Thursday, 03 May 2012 10:04
Feeling ready to celebrate Cinco de Mayo? Midtown hotspot 101 Cantina offers a five-pound, $25 El Cinco Loco burrito for free—plus a t-shirt and a $50 gift certificate—if you can finish all five pounds in less than an hour. Our “Subject P” did it. Twice.
Text and photos by Harry Leeds
To our knowledge, only two human beings in history have completed the El Cinco Loco Challenge at 101 Cantina. One of them is our very own Subject P. When Subject P claimed to have eaten the El Cinco Loco, a five-pound burrito, in less than an hour, “Our Correspondents” were flabbergasted and demanded to see this fantastic feat accomplished again.
Subject P agreed to attempt something that had never been done before: to eat the El Cinco Loco burrito again.
To build up an appetite, Subject P bicycled all the way out to Cedar Key and back in one day. This 120-mile trip took him about nine hours. He complained of a heavy headwind on the way back.
After arriving, Subject P put on some long pants and a sweatshirt. We sat down at 101 Cantina and put in the order for the El Cinco Loco burrito, pronto.
The El Cinco Loco is started with three 12-inch tortillas. These are covered with a pound of rice.
Then a pound of black beans are added.
Next, two pounds of pork, beef or chicken are added. Subject P chose chicken. This is then covered with lettuce.
To finish off the filling, a pound of cheese, lettuce, and pico de gallo are spread on.
It takes four hands to roll up this monster.
Finally, chef Ron pours on some queso, and tops it all off with hot sauce and hot peppers.
And so we have the final product, a beautiful burrito: The El Cinco Loco.
Subject P has an hour to eat all five pounds of this crazy burrito. If he fails, he’ll have to pay $25. But if he wins, the t-shirt, the gift certificate, and most importantly, the recognition and fame, are all his.
Quickly, Subject P makes a huge dent in this giant “snack.” By the 15-minute mark, Chef Ron notes that he had gotten further than most people get in an hour. Subject P comments on the delicious flavor and texture, and how he has yet to grow tired of it.
By the 25-minute mark, Subject P has already devoured two-thirds of his white whale. He claims, however, that he is starting to feel sick, and that he very much hates Our Correspondents right now. He swears he will take revenge on Our Correspondents, and if he does indeed need to upchuck, it will be all over Our Correspondents’ wool sweater.
The waitress brings along two free shots of tequila. Subject P eyes his free shot momentarily, but shakes his head. He had better not. Our Correspondents gladly drink both.
Subject P struggles. He attempts to sop up bits of burrito like finger food, as large, full, mouth-filling bites are no longer satisfying.
He claims he won’t be able to make it. But as the friendly staff comes around and makes faces of astonishment, pride, encouragement and terror, Subject P musters the energy to go for his last bite.
And so, he wipes his mouth triumphantly at a job well done. We are all proud of Subject P.
101 Cantina’s manager comes over to congratulate Subject P, and present him with his gift certificate and t-shirt. The staff comes around to say “hey,” too. It is not every day (or month) that the El Cinco Loco is defeated. And Subject P has done it twice.
Such an extreme food challenge is so rarely met and conquered that Our Correspondents and Subject P intend to celebrate afterward. But Subject P is very tired and goes almost immediately to sleep. Let’s hope he feels well in the morning!