I took on the mammoth Beasty Burger challenge at Sarah's Restaurant in Washington, and this is what I'll do differently next time

Only two people have ever previously completed the Beasty Burger food challenge.

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"You did better than most and half-way through I told my son that I thought you were going to do it".

Kind words of consolation, but alas I had failed in my quest to take on the infamous Beasty Burger challenge at Sarah's Restaurant in Fatfield, Washington. 

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While no shame in failing to achieve what only two people had done before, I had definitely misjudged the pace of the 20 minute challenge with the reward of enjoying the monster-size meal for free.

Reporter Neil Fatkin with the Beasty Burger challenge.Reporter Neil Fatkin with the Beasty Burger challenge.
Reporter Neil Fatkin with the Beasty Burger challenge.

In running terms, it was very much a marathon, not a sprint, and after devouring the tower block high burger I had unequivocally hit a wall.

Located next to North Biddick Club, Sarah’s Restaurant has become renowned for delicious home cooked food but is now equally famous across the town for her mega food challenges.

I first became aware of the Beasty Burger, Mega Mixed Grill and Chip Shop challenges when enjoying one of Sarah’s delicious Sunday dinners last spring.

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While the several pints I had consumed beforehand undoubtedly inflated my confidence in my own digestive capabilities, I’ve always enjoyed my food and it was a challenge I decided there and then that I would one day take on.

While January for most people is a time of looking to get fit and shed those festive pounds, for some strange reason I decided now was the time to indulge and take on the challenge.

A quick call to speak with the lady herself and it was decided; I would take on the Beasty Burger challenge consisting of two large beef burgers with cheese, two chicken breast burgers, two sausages, two eggs, two rashers of bacon and two hash browns. The giant size burger comes accompanied with a mini mountain sized portion of hand cut chips, a foothill of onion rings and to ensure you get your five-a day, a fresh side salad and coleslaw.

The Beasty Burger challenge.The Beasty Burger challenge.
The Beasty Burger challenge.

As with any challenge, the key I thought lay in the preparation, and as I cycled the streets in the days leading up to the indulgent feast - to burn off the thousands of calories I was about to consume - the advice of my old lecturer on my teacher training course kept returning to my mind - “fail to prepare, prepare to fail”.

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Sticking to that mantra, I enjoyed a light pre challenge evening meal and then starved myself the following day, consuming only water before meeting my dinner date with destiny and the infamous Beasty Burger.

With pre challenge nerves building, I arrived at Sarah’s and tentatively made my way to my challenge seat in her restaurant.

“Are you confident?” Sarah said, as she came out to greet me. 

“Only two people have completed this challenge. One was a professional eater, for his YouTube channel, and the other was a 15-year-old boy. But he couldn’t keep it all down and his five uncles all failed,” she added

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Confidence already waning, this did nothing to reassure me of my chances of success.

I was beginning to think I had certainly bitten off more than I could chew.

My strategy was to pace myself, not to go off too fast, and to leave my chips until the end, not wanting to fill myself up too quickly before tackling the Beasty Burger itself.

However, this strategy was shattered when Sarah said: “You just have to eat as quickly as you can, you don’t really have time to chew - just swallow.

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“You’re best having a mixture of water and fizzy pop to wash it down. The fizzy pop helps to get rid of any gas build-up.”

And with that, Sarah retired to the kitchen to finish preparing the family feast which I was about to tackle solo.

Sarah preparing the Beasty Burger in her kitchen.Sarah preparing the Beasty Burger in her kitchen.
Sarah preparing the Beasty Burger in her kitchen.

Phone switched off - when time is of the essence it’s important to eliminate distractions - a pile of napkins to help with any mess, and the essential pint of water - I decided against the fizzy pop - I was ready to meet my maker, or in this case a gigantic burger.

The smells wafting from the kitchen certainly got my taste buds going; after all it was almost 20 hours since I last ate.

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And then the moment arrived as Sarah emerged from the kitchen with the mammoth burger bursting at the seams and held together by a machete sized knife.

As it was placed down before me it was a daunting prospect and undoubtedly the largest amount of food I’d ever seen on one plate. Surely one person wasn't meant to consume all this?

Stopwatch at the ready I was primed to go as the call of on your marks, get ready, set, go reverberated around the quaint little restaurant.

Straight in for the burger I decided to go for breakfast first, consuming the eggs, sausages and hash browns within the first two minutes. What I hadn’t factored in was the freshly cooked food was piping hot, and so my strategy was to swallow the food without giving it time to burn my mouth.

Reporter Neil Fatkin makes a start with the sausages and eggs.Reporter Neil Fatkin makes a start with the sausages and eggs.
Reporter Neil Fatkin makes a start with the sausages and eggs.
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Having not eaten for nearly a full day, in my mind I compartmentalised the giant dish into three square meals and next in line was lunch, which working my way down the tower was the two chicken breast burgers.

There was no time to bother myself with cutlery and so using my hands I shovelled the breadcrumb coated burgers down.

They say the way to a man’s mind is through his stomach and my rapidly filling stomach was telling me it was time to change strategy.

Leaving the daunting pile of chips until the end was risky in terms of time and leaving myself too much to do. 

Getting stuck into the double cheese and bacon burger.Getting stuck into the double cheese and bacon burger.
Getting stuck into the double cheese and bacon burger.
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I quickly grabbed a handful and wolfed them down. How am I doing for time? I cried out. Eight minutes was the reply. I was more than half-way through my meal with more than half the time left. Things were looking good. 

I glanced across at a worried looking Sarah and I began to think maybe I can do this. 

A gulp of water and another handful of chips and it was time to tackle the double cheese and bacon burger, which judging by the size of these slabs of beef alone it would probably have been the biggest burger I had ever consumed.

Food challenge or not, I decided to add some ketchup - something any burger needs.

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Ten minutes gone I opened my mouth to its full extension, biting down and gorging on the burger. As I pulled the bun away, I was therefore left a little disappointed by the tiny indentation I appeared to have made. This was no ordinary burger.

Starting to struggle.Starting to struggle.
Starting to struggle.

A few bites later and I’m sure this cow in a bun was somehow re-growing. Time for some water I thought and to loosen a notch on my belt.

Another handful of chips followed before another chin extending chomp on the burger. It was at this point, for the first time, my stomach began to really question what I was doing.

Filling with food and gas I let out a belch and went in for more.

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Three bites and a handful of chips later and my stomach went from questioning to downright refusing. I was simply running out of room.

Like any marathon runner will tell you, in my race to beat the burger I had hit the wall. Maybe I had gone off too quickly, but after a rapid start my pace had slowed to a crawl. I hadn’t even finished the double beef burger I started five minutes ago.

Sweating, nose running, my body was rejecting what I was now consuming to the point I couldn’t even taste what I was putting in my mouth. I could feel an upwelling within my stomach which can often only end one way.


Sarah's Restaurant in Washington hosts a number of food challenges.Sarah's Restaurant in Washington hosts a number of food challenges.
Sarah's Restaurant in Washington hosts a number of food challenges.

I was beginning to realise my challenge was nearly done but I was determined not to leave anything of the Beasty Burger.

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A couple of bites later and it was gone. How long is gone I called? 16 minutes was the reply.

And with that I knew I was done.

It was time to listen to my body. I might have been able to consume a little more of what remained on the plate but it would have been inevitably followed by it making an unwelcome reappearance. 

I had beaten the burger but the challenge as a whole had beaten me. 

I had given it my best shot.

Maybe next time I will go for the fizzy drink and take on the Mega Mixed Grill.

 Sarah's Place

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Sarah Chruchill, from Washington fulfilled her dream of running her own restaurant when she opened Sarah's in August 2022.

She worked in pub kitchens for ten years before purchasing a catering van which she operated from for a year before the opportunity to open her own restaurant came along.

Sarah Churchill with her son Alex and one of her Beasty Burger challenges.Sarah Churchill with her son Alex and one of her Beasty Burger challenges.
Sarah Churchill with her son Alex and one of her Beasty Burger challenges.

Sarah, 41, said: "There was a restaurant here previously and I saw an advert to take over the lease and thought why not just go for it.

"The business has been going really well. Sunday dinners are always popular and we get a lot of trade from the club as well."

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After opening, Sarah decided to launch the food challenges including the Beasty Burger, Mega Mixed Grill and Chip Shop challenge.

Sarah, 41, said: "I was inspired to set up the challenges to promote the business after watching professional eater Leah Shutkever taking on a range of eating challenges on her TikTok and YouTube channels.

"The challenges worked. We had professional eater, Kyle versus Food, who came in to do the challenge and after that we got a lot of people getting in touch and wanting to take on the challenges."

Sarah's Restaurant in Fatfield, Washington.Sarah's Restaurant in Fatfield, Washington.
Sarah's Restaurant in Fatfield, Washington.

With successful consumption meaning people get their meal for free, how did Sarah manage to gauge the correct level of food?

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She said: "I had some friends who came round to test how doable it is. I have a friend, he just inhales food when he eats. He gave it a good go and got pretty close, and so I thought well if he can't do it there's not going to be many people can."

However it's not just the food challenges which attract people to Sarah's Place. Sarah cooks all the food herself and dishes include traditional homemade classics such as fish and chips, Cumberland sausage Sunday roasts and lasagne.

She also hosts a number of meal deal nights including a Grill Night every Thursday where people can enjoy two steak meals or mixed grills and bottle of wine for £30 per couple.

On Wednesdays Sarah hosts her burger night with a range of delicious burgers with chunky chips, salad and a pint for just £10.95.

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With Spring just around the corner, Sarah is going to be launching her new menu which will also include some new eating challenges.

She said: "My plan is to have a different eating challenge for each month."

You can find out more about Sarah's Place and the deals on offer on her Facebook page.

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