The Saint‘s news editor, Jonathan, attempted Rascals’ Poppas Revenge. Relive the experience below.
Rascals’ Poppas Revenge Burger is a not a piece of cake. Nor is it merely a burger. It is a towering mass of meat that will leave even the most seasoned diners quivering. As burgers go, this one’s the apotheosis.
The rocketing popularity of Man Vs Food has prompted an almost grotesque fascination amongst Brits for these gargantuan dishes. Rascals’ offering is certainly up there: five 12 oz steak burgers; 12 oz of melted cheese; 8 rashers of bacon; a heap of pulled pork; chips; sweet potato fries; coleslaw and a side salad (for the healthier clientele). All in all, 7000 calories and seven pounds.
Knowing this, it was with icy fear and a knotted stomach that I entered Rascals on a bitingly cold January evening. A few members of staff exchanged furtive glances, others snickered, one or two were seemingly placing bets on how well I would perform, one concerned looking waitress appeared to be uttering hail Marys in a hushed whisper. A solemn silence gripped the place.
“How far did you get through the burger then?” I ask Jamie Anderson, Rascals’ owner and the brains behind the venture. “You must be joking. I won’t try it,” he scoffed. The knot in my stomach tightened. “We are aware some may find it disgusting but then many others love this. The burger meal is free if you can eat it all in less than 60 minutes. If you eat it all you go on the wall of fame, if you do not, it’s the wall of shame,” he says.
I felt I was adequately prepared. I hadn’t had a bite all day and a long walk had left me with a hearty appetite. So when the burger was served I felt bumptiously cocky about my chances. “The first 20 minutes are key,” Jamie says. “If you can’t get through that you’ll hit the wall.”
A war of attrition began in earnest: I wolfed the pulled pork and raced through the first steak. The first signs I might be full began to show: a dry mouth and sudden aversion to meat in all its forms overwhelmed me. I shrugged it off however and set about dismantling the rest of the meal. Each bite became an arduous task and as I chipped away, mercilessly, the leaning tower of meat failed to diminish in size. As I neared the end of the second patty, a strange lucid delirium gripped me. I began to sweat profusely and swayed like a drunk.
After 28 oz of meat I threw in the white towel, brandished the white flag and pushed the plate away from me. It was pitiful how little I had eaten. What remained was the equivalent of a new born baby. One of the waiters told me I had done well despite having made little impression on the burger. I felt I deserved a pat on the back for just surviving the ordeal. One thing’s for certain, burgers will be off the menu for the foreseeable future.
Photo credit: Jake Threadgould