Easy as pie! Sloper wins empanada-eating comp at Fifth Ave. street fair

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Chewing to victory: Brian Lim didn’t use any fancy techniques to seal his victory on Saturday, and instead focused on fundamentals — especially chewing.
Throwing it: The Summer Stroll on Fifth Avenue also featured plenty of games. Kia Piccone tosses a bean bag in a game of cornhole.
Hot summer night: Sophia Pope and Michelle Perez danced the night away.
Leaning tower: Robert Lewis and Joel Curtis played a round of Mega Jenga.
Full of it: Brian Lim was filled with pride, joy, and empanadas following his hard-won victory in Saturday’s empanada-eating contest during the Fifth Avenue Summer Stroll.

His pies were bigger than his stomach.

A Park Sloper took home the gold in an empanada-eating contest during a Fifth Avenue street fair on Saturday — demolishing seven of the savory pastries in 10 minutes — but spoiled what used to be one of his favorite dishes in the process. The chow-down champ says he won’t be able to eat any more of the hand-pies for a while.

“I just need some time,” said Brian Lim.

Lim went bite-for-bite two other contestants in the event, which was part of the strip’s annual Summer Stroll fete.

Each contestant had 25 empanadas in different flavors from local Latin joint Empanada Loca sponsored, and 10 minutes to demolish them.

The mastication sensation says he didn’t use any special techniques to digest the crusty crescents, but demonstrated excellent fundamental chewing skills, ultimately edging out the runner-up by a single bite before the buzzer sounded the end of the contest.

“The guy at the other end of the table would have tied me had he shoved that last little bite in his mouth,” he said in a post match interview. “I won by like an eighth of an empanada.”

The winner said he enjoyed all the empanada varieties he scarfed down, but that some flavors — particularly a hotdog and cheese empanada — were more challenging to devour than others.

“It almost made me stop,” said Lim, “Which isn’t to say it was a bad empanada — it was a bad empanada for an eating contest.”

Lim’s victual-eating victory — for which he won a $100 gift certificate to the restaurant that made his wife “very happy” — was not his only win that evening.

The champ went on to travel to the distant island of Manhattan, where he emerged victorious from a hockey match in Chelsea Piers — until the true aftermath of eating seven empanadas sank in.

“Once the hockey high was gone, I felt pretty terrible,” he said.

Saturday’s Summer Stroll closed down the blocks between 12th and 18th streets, and also included a doggy fashion show. The fiesta will return on July 23, this time with live music and a free performance of Shakespeare’s “Twelfth Night.”

It then moves to the blocks between Dean Street and Sterling Place on Aug. 13 and 20, which will feature a pizza-eating contest hosted by Artichoke Pizza.1

Reach reporter Colin Mixson at or by calling (718) 260-4505.
Updated 10:17 pm, July 9, 2018
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