In a titanic battle between man and food July 27 in downtown Houston, man came away victorious.

The epic win occurred when 23-year-old Raymondville resident Josh Dixon became the first person ever to meet the Monster Burger Challenge at the Side Street Grill. To be declared a winner, participants in the challenge must entirely consume a huge hamburger and an accompanying gigantic helping of fries in less than an hour. The 6-foot, 220-pound Dixon dispatched his opposition in 53 minutes.

“It was an overwhelming experience,” Dixon said.

The Monster Burger consists of four pounds of meat (that Side Street co-owner Rhett Drake said cooks down to 3 1/2) and a custom-made bun equal to a loaf-and-a-half of bread. It’s served on a plate along with a heaping helping of fries, and can be piled high with cheese and the rest of the works for anyone confident enough to order it that way.

Dixon ordered his without the extras.

“We cook it on low heat for about 40-50 minutes so it’s done all the way through,” Drake said. “When we got the idea to do this, we cooked it in here a couple of times to try it out. One day there were five of us eating on it, and I still took home a chunk about as big as a regular burger.”

While being cooked, Monster Burgers are flipped with a custom made spatula made by a local welding shop.

“It looks more like a pizza flipper,” Drake said.

Midway through Dixon’s road to glory, there was doubt as to whether he would reach his goal. But a late rally secured his legacy.

“He got done with the meat and still had about half the bun and a handful of fries sitting there,” Drake said. “He said, ‘Do I have to eat this whole thing?’ I said, ‘Yep.’ He just kind of shrugged his shoulders and said, ‘All right.’”

“I had to buck it up and keep eating,” Dixon said. “I didn’t want to give up then.”

When he finished, Dixon held his plate high, like a prizefighter holding the title belt. But his struggle had left its mark.

“When he got done and we said we had to take his picture, he could hardly stand up,” Drake said. “When he went to walk out, he was kind of doing the duck walk –– just barely waddling.”

Challenge participants who finish their meal receive a T-shirt and are not required to pay the $25.99 regular price. They also get their photo posted on a wall-of-fame.

Not only will Dixon’s burger-stuffed mug be the first to grace the wall, he was the first to take the fledgling Challenge.

“I wanted to be the first one to get it done,” he said.

Dixon’s triumphant effort was in part the result of being issued a challenge to take the challenge.

“A couple of my buddies had said there was no way,” he said. “When I first saw it, it looked a lot bigger than it had sounded. But I had already run my mouth, so I had to try it.”

As in any conflict, to the victors go the spoils.

“I got a couple of free games of golf out of it,” Dixon said.

Drake figures Side Street’s wall-of-fame won’t be covered with photos of Challenge victors any time soon.

“Josh will go down in history as the first, but there probably won’t be many others,” Drake said. “This is one big burger, and I guarantee you not many people will eat the whole thing.”

This is one big burger, and I guarantee you not many people will eat whole thing.”

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