eagles godzilla burger

amazing neuroscientistSo yesterday was Yom Kippur, the Jewish day of atonement. It’s essentially like doing all your confessions in one shot, once a year. Not a bad deal. One of the things your supposed to do is to fast until sundown. I decided to fast because I think it’s a good idea to do every once in awhile–makes you appreciate the fact that you are fortunate enough to live in a place where food is plentiful. Plus it reminds me of finals time during college, where I essentially lived on Krank2O and adrenaline.

Needless to say that when sunset time approached, I was STARVING. What better time, thought I, to take the Eagle’s Deli Godzilla Burger challenge. The travel channel has rated Eagle’s Deli as the #2 place in the US to pig out, and for good reason. Eagle’s deli, located in Cleveland Circle in Brighton, MA is home to some huge friggin’ burgers.

The Godzilla burger is 1lb of meat, 4 slices of cheese, and 1lb of fries. If you eat it all, then you gain immortal fame by getting your picture taken with a polaroid and put on the wall. This was my second shot at the Godzilla. My first attempt was in 1998, my senior year at Brookline High. I had gone with my friend John (offensive lineman on the football team, 6ft+, 270-something at the time). John put it away in no time, and I finished my burger soon after. We went to claim our picture, and the guy behind the counter noticed that I left over most of my fries. “Oh, that’s not going to do!” he said. “You need to finish your fries before you get your picture. And now you have to do a penance!” With that he took my plate, went to the deep fryer, pulled out the last crusty fries left at the bottom, and dumped them on my plate.

So with a heavy heart and an already full stomach, I set at the task of eating the fried crud on my plate. Fortunately, with a little help from the gods and by smuggling fries off my plate to John under the table in napkins, I was able to clear my plate and get my picture taken. But I was only a boy…

Flash forward to the present day. I am now a seasoned veteran, a wizened sage. I am also VERY hungry (and very atoned). My roommate Steve and I walk in to Eagles and order a Godzilla a piece–me without onions, him without tomatoes. I should note that the 1lb of beef, 4 slices of cheese, and 1lb of fries only costs $10. Anyhow, after about 15 minutes, the beast arrives:

eagle's godzilla burger

Above, you see the newly repentant warrior. Poised for battle. Thirsty for victory. Hungry for glory.

And so I dug in. I don’t know what possessed me that fateful day. But I ate like a warrior-poet–chants of Invictus and scenes from Braveheart running through my head.

15 short minutes later. It was all over. With the last scoop of fries into my mouth, I claimed my glory and flipped my plate upside down in triumph! The man at the counter said it was one of the fastest times he’d seen, and that the usual consumption time was about an hour.

That was my story. Steve’s story is less a tale of glory at arms, but more one of struggle and the eventual triumph of the human spirit.

When I finished my burger and flipped over the plate in victory, this is how we stood:

split time eagles godzilla

Steve (5″ and 30 lbs my superior) still had a good 3rd of a burger and 1/2 lb of fries to go. At this point in the game, Steve was a broken man. Full to the brim, and staring down a large mountain of food in front of him. But did he run? Did he cry? Did he give up and down a bottle of TUMS? No, I say! He battled on.

Everyone has a moment where they must make a choice. To fight or to flee, to persevere or to crumble to dust. Steve had such a moment, and I was fortunate enough to get it on video. It was about 10 minutes after I had finished and Steve hit a wall. And this is where he made his choice to be the master of his fate AND the captain of his soul.

Watch in awe as a man turns his life around:

After taking that bite, Steve struggled through another 5 harrowing minutes to finally finish the Godzilla and claim his victory. Steve, you became a man that day in front of my very eyes. I’m proud to be your roommate. You showed me that you ARE the best around, and nothin’s gonna ever bring you down.Here we stand in all of our post Godzilla glory:

final glory eagles burger

So all in all, it was a good day. A day of fasting and feasting, triumph and perserverance, pepto and TUMS. And I am all the better man because of it.

I should also note that Eagles has even larger burger options, going up to 5lbs of burger and 4lbs of fries, which is named after the Boston College Heavyweight Crew member who ate that much. If you can beat that, you can have a burger named after you :)

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