TREE + LEAF

ADVENTURE MORE

Empire Pizza

Empire Pizza Eating Contest 2016

PLAZA DISTRICTLamboComment

     October 2016 marked the 3 year anniversary of your favorite pizza place's favorite pizza place, Empire Slice House. For all you avid slice eaters out there, you already know that Empire throws an amazing party every year to celebrate their birthday. This year they decided to spice it up a bit and host their first ever pizza eating contest. For those who have been to Empire, you know they have the largest pizzas in town, and for those of you have not been, do yourself a favor and see for yourself. About a month leading up to their anniversary party Empire began recruiting possible pizza eating contestants through their Instagram. The recruitment process was simple, post a video of yourself eating a slice of their pizza as fast as you can, and cross your fingers that you were worthy. Once the 9 candidates started trickling in the rules were set, first person to eat one of their cheese pizzas in 10 minutes took home the trophy and......... A FREE SLICE OF PIZZA EVERYDAY FOR A WHOLE YEAR. Now that's a prize! Being the pizza connoisseur that I am, I ran down the street, ordered a slice of cheese, and filmed myself inhaling it as fast as I could. Just like that I was in. That gave me about a month to prepare, and oh boy I did just that! There were plenty of people doubting that I could power through, but my homie/coworker Steven Silva was there every step to coach me through. Have you ever played Mike Tyson's Punch Out? Silva was basically the fat coach on the bicycle featured in the cut scenes. About a week before the contest we hit the one place where you can eat as much pizza as you possibly can training for a pizza eating contest, CiCi's Pizza. After trying out different techniques and styles I was ready to take home the gold. And then the day finally came when boys become men, enjoy. 

We went all in. Coach Silva and Team Tree and Leaf for the win!

We went all in. Coach Silva and Team Tree and Leaf for the win!

Rules and regulations. Notice the guy in the red. What does his shirt say? "Official Food Challenge Shirt." OH SNAP.

Rules and regulations. Notice the guy in the red. What does his shirt say? "Official Food Challenge Shirt." OH SNAP.

Aaaaaaaaaand we're off! Taking full advantage of the water dunk.

Aaaaaaaaaand we're off! Taking full advantage of the water dunk.

I noticed most of the competitors were eating the good parts, and saving the crust for last. My technique was just making pizza look more appetizing by rolling up some pizza taquitos.

I noticed most of the competitors were eating the good parts, and saving the crust for last. My technique was just making pizza look more appetizing by rolling up some pizza taquitos.

Scoping out the competition. In the end it came down to me and The Offical Food Chanllenge Shirt guy.

Scoping out the competition. In the end it came down to me and The Offical Food Chanllenge Shirt guy.

Right about here is where I regretted ever entering the contest. At this point I thought the previous 5 slices I had eaten were going to become a shower of ZA for the crowd to enjoy. I figured I made it this far, might as well power through.

Right about here is where I regretted ever entering the contest. At this point I thought the previous 5 slices I had eaten were going to become a shower of ZA for the crowd to enjoy. I figured I made it this far, might as well power through.

Around the nine minute mark we both shoved that last piece of crust into our face. Luckily, he shoved a little to much and ended up spitting his out. 

Around the nine minute mark we both shoved that last piece of crust into our face. Luckily, he shoved a little to much and ended up spitting his out. 

Praying to the pizza gods on that last bite.

Praying to the pizza gods on that last bite.

Right at the 10 minute mark!

Right at the 10 minute mark!

It came close, but in the end I emerged the Chomp Chump Champ.

It came close, but in the end I emerged the Chomp Chump Champ.

The slimiest/greasiest handshake of all time. Yes there was only one winner, but at the end of the day we all got to eat a bunch of free Empire pizza, can't complain about that!

The slimiest/greasiest handshake of all time. Yes there was only one winner, but at the end of the day we all got to eat a bunch of free Empire pizza, can't complain about that!

After you eat the biggest pizza of your life in 10 minutes, you need to lie on the ground and take a breather.

After you eat the biggest pizza of your life in 10 minutes, you need to lie on the ground and take a breather.

Coach Silva reflecting on Team Tree and Leaf's victory!

Coach Silva reflecting on Team Tree and Leaf's victory!

One more for the books.

One more for the books.

This was taken 15 minutes after the contest with an Empire baby brewing inside of me, As sick as I felt, you can't not show up to the Empire after party.

This was taken 15 minutes after the contest with an Empire baby brewing inside of me, As sick as I felt, you can't not show up to the Empire after party.

This was given to me on October 25th. I have used it every single day excluding Thanksgiving. Bet you didn't think someone who lives right down the street would win, huh?

This was given to me on October 25th. I have used it every single day excluding Thanksgiving. Bet you didn't think someone who lives right down the street would win, huh?

     This was one of the greatest accomplishments of my life, and I just want to give a big thanks to Empire Slice House for putting up with me coming in everyday. Congratulations on making it another year, you guys threw a killer party! I want to give another big thanks to @FreakinSilva for being there throughout the whole process, couldn't have done it without you. When you win a free slice of pizza everyday for a year, you make sure you go in and get that slice everyday. Follow me on Instagram  @Lambodacious to keep up with all of my pizza pictures. I literally post one everyday using the hashtag #ESHFreePizzaForAYear. We're at 62 pictures so far! Don't sit there and think I am keeping it all to myself either, maybe you'll get lucky one of these days and receive a #SliceOnLambo. Sadly, I will be moving to California at the end of May and wont be here to participate for Round 2, but to whomever wins........ greatness comes with responsibility.

#3Cheers10Years: Photos by Zach Hatlestad

AdventuresDusty GilpinComment

Zach Hatlestad has been a friend of the shop for a long time. He's participated in our beard growing contests and supported us through and through even while living out of state. He joined us last night and brought his camera along with him. This morning I got a text with some really beautiful captures from last night's anniversary party. Thank you, Zach!