Cowtown Diner's ten-pound chicken-fried steak, recently certified as the world's biggest by the Guinness World Records crew, sells for $69.95. But diners can sidestep the fee by polishing off the gravy-laden plate, which includes six pounds of mashed potatoes and a loaf of Texas Toast. "I did research, and no one else was doing this," owner Scott Jones explains. "I wanted to have the bragging rights."
Jones may be the only person involved with the chicken-fried challenge who has reason to brag: While successful eaters get a free meal and an "I Left Full of Bull" T-shirt, every competitor thus far has ended up with a bill and a bellyache.
Jones suspects most of them are making the mistake of concentrating on the deep-fried steak, leaving the mound of mashed potatoes for when they've nearly reached their tipping point. "You need to mix it all up," he says. "Six pounds of mashed potatoes gets monotonous."
Still, Jones admits the steak's hard to ignore. "I wanted it to be the size of an extra-large pizza pan, because that was the biggest vessel I could find," he says.
The platter requires so much beef that customers must place their orders one day in advance. But Jones maintains the steak is as good as it is big. "It's crunchy, it's crispy, it's got the most incredible flavor," he says. "My mouth's watering just thinking about it."
For eaters who'd prefer to keep their one-meal calorie count in the triple digits, there are a few healthier items on the menu. "I did do some low-fat items, like low-fat meatloaf and mac and cheese," Jones says, "but this was never intended not to be ridiculous."