Around Texas’ capital city, a popular slogan on T-shirts and bumper stickers proclaims, “Keep Austin Weird.” Well, if Austin’s weird, who wants to be normal?
Case in point: This past weekend, Austin was home to the second annual veggie-hot-dog–eating contest, organized by iLoveMikeLitt. Now, last year, we bemoaned missing the first-annual (well, first-ever at that point) contest. So imagine how I feel about missing this year’s event, since Austin’s a mere three-hour drive from my home in Houston (slogan: “Houston’s great—no, really!”).
Somehow they managed to carry on without me, though. In fact, nearly 300 folks showed up—including Austin’s famed vegan firefighters—to polish off 1,500 LightLife Tofu Pups, along with 14 gallons of vegan ice cream from Austin’s own NadaMoo. In the solo contest, Spencer “Tree” Lockwood ate 21 hot dogs to narrowly edge out last year’s solo champ, Colin “The Tim Duncan of Competitive Eating” Kalmbacher, whose sentiments captured the quintessentially Austin nature of the whole event:
What is more Austin than a bunch of vegans, vegetarians, and omnivores, all alongside each other, gorging themselves on hundreds of soy dogs for the sheer insanity of it?
Indeed. If you’re an Austinite (Austinian?), be sure to sign up for the iLoveMikeLitt event newsletter so that you don’t miss out on next year’s contest—or other fun stuff like Vegan Arm Wrestling and Veggie Speed Dating. Those of us living in less “weird” places can still get in on the fun—I’m staging my own vegan hot-dog–eating party for the Fourth of July (though, so far, it’s just me and my soy-loving hound, Gus). Our resident foodies have picked their favorites, but I’m interested to know what you’ll have on the grill over the holiday. Fire it up!
Posted by Jeff Mackey