Photos: Midwood Smokehouse’s First Annual July Fourth Rib Eating Challenge

This past Fourth of July, I was invited to be a guest judge for Midwood Smokehouse’s First Annual Rib Eating Challenge benefiting Claire’s Army at their Central Avenue location. First off, Claire’s Army is a very wonderful charity that benefits families of kids with cancer. Here is their mission from the website:

Claire’s Army strives to act as God’s hands and feet by providing support for families fighting childhood cancer. Through an established network of resources we will support the families’ daily responsibilities, allowing them to put their time and focus on their child.

So yeah, definitely a worthy cause. I also learned at this event that FS Food Group (the company headed by restaurateur Frank Scibelli behind Midwood Smokehouse, Mama Ricotta’s, and Paco’s Tacos) supports Claire’s Army by donating (I believe) two meals per week for each family that Claire’s Army supports. Very cool. If you are interested in joining Claire’s Army and support that wonderful organization, that link again is here.

As for the challenge itself, each contestant had to eat a full rack of ribs, 10 ounce sides of mac and cheese, collards, and beans, and a half moon of watermelon within 30 minutes. The first to finish would win $1000 in gift cards to Midwood Smokehouse. Little did I know that the eventual winner, a man named Joe Mencetti who drove down from Connecticut specifically for this event, would finish in about 5 minutes destroying the rest of the competition. Brad from Unknown Brewing and another contestant seated beside Joe were not too far behind, but I’d say the rest of the 10 or so contestants were not even close.

Thanks again to Midwood Smokehouse for asking us to participate in a fun event for a great cause. I believe they aim to make this an annual event each July Fourth, and we hope to continue to be invited back to help out in any way we can.


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