SAUGUS — Burger lovers took on a big challenge for Fat Tuesday — a 3-pound burger challenge.
Meat eaters, burger enthusiasts, and those with a competitive side faced off at the Fuddruckers on Route 1, and in North Andover, Reading, and Methuen.
The contestants were tasked with demolishing a 3-pound burger patty and a 1-pound bun, a pound of fries on the side, and a bottomless soda in under an hour.
To put that in perspective, a large order of fries at Fuddruckers — and at McDonald’s — weighs about 150 grams, according to the fast food chain’s website. So, a pound of crinkle-cut fries is about three orders.
“The most popular size burger at the restaurant is a half-pound,” said David Thomson, a spokesman with Thomson Communications, the firm that represents the restaurant.
A 3-pound patty is six portions of the most common choice, he said.
“I compare it to eating a meatloaf,” said Thomson. “It’s huge.”
Participants who are able to finish the giant meal within an hour received a $25 gift certificate to Fuddruckers.
Jose Alvarado of Chelsea was the first contestant of the day, and, as of the time of The Item’s deadline, had the fastest time of the day. Alvarado, who cut his burger into four pieces, finished the massive meal in 38 minutes. He was trailed by Michael French of Lynn, who finished his last bite 40 minutes into the competition.
The competitive nature of the event brings out an array of burger-eating strategies. Some started with either the burger or the fries first. Others dunked the bun in water before slopping it down or used ketchup and mustard as a greasing agent to speed up the process.
More than 60 people pre-registered for the event between the four locations. A portion of every entry fee will be donated to the Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center Marathon Team.