Cafe Society

Virgilio's ups the "Hugilio" pizza challenge $1,000

Apparently a crisp Ben Franklin, a bottle of wine and your mug shot on the wall of fame wasn't quite enough incentive for the would-be food warriors that Virgilio Urbano, the master dough flipper of Virgilio's Pizzeria, had hoped would try and tackle the 11-pound, 28-inch pizza-eating challenge that he added to his menu last week. "After talking to my customers, and asking for feedback, it was pretty apparent that eating a pizza that weighs 11 pounds seemed very difficult, so we upped the ante for the big one and added a couple of other contest pizzas, including a seven- and a five-pounder," explains Urbano. "We don't want to make it impossible for people."

The "Hugilio," which is now the official name of the 11-pound pie (so named by Joel, a reader), is still crowned with six toppings, including pepperoni and sausage, but Urbano has substantially sweetened the pizza pot, at least for one lucky sucker, who will bank $1,000 if they can down the dough in two hours or less without a potty break. "I want someone to succeed, so yeah, I'm giving the first person to eat it a thousand dollars, plus they get the pizza for free, the wine and their picture on the wall," says Urbano.

If you can't stomach the thought of stuffing your gut with 11 pounds of 'za, you can try inhaling the "Hugilio No. 2," topped with pepperoni and weighing a mere seven pounds. Success guarantees you $100, plus all the other stuff. And, finally, there's the runt of the litter, the "Hugilio No. 3," a five-pound margarita pizza topped with homemade mozzarella, garlic, fresh tomato, basil leaves and extra virgin olive oil, Eat it in the two-hour time frame, and you'll pocket $25. The other prizes are included, too.

Before embarking on any of these challenges, you might want to check out the eating tips (how not to puke, for example) on the International Federation of Competitive Eating website.