Ribfest Chicago and the RibMania Ribs Eating Contest
Illinois

Ribfest Chicago and the RibMania Ribs Eating Contest

Rating Chart

0 average based on 0 ratings

  • Excellent
    0
  • Very Good
    0
  • Average
    0
  • Poor
    0
  • Terrible
    0
One of the best foods in the world: ribs. My favorite “sport” in the world: competitive eating. Combine the two and you’ve got a deliciously messy afternoon in Chicago.

Friday was opening day of this year’s Ribfest Chicago and the festival was tipped off with a professional ribs eating contest. By this time last year I had already seen four eating contests so I was anxious to get my season rolling!

Six o’clock rolled around and tin trays of barbecued slabs were placed across the table. The RibMania trophy was placed front and center. And each of the contestants were announced, from fellow fans to Ribfest junkies. Then the number 26th ranked Ben Taylor. The number 8 ranked Erik “The Red” Denmark. Chicago North sider and number 10 ranked Tim “Gravy” Brown. And Chicago South sider and number 4 ranked Pat “Deep Dish” Bertoletti.

Trophy for RibMania Ribs Eating Contest at Ribfest Chicago.

RibMania Ribs Eating Contest at Ribfest Chicago.

RibMania Ribs Eating Contest at Ribfest Chicago.

While just a few miles away at Wrigley the Sox were facing the cubs in the Crosstown Classic we had right there our own “crosstown chowdown.”

The eaters took their places ready to dig in and the audience counted down for them to start chewing.

Tim Gravy Brown eats at RibMania Ribs Eating Contest at Ribfest Chicago.

Erik the Red Denmark eats at RibMania Ribs Eating Contest at Ribfest Chicago.

The contest was crazy. Each food and each eater has a different technique. For ribs, while some of the locals seemed to eat them bone by own as, well, most normal sane people would eat a rib, the pros seemed to combine pulling them from the bone with their teeth and stripping them with their hands and taking handfuls of the meat into their mouths.

RibMania Ribs Eating Contest at Ribfest Chicago.

Pat Bertoletti eats at RibMania Ribs Eating Contest at Ribfest Chicago.

It was a crazy, messy contest, and while my eyes were definitely on Pat and Tim and Erik, you had to look at Ben who seemed to be living up to his moniker of “Wolf”

Ben Taylor eats at RibMania Ribs Eating Contest at Ribfest Chicago.

RibMania Ribs Eating Contest at Ribfest Chicago.

Trays and trays of ribs went down. And the eight minute clock ticked away as each eater tried to keep up the momentum and get more and more down.

RibMania Ribs Eating Contest at Ribfest Chicago.

Erik Denmark and Pat Bertoletti eat at RibMania Ribs Eating Contest at Ribfest Chicago.

Seconds shy of eight minutes we counted down, and everyone stuffed that last bit in. And then we waited while trays were weighed.

RibMania Ribs Eating Contest at Ribfest Chicago.

A competitive eater washes his hands after the RibMania Ribs Eating Contest at Ribfest Chicago.

And then the results…

In third: Erik “The Red’ Denmark…

Erik Denmark comes in third at the RibMania Ribs Eating Contest at Ribfest Chicago.

In second, in a bit of an upset, so much so that it even seemed to surprise him: Ben “The Wolf” Taylor…

Ben Taylor comes in second at RibMania Ribs Eating Contest at Ribfest Chicago.

In first: Pat “Deep Dish” Bertoletti (making it two wins for the South side that day thank you very much White Sox).

Pat Bertoletti wins the RibMania Ribs Eating Contest at Ribfest Chicago.

Oh, and I got ribsauce on my brand new shoes :-( I should probably know better than to wear new shoes in the splash zone of a ribs eating contest…

Ribsauce on my shoes at Ribfest Chicago.

After the contest my friend and I stuck around Ribfest for a bit. We watched some Mucca Pazza (an amazing local “circus-punk marching band”).

Mucca Pazza plays at Ribfest Chicago.

And we shared some ribs (from PitchFork and Browntrout) which were all delicious.

Ribs at Ribfest Chicago.

Val eats ribs at Ribfest Chicago.

Really, any festival that revolves around food is A-OK in my book. And Chicago, and the rest of the country, are full of them in the summer! What festivals do you look forward to each year?

Val

Val is the founder and head road tripper at Silly America. Having grown near Berwyn's car kabob, her fascination to roadside attractions started early. Val is currently traveling the world and blogs about her life, food, and travels on her <a href="http://www.choosingfigs.com">personal website</a>.

You Recently Viewed ...

World’s Largest Antique Film Camera: Seen in Chicago

Muffler Man and Bessie the Cow in Libertyville, Illinois

Super Shiny Muffler Man in Evergreen Park, Illinois

Giant Cigar Store Indian in Oak Lawn, Illinois

Eye Can See You Now: Giant Indian in Chicago

Disqus shortname is required. Please click on me and enter it

LEAVE A COMMENT

Silly America

Silly America is a roadside attractions blog designed to help travelers find unique stops for their next road trip. The website is a tribute to the great American road trip, devoted to all that is odd in America: roadside attractions, tourist traps, peculiar destinations, bizarre events, road food, fun festivals, and more! It’s a travel website and trip planner for those seeking an offbeat road trip.

About Silly America

Silly America is a roadside attractions blog designed to help travelers find unique stops for their next road trip. The website is a tribute to the great American road trip, devoted to all that is odd in America: roadside attractions, tourist traps, peculiar destinations, bizarre events, road food, fun festivals, and more! It’s a travel website and trip planner for those seeking an offbeat road trip. Read more.