Ferocious food hounds go gum-to-gum in Coney

The Brooklyn Paper
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Hot dog-eating tourneys are for weiners, it’s the big kings who down the wings — and the burgers.

Coney Island retained its crown as the competitive chow-down capital of the world — with the biggest non-chicken-hearted cheering crowd to boot — as mighty mouths with steel stomachs muscled in on Nathan’s annual Fourth of July food tussle by tossing caution into the Atlantic, and heading for the Atomic Wings booth on Stillwell Ave. between Surf Avenue and the Boardwalk. There, gobblers tore fans away from the Siren Music Festival, making a rumble of its own between the boardwalk and Surf Avenue, by going gum-to-gum with a trough of chicken for Coney’s second annual wing-chow-down, sponsored in conjunction with Frank’s Red Hot sauce company.

Reigning champ, Coney Island’s own Sean Lennon — no not THAT one — broke his own record by downing 47 of the piquant palate-pleasers in eight minutes, receiving a gift certificate to the wing joint, a case of sauce, bragging rights and title of “Atomic Wings” Wing King of New York.

“They were very colorful characters, I was captivated just staring at them,” said Michaelene Haddick, a spokeswoman Frank’s Red Hot, who took in her first eating tourney like a pro — even enjoying a wing or two, herself, afterwards.

A few yards away, fast food fans were called upon to eat food even faster.

Ferocious meat hounds made a beeline for the home of the Brooklyn Cyclones —MCU Park on Surf Avenue and West 19th Street — where the beefy bunch inhaled as many half-pound beef patties as humanely possible in four minutes during the fourth annual Brooklyn Burger Eating Competition. Gentleman Joe Menchetti came away the winner there after gobbling 14 sliders with buns, getting a pat on the back from Cyclones’ mascot Sandy the Seagull, plus tickets to see the Yankees and Mets, and qualifying for another eating competition at Citi Field, July 30.

“It was definitely stomach-churning,” said Donna Johnson, officer manager at A.Stein Meat Products, which sponsored the tastebud-tingling tourney. Apparently not that much, as Johnson ended the evening with — guess what — a burger!

The word “hamburger” is known to originate from the Hamburg Steak and was first documented in English in 1884, with the recipe, allegedly, being transported to North America by the large numbers of immigrants from Germany at the time, many of whom traveled through the port of Hamburg.

— Shavana Abruzzo

Updated 11:48 am, January 16, 2019
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