Thursday, September 10, 2009

Pho Garden, San Francisco - Man vs. Pho: An Actual Survivor of the World's Largest Bowl of Pho

Man vs. Pho
Today, I received an email from a reader by the initials of HB. She had read my posting on Pho Garden up in San Francisco, the proud host of the pho challenge. If you can eat this mammoth bowl of pho, your $22 bowl of pho is FREE. I did not realize just how big this bowl of pho was until HB emailed me these photos. Just look at it. Do the servers need a weightlifting belt just to haul this to the table? I think I see the hooves and horns of the cow in that bowl as well. Worth it?! Not in my opinion. But for an eating-challenger like this gentleman, it's worth the bragging rights and a well-deserved virtual high-five from me. Here's what HB wrote:

"I was witness to my boyfriend Brian completing the Pho Garden challenge last weekend. I originally saw your post with Pho Garden pics and of course had to send him the link since we are pho freaks and he recently discovered the world of eating challenges. He emailed the photos around and issued a challenge to his friends. 2 months later 3 challengers sat down to the huge bowls of boiling pho. Holy cow you should have seen the mixed emotions these guys went through in the span of 60 minutes while eating- fear, happiness, relief, denial, nausea, disgust. My boyfriend Brian was the only one to finish in 47 minutes and I have to admit that I've never been so proud! haha! So thanks for the idea and now this triumph will live on forever for us. Oh yeah, I wanted to mention that Brian said that initially he thought the pho was good, but that he seemed to be slowly blacking out while he ate and cannot remember the taste of a single piece of meat even though he ate 2 pounds. Pretty funny, right? Has this ever happened to you?"

Fear, happiness, relief, denial, nausea, disgust? Talk about an emotional meal. And no I have never had a euphoric, near-death experience from eating. Well maybe the f'd up shrimp I ate in Brazil that pained me for 3 days and earned me a 60-minute morphine ride at the hospital.

If you look carefully, the bottom of the bowl says "You did it!!!" Good thing it didn't say something like...

"Congrats, this was just the appetizer."
"Good job, the hospital is a few blocks down."

Thanks again to HB for the email and congrats to Brian.

22 comments:

weezermonkey said...

I am terrified by that bowl.

Sean said...

You didn't get a free t-shirt or some type of memorabilia? What the hell?!

A brave and daring challenge. I'm glad to hear that the side effects were minimal and that you're healthy to still write.

e d b m said...

Weezer, I am totally with you. It's like it should be served at the Ripley's Believe It or Not museum cafe. Oh by the way, J & I ate at Michael Mina in Las Vegas, and I really enjoyed the meal. We thought of MM after we saw your birthday posting.

Sean, not me, the guy in the photo did it! I wouldn't be smiling if I had to face the Mt. Everest of pho.

One Food Guy said...

Bad shrimp, morphine, Brazilian healthcare? WHAT?!

Oh yeah, that's some bowl of pho.

ASSHOLE BOYFRIEND said...

...afterwards he jumped in the bowl and floated down the river and was never seen again.

Michael said...

What da pho!

I can't believe someone ate that bathtub of pho. Awesome!

Pandalicious said...

he's brave to take on that challenge.

liz said...

That was huge bowl. We have seen some big ones here in oz but not that big. We have your link on our site, check out some of our pho write ups. If you like our site add us in.

KirkK said...

Egads..... the first thing that came to mind was, "I hope they don't use MSG"!!! ;o)

Cookie said...

All I have to say is WOW! I mean, me and my fiance love watching Man vs Food but you're living the dream! Congrats!

e d b m said...

Pandalicious, I'd give him a purple heart of courage and pink tablets of pepto.

Liz, thanks for stopping by.

KirkK! you know very well there is MSG in there. how thirsty must you be after this???

Cookie, i didn't do this!

The Guilty Carnivore said...

Gluttony is so passe. Show me the person who can just eat a single bean sprout from the garnish platter and I'll show you a true warrior.

Exile Kiss said...

Hi e d b m,

Wow, that really looks scary. (O_o) It sorta reminds me of the time a friend of mine attempted to take on Shin Sen Gumi's 7 Bowls of Ramen Challenge (in the early days of the restaurant). He made it to 5.5 Bowls before nearly blacking out.

(Sorry to hear about your Shrimp encounter in Brazil!)

e d b m said...

ExileK, oh yeah i forgot that SSG used to offer bowl challenges haha. I can only order one side order of noodles and i'm good. shrimp encounter sucked!

e d b m said...

Guilty, haha that is so true. I can't get my hands off that plate of bean sprouts. They are like Vietnamese chips n' salsa to me, can't resist eating them.

burumun said...

Man, I feel full just looking at the photos ...

joanh said...

OMG. i think i have to twitter this post.. it's just craziness.

Eddie Lin said...

In days past, I would've stepped to this challenge. Now I just sit and marvel at today's youth and their phatness.

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Hungry Grace said...

That's hilarious! HB was my floormate and good friend in college at Santa Cruz and I had noticed her pictures on facebook awhile ago. What a small world!

Holly, if you're reading this: HELLO~!!! I can't believe we frequent the same food blogs. :-)

ca'roline said...

hi, i'm wondering do you have the slightest idea where i can buy one of those hugeeeeeee bowls? they're so awesome & wow they should give you that bowl for free if you finish the bowl of pho :)-but yeah if you have any idea, can you please let me know? THANK YOU SO MUCH :D

eMan said...

I hope he gets to keep the bowl

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