Most visitors to Maine go straight for the lobster.
Adam Richman, host of the Travel Channel show “Man v. Food,” chose to begin his Maine feast with an eight-patty cheeseburger in Arundel and something called the “ApocalypseNow” burger in Portland.
Richman has been in southern Maine for a few days, filming an episode that reportedly will air in early September. One of his first stops was the Tradewinds Cafe in Arundel, where Richman took something called the “Manimal Challenge.”
Those who dare must down two slaw or kraut dogs, an order of fries, an eight-patty cheeseburger with grilled onions, a can of Moxie and a one-pound butter pecan milkshake that contains coffeecake, in one short sitting.
“It’s over four pounds of food in 20 minutes,” said owner Deena Eskew, who goes by Mary.
Eskew said she and her partner, Brian Coddens, who goes by Hoss, were told not to reveal whether Richman managed to scarf it all down within the 20-minute limit.
“You’ll have to watch the show if you want to find the outcome of that,” she said, “because I’m not telling you.”
She did proudly declare that, of the 10 or 11 people who have tried the challenge since last year, only four have succeeded.
Each winner gets a T-shirt, bragging rights and the title “Manimal” in front of their first name.
Eskew said Richman was at her cafe from 8:30 a.m. until 10 p.m. on Saturday. “It was a long day, but it was great,” she said. “The crew was awesome. Adam was terrific. He was great to our customers.”
On Monday, Richman visited the Maine State Pier and took a schooner ride. He spent the afternoon and part of the evening at the Nosh Kitchen Bar on Congress Street, where chef Jason Loring made him an “Apocalypse Now” burger.
The burger, which sells for $20, is made with American cheese, seared pork belly, cured bacon, foie gras, mayo, and macerated orange and cherries. Loring said Richman also tried the pork belly reuben.
Loring said Richman told him that he was in Maine for a wedding two weeks ago.
“He came in and ate, and after looking at the menu he decided he wanted to do the show here,” Loring said. “It was just a shock for us because we’ve been open five and a half months. It just feels good for someone to notice you right off the bat like that.”
On Tuesday morning, Richman paid a visit to the Portland Museum of Art for the online segment of his show, “A Side of City.”
The museum has photos of Richman’s visit on its website at portlandmuseum.org/about/blog/.
Richman then headed to the Lobster Shack in Cape Elizabeth for – what else?
Staff Writer Meredith Goad can be contacted at 791-6332 or at: [email protected]