News » Strokes & Plugs

Burger mania!

Eat a burger and win big



- BEHEMOTH :  Brian England offers some useful tips for anyone attempting to triumph in Sylvester’s annual burger eating competition. -  - PHOTO BY STEVE E. MILLER
  • BEHEMOTH : Brian England offers some useful tips for anyone attempting to triumph in Sylvester’s annual burger eating competition.

Sylvester’s, home of the 5-pound burger dubbed the “Big One,” is holding its annual burger-eating competition on May 29 at its Los Osos establishment. Contestants will square off against one another in the ultimate man vs. food challenge, attempting to gobble down the beefy behemoth as fast as they can in pursuit of $1,000 in cash. Sylvester’s is currently holding qualifying trials at both of its locations, and will continue to do so through May 28. The two fastest eaters at both locations will be selected to compete in the final challenge against the all-time record holder, Pat Behr of Creston.

Sylvester’s owner Brian England has seen his fair share of people attempt to eat the “Big One;” he offered some insight into what it takes to take it down.

“If you power through and don’t stop, you can finish it, but if I see someone pause and take a breath, sip on their soda, smack talk to their friends or whatever, I know they aren’t gonna make it.”

The burger, which represents the epitome of eating achievement for some, and the subject of intestinal distress for others, consists of 2 1/2 pounds of USDA beef, topped with Sylvester’s Sauce, and loaded with various customizable toppings. It’s basically a “pick your poison” situation, considering that if contestants opt for “Desperado” style, they’re looking at a burger boasting about 12 pieces of bacon. Is your mind blown yet? Consider the “Cali” option, which has two whole avocados stuffed inside. Either way, these contestants are in for an epic digestive journey.

You might imagine that people with more wrinkles on their face and inches on their waistlines would have a clear-cut advantage over younger, thinner contestants, but according to England, that isn’t always the case.

“A lot of people that have successfully eaten the burger are athletes, runners, people who work out a lot and their body actually needed the calories,” he said.

As much as an individual’s body chemistry plays a role in the challenge, one can’t achieve such a supreme feat without proper training and a voracious appetite. According to England, “You need to train, eat three pounds of salad, do a good workout, go for a run, whatever you can do to stretch out your stomach and help your appetite.”

All-time champion Behr is a former all-American wrestler and football player who attended Morro Bay High School. He currently holds the record with a burger-consumption time of 5 minutes, 11 seconds.

The contest will take place on May 29 at 4 p.m. at Sylvester’s at 1099 Santa Ynez Ave. in Los Osos. To try out, simply head down to your nearest Sylvester’s—either the Atascadero (6455 El Camino Real) or Los Osos location—and tell them you want the “Big One.” For more information, check out or call 528-0779.

Fast facts

Wondering what to do with those jars of used cooking oil? The American Biodiesel Buyers’ Club will take them off your hands during a June 4 collection drive to be held from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Morin Brothers Automotive, 4090 Broad St. in SLO. The club is asking for all the used vegetable oil it can get so members can recycle the messy gunk into a sustainable, safe, and efficient fuel. Members of the club will be on site to answer questions and raise awareness about this often-misunderstood energy source. …

The 37th annual Antique Gasoline Engine Show will take place at Ocean Avenue and D Street in Cayucos from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on May 28 and 29. Dozens of antique gas and steam-driven engines will be on display from throughout the Central Coast. See them grinding corn, pumping water, sawing logs, and animating various moving figures. Members of the Early Day Gasoline Engine and Tractor Association will be on hand to discuss the history and use of the old machines. For more information, call Ben Ostini at 423-4865.

Intern Jack Johnson compiled this week’s Strokes & Plugs. Send your business news to [email protected].

Add a comment