Each July, Bartolini’s Restaurant, in the Chicago suburb of Midlothian, puts on a meatball eating contest of epic proportions. Now in its ninth year, the 2014 event will draw both amateur eaters and professionals, with qualification rounds held prior to the championships for inexperienced competitors who want to eat their way into the main event.
Bartolini’s also has an ongoing eating challenge. The restaurant's famous 10-pound meatball sandwich — with 40 meatballs, cheese, gravy, bread and a whole pound of peppers — costs $44.95. However, individuals who can down the whole thing in three hours don't have to pay. Two-, three- and four-person teams can also attempt the feat, with time limits of 45, 25, and 15 minutes respectively.