When you think of eating competitions, you may think of the classic Fourth of July hot dog contest. To that, we say: In the middle of bathing suit season? You’ve already stretched out the stomach over the holidays—embrace the challenge. These 6 Charlotte eateries offer rock-star status year-round.

(1) The Quadricycle. Kickstand’s challenge brings two of our favorite things together: meat and grilled cheese sandwiches. Four patties (beef, turkey, veggie and meatloaf), four types of cheese, bacon and other toppings and—oh yeah—a grilled cheese sandwich in the middle. Plus two orders of tater tots. Finish in fewer than 30 mins and it’s free. Opportunity alert: You could be the inaugural winner! $35.

(2) Chuy’s Big As Yo’ Face Burrito Eating Challenge. One sitting, two Big As Yo’ Face Burritos, including rice and beans. Clean both plates, you get a T-shirt and a gift card for a third Big As  Yo’ Face Burrito (hope there’s a lengthy expiration date on that). $8.59-$10.69 per plate depending on burrito filling choice.
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(3) Mac’s Fatboy Burger Challenge. A 5.5 pound challenge: huge burger with toppings, fries, onion rings and mac-and-cheese, all in under an hour. One more thing: wash it all down with a required liter of soda (or beer). Free meal, T-shirt, and wall of fame inclusion upon success. Rated a respectable 3 stars of difficulty (out of 5) by www.foodchallenges.com. You should really try hard for this one – $50 if you don’t succeed.

(4) Plaza Midwood Challenge. Go retro at The Diamond: two pounds of cold cuts on a bun with a pile of fries, plus a side of coleslaw. You might actually wish you had more coleslaw just to get that dry meat down. Gulp. Free Diamond T-shirt is the prize (caveat: meal not free). $15.95.

the struggle is jumbo sized. #midwoodchallenge

A photo posted by Spencer Poston (@mrspeaux) on

Seconds before the sandwich shamed my boy. #midwoodchallenge #fail #murica A photo posted by Jeremy DeCarlos (@theogdirtylungs) on

(5) The 5 lb. Burrito Challenge at Maverick Rock Taco. Eat the whole thing in 30 mins or less, and you get your burrito free, plus a Maverick T-shirt and your picture on the wall of fame. Not everyone is cut out for the challenge – as one server noted, “A few weeks ago somebody lost with 2 inches of burrito left. 15 minutes in he only had a couple inches left, but he hit the wall. Started pouring sweat and begging me to take the plate.” Ouch. $25.

Winning the burrito challenge on Cinco de Mayo! @maverickrocktaco #1yearmaverick

A photo posted by Philip Sanford (@prsanford) on

(6) Kennedy’s Garbage Plate Challenge. The name says it all. Four 6-ounce patties, a pound of French fries or tots, a pound of macaroni salad with meat sauce, and four slices of French bread. Finish it in 45 minutes and it’s free, plus a photo on the hall of fame wall. GM Matthew Ring says the last to conquer it did it with 28 minutes to spare. Game on. $35.

Honorable Mention:

Hap’s Grill in Salisbury, NC. This locally beloved burger-and-dog spot is an hour north of Charlotte, but worth the trip. Our favorite quirk? There’s no fixed challenge. To get your name engraved on a wall of fame plaque, you have to get “sized up” by the owner and complete your own personal challenge. Pretty progressive for a business that’s literally a hole in the wall.

What’d we miss? Send us your favorite challenges – and pictures of pride – and we just might show them off. Tweet us @charlotte_five, tag us on Insta at @cltfive, or email us at ted(at)charlottefive.com.

Photos: courtesy of Chuy’s

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