The Travel Channel’s food division just can’t get enough of San Francisco, as a mere two weeks after Anthony Bourdain’s “No Reservations” visit, we’ve got a San Francisco episode of “Man V. Food,” Adam Richman’s show about nationwide “food challenges.” You know, stuff like the world’s hottest chicken wings, or slurping down 12 dozen oysters, or eating a 20 pound steak in 10 minutes. Those kinds of things.

Adam’s first stop is La Cumbre, where he discusses the history of the “Mission style burrito,” and La Cumbre’s claims of inventing it. (Can we get an official ruling on that one, please?) He orders a super burrito with polo and carne asada, and talks about its size, but frankly, I’ve seen (and eaten!) bigger burritos than that. Just before he’s about to take a bite, La Cumbre’s owner comes out and makes Adam don a sombrero and poncho. And a black mustache. WTF?

His next stop is Ike’s Place in the Castro. I’ll admit I haven’t been there as of yet, but I love me a good sandwich, so I’ll have to eventually. I’m not sure I’ll get what Adam got, though, which is the Kryptonite, which has 13 ingredients, and weighs four pounds. Among those ingredients? Five different meats, cheese, jalapeno poppers, onion rings, AND mozzarella sticks. This is why you’re fat, indeed.

Adam’s last stop, and the location of his food challenge, is the San Francisco Creamery, which, contrary to the name of the place is NOT in San Francisco. But first–and I can’t believe this was actually part of the show–Adam pretends to drop acid and hallucinates that he’s dancing with a life-sized ice cream cone. Yes. San Francisco and hippies! HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA.

Back to that ice cream bullshit. The San Francisco Creamery is in Walnut Creek. Walnut Creek! Was there nothing in the City that was as ridiculous as the sundae they have called the Kitchen Sink? It contains eight scoops of ice cream, eight toppings, and eight servings of whipped cream. I suppose something like that is a little too gauche for the Bi-Rite, right?

The challenge is to eat the whole thing in an hour. I suspect the biggest obstacle is not getting a brain freeze by eating too fast, but eating fast enough that it doesn’t all turn to slush. Half-way through his challenge he orders a plate of fries! Apparently, the salty fries help curb the sugar overload. By the end of the hour, all that’s left is the melted dregs, and he slurps it down. He wins.

I’ve only seen about five episodes of the show, and he won the challenges in all of them. So my question is, does he ever lose? Or at least end the show puking his guts out?

If you missed the episode, it will be on again Friday at 5:30 P.M. and 9:30 P.M., and Saturday at 8:30 A.M. and 4:30 P.M.

the author

Rain Jokinen watches a lot of television and movies and then writes things about them on the Internet. She's a San Francisco native, and yeah, she'll rub that fact in your face any chance she gets.

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  • the_minimalist_route

    I don’t think he ever fails either.

    In the following episode (set in Columbus, OH) his challenge was to eat a sandwich that looked like what most people eat for lunch. What a letdown.

  • Becca Klarin

    I heart Ike’s! They offer an amazing array of veggie and vegan sandwiches in addition to their meat options. Just be prepared for a long wait during high peak hours.

  • Eve Batey

    I am all about the vegan backstabber with the call ahead. The call ahead rules!

  • cherilusive

    Yes, he’s lost. He lost in St Louis, Atlanta and Boston. To be fair the Atlanta one required a partner who tossed his cookies before Adam could finish his half. Clearly, I watch this show a lot.

  • LisaBunnie

    Why is there so much aggrivation and hostility towards Adam and Man V Food? I am putting myself in the line of fire by saying I AM A FAN of Adam’s and this is just a simple entertainment program – NOT a lifestyle.

    Last season he did 18 challenges. He won 11 of them. And, unfortunately, he lost one by loosing what he ate. It was ice cream. That is why this challenge in SF or Walnut Creek was so special to him. Seriuosly, is that such a problem?!

    Man V Food was celebrating your city. I would think that would be a GOOD thing. Sorry that it isn’t.