Melt Bar & Grilled’s Melt Challenge feature a 5 pound grilled cheese (photo from Melt Bar & Grilled Facebook page)

5 Ohio Food Challenges You Won’t Believe

If you have the appetite to take on a mountain of a meal, these belly-busting menu offerings will undoubtedly test your mettle.

The Thurmanator, Columbus and Delaware: Featuring two 12-ounce patties topped with ham, sauteed mushrooms and onions, lettuce, tomato, pickles, banana peppers, mayonnaise, bacon, and mozzarella, cheddar and American cheeses, this towering burger can be found on the menu at The Thurman Cafe in Columbus’ German Village and Son of  Thurman in Delaware. There is no time limit for finishing it, and those who do so in one sitting can immortalize the feat by hanging a signed dollar bill on the wall.,

Melt Challenge, Four Ohio Locations: What started as a “what-if” in the kitchen at Melt Bar & Grilled’s original Lakewood location now stands as a 5-pound grilled cheese featuring 12 cheese varieties. There’s also a pile of fries and slaw to finish off. With a mere 9% completion rate, this challenge (available at all full-service locations if you email or call ahead) rewards its conquerors with a T-shirt or pint glass and a $10 gift card along with bragging rights.

The Goliath challenge from Almost Heaven Ice Cream in Alliance (photo courtesy of Almost Heaven Ice Cream)
The Goliath, Four Northeast Ohio Locations: Named for the giant that David defeated in the Bible, Almost Heaven Ice Cream’s food challenge is an equally tall feat to achieve. The Goliath consists of five banana splits, 15 scoops of Neapolitan ice cream, whipped cream and five cherries all coated in pineapple, strawberry and chocolate toppings. Those who complete the challenge in under 30 minutes earn a free T-shirt, a refund and a photo on the shop’s website.

Sweet Matilda Challenge, Bellefontaine: The fare at Don’s Downtown Diner spans a variety of burgers and sandwiches, but it’s also the home of the Sweet Matilda Challenge, which stacks 2 pounds of burgers between eight grilled cheese sandwiches on Texas toast layered with ham and bacon and served with a pound of French fries. Those who eat it all in an hour or less get a T-shirt and the $64.99 meal price waived.

No Freakin’ Way! Challenge, Blue Ash: Blue Ash Chili’s Cincinnati-style chili challenge tops 2.5 pounds of spaghetti and 2.5 pounds of chili with 2 pounds of shredded cheese and 1 pound of jalapeno caps. Once you see it assembled, a few choice words come to mind: “No Freakin’ Way!” Finish it in 60 minutes and you get a T-shirt, a free meal and a photo in their Hall of Fame. Fail and you get added to the Wall of Shame and a bill for $39.99.