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The Pub presents: The Larry Allen Challenge

Food for thought

Published: Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Updated: Tuesday, December 6, 2011 20:12

Let me set the scene, STAR readers.

The room is dark, ominous music starts low and slow, growing in intensity as a light fades in on mountain of meat, cheese and bread.

Then, the spotlight reaches full intensity as the music enters its full crescendo. Tomatoes, onions and lettuce are now visible, and the meats can be distinguished as ham, turkey and salami draped in a half dozen kinds of cheese.

In this corner, weighing in at over four pounds of food, the Meaty Monstrosity, the Bread Bonanza, the Sultan of Sandwiches: the Larry Allen Challenge.

Dun dun dun.

And in this corner, weighing in at more than his doctor says he should, your favorite food critic and staff writer for the STAR: me.

The things I'll do for you people.

Lets just say that it was a short fight before I was sent home for some Pepto with a very large bag of leftovers. The Larry Allen claims another victim.

While I went into this ordeal with no aspirations or expectations of victory—let's face it, I prefer quality over quantity—a small part of me was having delusions of grandeur as I walked to the Pub. They were quashed the moment the Larry Allen was set before me.

Named for Dallas Cowboys' football star and SSU alumnus Larry Christopher Allen Sr., the Larry Allen Challenge is a titanic feat of gastronomic will worthy of its namesake. Allen played 12 seasons with the Dallas Cowboys and two with the San Francisco 49ers, earning his Super Bowl ring with the Cowboys in their defeat of the Pittsburg Steelers at Super Bowl XXX.

Why did I do such a stupid thing as to try this challenge you may ask? Mostly because I thought that it would be an interesting story, but I also thought that the t-shirt would be cool.

Defeating the $18 Larry Allen Challenge within the one hour time limit will get you the entire meal for free, as well as a free T-shirt prize and the bragging rights of being completely inhuman for having the four stomachs needed to contain this sub that I am fairly certain has a mass equivalent to an actually submarine.

Our friends at the Pub are pretty strict about this challenge, with a representative from dining services wishing me luck, to a lovely Pub employee named Victoria sitting with me while I ate to make sure I did not cheat. I am sorry that you had to sit through that, by the way.

Now, writing this review, I look bag on the one hour-long slugfest and think, what did me in? How was a gastrointestinal daredevil like myself bested by mere sandwich? The answer, my friends, is in the flavor of the ingredients. A massive stack of deli style turkey and ham that makes up the core of the Larry Allen, while normally a great way to base any sandwich, was simply too large and too salty to continue eating. The flavor of the salty meat just became too much to swallow by the end of my first mini sandwich and, not wanting to make a mess on the table, I called it quits before things got ugly.

So, the Larry Allen remains undefeated. Do you think that you have what it takes? If so, I can only wish you the best of luck, brave traveler. You will need it.

The Pub is located on campus at Sonoma State University, on the second floor of the Student Union, and is open from 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday through Thursday, and 11 a.m.-2 p.m. on Fridays. Closed on weekends. For a full menu, look up the Pub on the SSU Dining Services homepage.

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