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If you look into the eyes of someone who’s just eaten one of the world’s hottest peppers, you will likely see excitement and confusion mingled with a hint of pain and regret. But what about someone who’s about to finish the world’s biggest bowl of soup?

Culinary daredevils have long demanded outrageous dishes and serious portion sizes, and American restaurants continue to devise diabolically delicious ways to challenge their taste buds. If you count yourself among the growing population of adventurous eaters—or just want to see someone dig into some mega-spicy Indian food—here are America’s craziest food challenges worth a trip.

Bowl of pho Photo courtesy of cyclonebill | Flickr Creative Commons

Bowl of pho
Photo courtesy of cyclonebill | Flickr Creative Commons

Get your fill of pho in Dallas

If you’ve got 90 minutes to spare, swing by Bistro B in Dallas for their aptly named Giant Bowl of Pho challenge. Pho is a popular Vietnamese dish known for its amazing refreshing taste, but this 7-pound bowl of noodles might leave you feeling a little exhausted after 400 mouthfuls. Your first tentative spoonfuls, however, will be a delight, rich with the fresh flavors of basil, lime, bean sprouts and jalapeños. The reward for completing this super-human challenge is a $200 gift card.

Phaal dish Photo courtesy of Joey | Flickr Creative Commons

Phaal dish
Photo courtesy of Joey | Flickr Creative Commons

Sample some seriously spicy Phaal in New York

“Let’s go to that Indian restaurant near me,” we hear you cry, “I’m in the mood for some spice!” If hot food is your thing, take a trip to Manhattan and enter the big leagues. Served up by The Brick Lane Curry House in New York, the Phaal Challenge is a fiery sensation.

The fact that the chef has to wear a mask while preparing your meal is probably a sign that a serious adventurous streak is needed to try this one. Make it to the end of this blazing-hot, chili-laden curry and you’ll be rewarded with a beer and a certificate with your name on it—and, of course, a tongue on fire.

inferno soup challenge, nitally's

Dare to try the inferno soup
Photo courtesy of Nitally’s

Test your spice tolerance in St. Petersburg, Florida

If at this stage you’ve found that soup isn’t a problem, and neither is spice, try them together at Nitally’s in St. Petersburg, Florida, where you can face The Inferno Soup Challenge. This devilish bowl of broth contains 12 fiery varieties of peppers from around the world, packing a serious eye-watering kick. Be warned, though: The restaurant is so confident you won’t be able to finish that they’re willing to pony up $100 to anyone who does. If you win, we suggest investing in an ice cool milkshake (or, for that matter, a dozen).


Photo courtesy of Kimberly Vardeman | Flickr Creative Commons

Eat 15 dozen oysters in New Orleans

Still hungry? This next challenge isn’t spicy, but it is rather indulgent—and perhaps the easiest-to-find on our list. The Fifteen Dozen Oyster Club Challenge is available at Acme Oyster Houses all over the south, including in New Orleans, Baton Rouge and Sandestin, Florida. Your mission, should you choose to accept, is to eat 180 oysters in under an hour. Your prize is a free shirt and a spot on the wall of fame. Good luck.

The Zellagabetsky sandwich Kenny & Ziggy’s

The Zellagabetsky
Photo courtesy of Kenny & Ziggy’s.

Scarf down an eight-decker sandwich in Houston

This challenge might be more tricky to pronounce than to complete.  The Zellagabetsky at Kenny & Ziggy’s New York Delicatessen is an eight-decker sandwich filled with corned beef, pastrami, turkey, roast beef, salami, tongue, Swiss cheese, coleslaw, Russian dressing and red sweet pepper. But that’s not all—if you manage to wolf down this epic sub, you’ll be rewarded with a portion of cheesecake.

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Tagged: Florida, New York

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Orbitz Travel Blog Editors

Orbitz Travel Blog Editors

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