Monday, September 28, 2009

Krystal Square Off--2009

This picture pretty much sums up my shock of what went down on Sunday at the Krystal Square Off. Kobayashi is back, yall.

This year, our journey to Chattanooga started bright and early on Saturday morning. We fueled our bodies with food from the ever-delicious Bojangles; eating enough to hold us until we made it to Chattanooga. The ride started out pretty pleasantly until we got to Knoxville, then it started raining. Like a lot. We had to make a pit-stop right outside of Chattanooga to buy a raincoat for fear that this rain trend would last all weekend. We also hit up our first Krystal during this stop, excited to try some new products (well, new to us at least): the Crispy Onion Krystal and Sweet Bites. Oh.My.God. The sweet bites were out of this world delicious. Honestly, how can you go wrong with fried dough? The Crispy Onion was great too--a nice additional taste and texture to an already delicious little burger. Dark storm clouds still surrounding us, we decided just to suck it up and drive and hopefully check in to the hotel early. After almost getting the car stuck in a flooded Chattanooga street, almost running about five stop signs, and almost ruining the transmission of my car, we made it to our destination and could (luckily) check in early.

We thought we would just relax in the room and maybe take a nap, but we were anxious to get out and about in Chattanooga. Even though it was raining, we still wanted to make the most of our trip. We decided against going to Rock City, frankly because we didn't want to pay money to be miserable walking around in the rain. Instead, we hopped on the bus and rode to the NorthShore District. At the time we didn't realize this but we were riding the bus with some of Kobayashi's entourage, sans Kobayashi. Anyway, the rain let up a little and we were able to walk around to some shops at the NorthShore. Getting hungry again, we decided to try out Clumpies for ice cream. Clumpies was really cool--they microbatch their ice cream so it is of a good (and deliciously creamy) quality and use more butterfat than most ice creams. I sampled the Animal Cracker flavor, but something about blue ice cream freaks me out. We ended up opting for scoops of Butterfinger and Espresso Chocolate Chunk--both were great!

After our adventure to the NorthShore, we went back to our luxury accommodations (aka the Days Inn) to relax before the real fun was to begin. Around 6:00, we made our way across the street to the Sheraton Read House as we were invited by none other than Kenny Hammontree of Krystal himself to pick up our Krystal Counter shirts/attend the pre-KSO reception. This was really cool because we were among the first to see the new jerseys for the contest (a baseball style shirt) and really see what goes down the night before a big contest. After all of the rules were discussed, everyone was invited to go on the annual 'night before Square Off' trip to Krystal. We tagged along and gorged ourselves on Milkquakes, cheese Krystals, and even more Sweet Bites. I hate that I did not get any pictures of this event, but it was very interesting to see that although many eaters claim they don't eat the night before a contest, the majority couldn't pass up a few bites of food or sips of Milkquakes. I might be mistaken but I believe I saw Sonya Thomas eat three Big Angus burgers.

The morning of the contest, we once again had our traditional City Cafe chocolate chip pancake breakfast-this time omitting the whipped cream. As usual, it did not disappoint. We met up with Valerie at Greyfriar's and caught up with her over an iced mocha. This girl has some dedication. After working all evening in Chicago, Valerie left in the middle of the night again this year to make the ten hour drive to Chattanooga only to turn around and go back later that afternoon. Making our way down to the river front, it was time to begin our bunnette duties for the 2009 Krystal Square Off. Being assigned count for Eater X (Sadie) and Tim 'Gravy' Brown (Jamie), we were excited for the day to begin.

After meeting the other girls, though, we realized we missed an important memo. We weren't blonde. Every single Krystal Counter (except for one) had long blonde hair. At least that made us easier to spot on the TV broadcast! Even though we weren't in the blond-tourage, we still did our bunnette/counter duties with smiles on our faces--passing out thundersticks, cheering for the sackful challenge, shaking our pompoms on stage--we were regular-old-fashioned cheerleaders.

The stage entrance was interesting this year; if you couldn't see it on the live broadcast the eaters were raised on a lift to come up from the ground to the stage--nice touch, Krystal! The contest was about to begin and we were ready to start counting burgers for X and Gravy. During the contest, we pretty much zoned out on everything except for the judges so we would be sure to get the right points on our counter cards. You could tell even from behind the eaters that things were getting tense in the middle of the stage. At the countdown from 10, people were yelling and screaming for Kobayashi in the audience. The next thing I knew, Kobayashi was slamming his fists on the table, water was flying in the air, and a shocked look was on many faces (...including my own). Kobayashi freaking won! Not only did he win the Krystal Square Off, he dominated it. Eating 93 Krystal/Big Angus points, Takeru Kobayashi is now the new Krystal Champion. This was the first contest we had ever been to where Kobayashi took first place, so that was pretty darn exciting. Coincidentally, it was also the first contest we have ever been to that Joey Chestnut didn't win. I guess you could say we were good luck for him...until now.

The rest of the results are as follows:
Kobayashi 93
Joey Chestnut 81
Pat B. 76
Humble Bob 71
Sonya Thomas 65
Hall Hunt 60
Eater X 59
Erik The Red 58
Gravy Brown 52
Buffalo Jim 50
Badlands Booker 47
12th Man 8
...yeah, our predictions were pretty off.

After watching the re-play of the broadcast back into the hotel room, it was insane to watch how it all actually went down. Kobayashi inhaled those burgers. He didn't even look like he was chewing. He went on that stage with his new hairdo and ripped abs and literally made those burgers his bitch. I have a feeling things are going to be interesting over the next few months in regards to rankings and wins. God I already can't wait for the showdown at Nathan's!

We made the smart decision to spend Sunday night in Chattanooga as opposed to previous years of driving back home immediately after the contest, getting home in the middle of the night. Since we had some extra time in town, we made our way to the Bluff View Arts District of Chattanooga. Finding ourselves hungry again, we found Tony's Pasta Shop and Trattoria. This was a neat little restaurant with inside and outside seating. They had a nice variety of pastas, the prices were decent, the portions were just right, and the food was really good.

Meeting up with a few of the eaters later, the rest of the night was filled with some very interesting moments--from encountering a shady guy with a dog, witnessing beer chugging challenges, the resurgence of a germ-filled breathalyzer, shutting down two restaurants, roaming the deserted Sunday night Chattanooga streets, and eating mediocre biscuits & gravy with new friends, I'd have to say overall, it was a very fun night.

750-something miles, only a few hours of sleep, many hamburgers, sweetbites, and beers later, we are back in the great state of North Carolina--back to the old grind of work and school. It was an awesome trip, I only wish we had taken more pictures! The pictures we did take can be found here. Once again, we can't wait till next year. The Krystal Square Off just gets better every year!



CarrieSoVery613 said...

Man I am really tore up about not going this time :( I'm going to have to make it work for next year :)

beautifulbrian said...

Ran 5 stop signs??? Wow. When i was in Nashville last month they arrested me for not moving over to the right lane on 1-40 which led them to find out i was driving with a suspended license. I had no idea but i paid dearly. You gals are lucky with a capital L . Glad you had a good time. Hope you got to bring home some delicious Krystals

HungrySisters said...

haha yeah... it was pouring and we were going through some crazy back-streets in Chattanooga not realizing they were all 4 way stop signs.
Didn't bring home any Krystals this time but we sure had our fair share while we were there!