How many pancakes can you scarf down in one hour?
If you’re optimistic about the answer, the 23rd annual pancake-eating contest at Pete’s Grille might be the culinary competition for you.
That being said, experts need not apply—the amateurs-only competition will be held at the Waverly restaurant on Friday, Nov. 21 at 7 a.m.
Pete’s contest includes a division for both men and women, and winners will receive a $500 cash prize. As an additional incentive, participants who break the all-time record—18 pancakes for men and 12 pancakes for women—eat at Pete’s for free for as long as they hold the title.
According to Pete’s Grille owner Dave Stahl, previous winners include neighborhood locals, Johns Hopkins students, and restaurant regulars eager to come back each year to defend their title.
Stahl is also quick to point out that it’s important to never underestimate the underdogs.
“It’s always the really skinny, fit, trim, guys that end up making it until the end,” says Stahl. “Everyone’s packing pancakes away for the first 30 minutes, but by the last 15 minutes there’s usually only two or three still going.”
While sitting on the sidelines, Stahl has become an astute observer of the various pancake-eating techniques that participants have used through the years.
“I’ve seen everything you can possibly think of,” he says. “Most people roll the pancake up like a cigar and dip it in water.”
Interested participants can sign up at the restaurant through Nov. 17 from 7 a.m.-1 p.m. Participation is $20.