Photos: Gena’s pancake challenge with Johnny DiLoretto on Fox 28

February 25, 2010

Tuesday, February 23 was National Pancake Day (at least, according to IHOP), and in honor of it I got to join Fox 28’s Johnny DiLoretto as we took the Gena’s Restaurant 3-pancake challenge. To complete the challenge, you need to eat three of their giant pancakes in one sitting. No time limit, but you obviously may not leave.

We met there early and got set up. Johnny, cameraman Adam, and myself all took the challenge. We were greeted by the owner Kim and some of her family, as well as a small crowd of regulars who heckled us the whole time.

Before we got started, Kim sent six pancakes to the Fox 28 crew back at the studio…

…which weighed in at almost 5.5 pounds.

We watched Kim make our pancakes.

One of the first segments featured Kim making our pancakes and talking about the challenge.

A couple stats about this monster flapjack challenge:
1. It’s been going for about 6 years (as long as Kim has owned the restaurant)
2. In those six years, many people have taken the challenge
3. Of all of those taking the challenge, only 14 people have finished it
4. All 14 of those people were male
5. Probably because women are smarter

What was I thinking?

Johnny, Adam, and I start in. We each have different tactics.

A few more regulars stopped in and gave us advice and a boatload of grief over our lack of progress. Different tactics suggested included: dunking the pancakes in water or in our coffee, rolling them up one at a time, eating one pancake at a time starting at the top of the stack, cutting into all three, drowning them in syrup, and even blending them (as if Kim would let us do that).

Adam’s clearly feeling it. By the end of the morning, he couldn’t even look at the pancakes. Whenever he had to show them on camera, he looked away from his viewfinder.

And the results! In third place: Mr. Johnny DiLoretto. He ate one full pancake by rolling it up like a burrito. Kim said he set the record for the fastest someone has eaten a single pancake.

In second place: yours truly. My tactic was to eat one full pancake off the top, and then begin hacking away at the other two from the side. I used a minimal amount of syrup; one onlooker said too much syrup would weigh it down unnecessarily. I finished a little shy of halfway through. I didn’t necessarily feel sick, but my bites got smaller and smaller as pancakes became less and less appetizing.

In first place: Adam the cameraman. He got just about halfway through before he just had to stop.

Overall, a great time! It’s always fun to be on the show with Johnny. Video will be coming soon.

If you think you can do better than us, then maybe, just maybe, you should set aside the morning of Saturday, April 10, 2010 in your calendar. Because there may be a group outing to Gena’s to take the challenge en masse…

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I go by Dr. Breakfast, but in addition to restaurants and recipes, I write about family travel, breweries and distilleries, the arts, outdoor fun, and so much more.

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