Adventurous eaters head to Beetle House for a Halloween atmosphere anytime of the year. The menu is collection of food inspired by popular thrillers and other things that go bump in the night. Josh Denny tried the Platos de Los Muertos, a layered monster of seafood, rice and pasta. Diners also love the deliciously gory Sweeny Beef.
Henry's is a popular spot because of its big portions of classic Southern food but The Hungriest Bennet takes this idea to another level. “This is like the South on a plate,” says Josh Denny before he digs in to the 12 1/2 pound Herculean hash brown casserole of shrimp and grits, country fried steak and cheesy waffles all drenched in thick gravy.
Piranha’s may be a party spot, but Chef/Owner Mike Hanlon serves seriously inventive eats. Josh Denny started with the Cap & Egg sandwich piled high with spicy Italian ham, provolone cheese, eggs, coleslaw and fries, then moved on to the Doughnut Burger composed of an 8-ounce patty, fried eggs and crisp bacon sandwiched between 2 glazed doughnuts. His ultimate indulgence, though, was the 10-pound Titan Cheesesteak stuffed with grilled steak, provolone cheese, a mound of coleslaw and a heap of fries.
Crowds pack in to Bard’s for the craft burgers and Cincinnati-style chili. There’s even one dish that combines them both: the Cincinnasty. Six cheese-smothered beef patties are layered with bacon and a Cincinnati breakfast meat known as goetta, then crowned with grilled onions and chili. The result is a 5-pound burger that Josh Denny says is “stacked with Cincinnati attitude.” The fried cheese curds are another menu favorite. Each nib of ultra-fresh cheddar cheese is coated in a crunchy golden crust.
People pour into this bustling beer garden for the German brews and bites. Popular picks include the sauerkraut balls and schnitzel, but Josh Denny couldn’t resist the sandwiches. He started with a beer-battered cod sandwich, then tackled a sauerbraten sandwich stuffed with thick slices of wine-marinated beef roast. The most over-the-top creation of them all, though, proved to be The Uber Terminator, which stars a 38-inch grilled Mettwurst sausage laced with paprika, garlic and cayenne pepper.
At Black Sheep, classic Southern charm combines with a spicy Asian kick. The Korean short ribs are a popular dish, but the legendary Riduckulous Banh Mi is what takes centerstage for Josh Denny’s visit. A five-foot baguette is stuffed with succulent duck meatloaf and multiple veggie toppings. “It’s not just huge ... it's huge with flavor,” says Denny.
This neighborhood spot is known for its menu stuffed with massive diner staples of both the American and Greek varieties. Josh Denny was left impressed by the flaky spanakopita stuffed with feta and spinach, as well as the cheese-smothered skillet composed of perfectly grilled meats and vegetables. But the dish that really blew his mind was the Greek Feast, a 17-pound gyro brimming with chicken, onions, tomatoes, lettuce and housemade tzatziki.
Along with all the classics you expect from a traditional Jewish deli, Sarge's Delicatessen builds a holiday sandwich that could last for eight nights called The Monster. The massive meal contains giant slices of rye bread stacked with house-made pastrami, corned beef, roast beef, salami, turkey and coleslaw smothered in Russian dressing. Not in NYC? Sarge’s will ship The Monster to you.
Crowds line up down the street to bite into the fresh Montreal-style bagels at this Philadelphia spot. The wait is worth it, as Josh Denny found out when he was lured here by The Whale, a 14-pound creation that he deemed a “bagel leviathan.” Smoked salmon delivered fresh daily from Brooklyn is heaped on a massive bagel that’s piled high with mounds of cream cheese, hefty slabs of tomato and a thicket of sliced onions. Two pounds of housemade whitefish salad and a flurry of capers complete the creation.
This bar offers games to play and games to watch on flatscreen TVs. Order from the wondrous burger menu or go meatless with buffalo cauliflower, then dive into fanciful towers of dessert waffles. During the holidays, they go all out with The Stocking Stuffer, a red velvet waffle tower layered with ice cream and raspberry sauce and topped with candy, doughnuts, gummy bears and an entire slice of red velvet cake.
When Josh Denny visited San Antonio, he couldn’t leave the city without sampling some succulent barbecue. Taking a lead from the locals, he headed to Smoke Shack to try a ‘cue-centric creation known as The Big Mac Daddy. Layer upon layer of pulled pork and brisket are heaped onto a 24-inch bun, then loaded with sausage links, smothered with 2 kinds of sauces and crowned with 4 scoops of meat-studded macaroni and cheese. “Incredible,” Josh declared after biting into the 7-pound sandwich.
Stache International is known for the creative spin it puts on Detroit classics. Josh Denny is there for The Big Dawg, a sandwich with three pounds of house-smoked bologna in a two-foot long bun topped with American cheese, caramelized onions and bacon.
If this spot deserves fame for one thing, it’s the crab cakes. As Guy puts it, “This is 95 percent crab, 5 percent binding.” The crab cakes — which are about the size of your hand — are packed with fresh Maryland lump blue-crab meat. Another massive menu item is the Seafood UFO. The oversized slices of bread that hold this sandwich together can barely contain all the fillings: colossal crab cakes and crab-studded mac and cheese balls, along with mounds of fried shrimp, fried oysters and shrimp salad.
At Greek Village Grille, they construct an offering worthy of the gods with their 10-pound Mount Olympus Gyro, which combines lamb, beef, chicken and pork piled onto an enormous pita topped with tomato, onion and house-made tzatziki sauce. For dessert, try the decadent chocolate baklava.
Chef-Owner Fernando Martinez churns out gourmet burgers at this hot spot. His creativity shines through in menu items like the Argentinean burger. A brisket-sirloin patty is piled high with a mound of caramelized onions and smothered in provolone cheese, then topped with a chorizo patty. The Double Southern Belle burger also ups the meaty, cheesy ante. Two 8-ounce Black Angus beef patties are blanketed in pimento cheese, then stacked between 6 slices of fried green tomatoes to create what Josh Denny calls a “skyscraping burger.”