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Student masters the 5-pound burger challenge at pizzeria

By Michael Izquierdo

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    RACINE, Wisconsin (The Journal Times) — “If you don’t beat the record time, you have to pay full price,” said Malik Otallah, an employee at Chubbie’s Pizzeria, said of restaurant’s 5-pound burger challenge. “But if you do, the meal is free of charge.”

That one statement is guaranteed to get any college student off their feet to secure a free meal.

And that’s exactly what Jake Lampe, a 20-year-old student at Carthage College, accomplished one recent Friday night.

Chubbie’s Pizzeria, 619 High St., has a long-standing tradition where customers can come in and challenge themselves to eating a 5-pound burger in record time.

The burger costs $34.99 and includes 15 slices of American cheese, five one-pound American beef patties and is served on American hamburger buns.

Lampe took the challenge on June 4 and mastered it, finishing in record time — 19 minutes, 54 seconds.

“I walked in and was thinking maybe I’ll do it, or maybe I won’t,” said Lampe. “I really didn’t know what to expect, but I was amazed at my own ability.”

The college student said he’s competed in previous food challenges, mentioning the Red Men’s challenge at Frank’s Diner in Kenosha.

That challenge consists of hash brown potatoes, five meats, five cheeses, five veggies, five eggs, two pieces of their handmade toast, and to top it all off, three enormous, homemade pancakes. This meal has to be consumed in “45 minutes. No breaks. Clean plates,” according to their website.

“I’ve always seen those Man vs. Food TV shows and watched other people do (food-eating) challenges,” said Lampe. “I’ve always wanted to get into it.”

And he did just that.

Shortly after, when a friend told him about the Chubbie’s Pizzeria burger challenge, he knew he had to test himself in another food-eating contest.

The key to Lampe’s success, he said with a laugh, was “to take one patty at a time and lots of ketchup.”

Lampe was the only person in more than six years to master the Chubbie’s 5-pound burger challenge. The old record was set on Feb. 22, 2015 with a time of 26 minutes. Before that, the record was 27 minutes set by a customer on Dec. 27, 2010.

“No one has attempted to break the record since Jake,” said Otallah. “But, there have been people who have been asking about it and saying they’ll break it.”

For now, Lampe has his eyes set on obtaining a physical therapy degree at Carthage. However, he’s open to more food-eating challenges in the future.

“I’m going to look around the area and try to conquer more,” said Lampe. “But good luck trying to beat my record.”

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