The month of February signifies different things for different people. At Northside Yacht Club, it means the seasonal return of something deliciously sinister...
The Cincinnati Chimichanga, AKA, the deep-fried chili cheese coney -- a house-made coney using Avril-Bleh-infused chili, wrapped in a tortilla loaded with more chili and cheese and deep-fried until golden and crispy.
Earlier this month, Northside announced a gastrointestinal feat for only the most daring of humans, the 5-Coney Food Challenge.
One must consume five deep-fried chili cheese coneys and a basket of fresh-cut fries in 69 minutes (heh) to make it on the wall of fame and receive a free (really cool) t-shirt. Losers must pay $69 and have a photo of their mug placed on the wall of shame.
And on the evening of Wednesday, Feb. 23, we stood by on Instagram Live as one brave gentleman took on the challenge.
No, Nick Regan did not conquer the beast, but he did down about four of the deep-fried chili bombs. Northside co-owner Stuart MacKenzie says Regan has come the closest to finishing so far in the challenge, which ends on Feb. 28.
We sat down with Regan to learn about his experience in the most unholy of feasts. [Editor's note: Regan is writer Hailey Bollinger's fiancé, and we appreciate him wrecking his intestines for journalism.]
Hailey Bollinger: According to my rough calculations, you consumed about 5,000 calories last night. How did you feel last night and how are you feeling today?
Nick Regan: Like 69 bucks. Really though, I do feel much better than yesterday. I think in a few hours I might actually be hungry again.
H: Tell me about your preparations ahead of the challenge.
N: About three days leading up to the challenge, I ate super large, carb-heavy meals. Indian food from Akash one night, pizza from Jet's another night and the evening before, I ate seven tacos and a street corn from Taqueria Nogal. Day of, I fasted until 2 p.m. and had a protein shake with the intention of stretching out and expanding my stomach without filling up on solid food. I worked out a few hours before, which was supposed to help out my digestive system.
H: Do you think there’s anything you could have done differently to have completed?
N: Yes. I think if I was going to do things differently, during my meals ahead of the challenge, I would have ordered a lot of the same food instead of getting a variety of foods. I think that would have helped mentally prepare me for eating coneys for 69 minutes.
As far as eating the coneys. I would have tried to focus less on enjoyment and more on getting them down as quickly as possible. I also would have waited for them to cool down before starting the clock. My mouth is still burnt.
H: What were your motives behind behind accomplishing this endeavor?
N: Really just to see if I could do it. I've always eaten large quantities of food and thought I could handle a food-eating challenge. I didn't win this one, but I'm pretty proud of how far I got.
H: A few days remain for this seemingly unfeasible feast, do you have any words for future challengers?
N: Good luck! Be prepared to be in a lot of pain. The food is very good, but try not to spend too much time enjoying it. Just dip it in the water and slide it down your gullet.
H: Will you ever eat a deep-fried coney again?