The July 4 holiday has also become known as the Super Bowl of eating with the Nathan’s hot dog eating contest. These contest winners receive fame and fortune to go with their impressively expandable stomachs. But there is an anonymous collection of individuals that move through life without fanfare or profit in their chosen pursuit – these are the marathon eaters.
Today, July 6, 2017, Barna, Guzy & Steffen’s own marathon eater Scott Lepak finished his 8 month quest to eat all 31 sandwiches on the Nelson Cheese and Deli menu in Spring Lake Park, Minnesota. When asked why he decided to tackle all of the sandwiches on the menu, Scott said “When I started going here in 1991, I had a Hero no onion once a week every week for two years. I figured I was in a slump by then so I switched to the Mr. T (turkey on a French roll with Baby Swiss, onion, sprouts, guacamole and bacon Dijon mayo). I had one of those once a week every week for the next year. I generally have stayed with the same four over 25 years but decided the other ones looked pretty good so I thought I needed to branch out. Last November, I wondered if anyone had ever had every sandwich and decided to do it.”
Given this accomplishment, Scott was asked if he had a favorite. “Not really,” Scott said before adding “but I was surprised that I liked the Health Nut a lot better than I thought I would.” Asked if there were any sandwiches he didn’t like, Scott mentioned that he was not a huge Braunschweiger fan but that Nelson’s “could make just about anything taste good”. Asked if he had any concerns going into such a commitment, Scott noted that he hated mushrooms and had to game plan on the Big Nellie and Chicken Ranchero so that the artists at Nelson’s could do the sauté with just onions and peppers. “The Nelson’s sandwich artists can do anything, even while talking to nine different people,” Scott said, “I just needed to be reassured that they maintained their focus on this critical piece. They are all pro’s so it really was not a problem”.
When asked if he was like George Mallory, who famously stated that he climbed Mount Everest “because it’s there,” Scott paused for a moment before stating, “I did it because I was hungry.” Questioned about such a heady Lord of the Rings type undertaking without expectation of fame or fortune, Scott added, “I think it is widely acknowledged that I am a good eater”.
Congratulations Scott. You are a good eater.