Batter’s up in Pete’s Grille pancake-eating contest

Gluttons for punishment win $1,000 in prize money

By Larry Perl (The Baltimore Sun, 11/16/2012)

The long, narrow eatery, a fixture in the 3100 block of Greenmount Avenue in Abell since it was Hooper’s in the 1950s, has 26 counter seats. All but one were filled by 7 a.m., as 25 contestants each paid a $20 registration fee for the chance to win $500 in prize money in separate contests for men and women — and free food for life if they broke the records of 18 pancakes for men and 12 for women.

Pete’s Grille in the Abell neighborhood of northern Baltimore held its pancake eating contest Friday morning, where contestants could stuff their faces with as many fluffy flapjacks as possible. (Sarah Pastrana/BSMG)

“Feel like a champ?” Katharine Moog asked her best friend, Melissa Askew, as they waited for a pancake-eating contest to begin at Pete’s Grille early Friday morning.

Askew, 26, of Hampden, and Moog’s brother, Patch Ronald, 22, of Jacksonville, in Baltimore County, were contestants at the annual contest. It was either the 20th or the 21st year, according to co-owner Darlene Castle, who said a previous owner started the competition.

“I’m not eating,” said Moog, of Charles Village, said she snapped photos of Ronald and Askew. “I’m encouraging them.”

( Photo by Jon Sham / November 16, 2012 )
Carolyn Bozman, right, repeat winner of Pete’s Grill’s pancake-eating contest, dips a piece of pancake in water. Next to her is contestant Kristi Allen.

Waving a fan of $1,000 in $100 bills, Castle quickly explained the rules: one hour to eat as many hot cakes as you could, three per plate, not counting partially eaten cakes.

And you couldn’t throw up — at least until you got your cash and posed for pictures, said Castle, who noted that at least one contestant whoopses every year.

Continue reading “Batter’s up in Pete’s Grille pancake-eating contest” at The Baltimore Sun.

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