Eating-up Stratford
Bite by Byte

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Leviathan: Me vs. The Mammoth Lobster Sandwich at Simple Fish and Chips!

I get a lot of great tips for my blog adventures from following Stratford food folks on the social media site Twitter.
Here are a few you might want to follow yourself:

Slow Food Perth County @SlowFoodPerth
The Stratford Chefs School @StratfordChef
Paul Finkelstein @PaulFink
My Stratford Brother-in-Blog Matty Ian @MattyIan
Monforte Dairy @MonforteDairy
Soiled Reputation Farm @ManicOrganic
Savour Stratford @StratFOODFest 
McCully's Hill Farm @McCullysFarm
 How about me? @LocalComeLately

A little over a week ago, an eye-catching tweet was posted by another prolific contributor to the Stratford food twittersphere, Chef Shawn Hartwell of Simple Fish and Chips (give him a follow @SimpleGood4U). Shawn and his wife Candace were marking the one year anniversary of their wonderful fish and seafood restaurant's opening on Saturday, December 4, and he was inviting his loyal customers to come and help them celebrate it with some music by local guitar/vocalist Christine Brine and some birthday cake and snacks. I immediately retweeted the message to all my followers along with a promise that I would be there! After all, Simple Fish and Chips was one of my first blog subjects way back in April (I enjoyed their Oceanwise approved fish and chips after presenting at the local Green Party AGM). And since then I have become an even bigger fan of their amazing Canadian-caught fish and seafood dishes, particularly Shawn's creative specials such as jerk spot prawns and green curry pickerel.

A few days later, another tweet by Chef Shawn came across my radar: "A challenge is announced for all you seafood lovers!! Who can eat our 'Mammoth Lobster Sandwich?!' Rules: if you eat it all... You don't pay!"

And at that moment, this blog post was born. 

I accepted the challenge - after all, lobster is my absolute favourite thing to eat, and I've never been one to shy away from attempting feats of consumption (see my post from the McCully's Hill Farm In Your Face Pie Eating Contest back in July). 

My family and I arrived right in the middle of the Simple Fish and Chips one year anniversary party (I needed my cheering section for this one). Chef Shawn took me back to the kitchen and assembled, before my eyes, the biggest freakin' lobster sandwich this world has ever seen:

At this point, I was starting to understand why Chef Shawn was so confident that no one would be able to finish The Mammoth.

But I had three things going for me: I love lobster, I was hungry, and Chef Shawn makes a mean sandwich!

Please note: The above video has been edited, mostly to cut-out footage of my eyes bulging out of their sockets as I tried to consume the 2 lbs. of lobster atop a whole loaf of bread, a head of lettuce and a slathering of garlic butter. I took so long that the hardrive on my video camera became full. But a loyal supporter of mine (my lovely mom-in-law Wanda) captured my pathetic surrender on her phone:

You win, Shawn! Happy anniversary to you and Candace! And thanks for being my favourite spot for sustainable and delicious fish and seafood in Stratford.

I now have some advice for all you folks out there who have viewed this post and who still think you would finish this ridiculously huge lobster sandwich and then ask "What's for dessert?" Please be my guest and take on Chef's Shawn's "Eat it all and don't pay" challenge for yourself while it's still available. But based on personal experience, my money's on at least half the sandwich going home in a doggy bag!

A doggy bag it was for me, and I left with my tail between my legs. Later that night my wife Lisa pretty much downed the half I didn't eat - maybe from now on I'll let her be the official Local-Come-Lately extreme eater! 

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