’s largest drive in.” They can accommodate 600 cars and over 800 people inside. Amazing! I have no idea what kind of hotdogs they use, though.

Has anyone ever been to The Varsity in Atlanta? What about Nathan’s in Coney Island (or any other Nathan’s location)? Care to share your experience?

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