An Interview with 110 Challenger Thomas Dall by Adam Turer


What made you want to take on this beast of a challenge?

This is all my fault. I was sitting at home late at night, hungry. Somehow it suddenly occurred to me that I should do this reuben challenge and needed to drag my two friends long for the ride. Bernie has won some eating contests and Frankie once ate an entire Crave case at White Castle in an hour. All my idea. All my fault.

Did you think you could do it?

I did not think that it was possible to eat the entire sandwich. I did however, believe I could eat 3/4 of the sandwich. The sheer density of this monster sandwich was a shock to me. I still cannot believe how hearty and tough that rye bread was. Soaking it in soup or water hardly helped. I am pretty sure I had nightmares about that bread.

At what point did you realize the Reuben had you beat?

I knew after the first quarter. I had a good start. Downed the first quarter in six or seven minutes. But I knew it was over. I felt like I had downed two Chipolte burritos. I was shocked to be so full after just one quarter.

What was the best part of your experience? Worst?

The best part was eating the first quarter of the sandwich. It was delicious. The second quarter was not nearly as fun. A lot more like work. The worst part was the anticipation of waiting for the sandwich to come. It took what felt like forever. The fact that they had to make three probably added to the wait, but at the time it felt like psychological warfare.

Any advice for future competitors?

Train. Train. Train. Get a routine and train for about a month before trying this challenge. Make sure your stomach is stretched out and can handle that much food. I did no training and could only eat half.

Did you eat your leftovers? Have you been back to Izzy’s since your attempt?

I did, in fact eat all the leftovers. I did the challenge on a Saturday night and finished the sandwich by Monday. I had one quarter Sunday for lunch and the other quarter for lunch at work on Monday. I did however, use normal buns for the bread. I have not been back to Izzy’s since, but it has nothing to do with the challenge. I have not really been out to eat around an Izzy’s lately. I would eat an Izzy’s Reuben right now if I had one.

Favorite menu item at Izzy’s?

Goetta Reuben, extra goetta. Time for me to goetta outta here!

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