In eight years, more than 150 people have opened their mouths to the challenge.
In all that time, only four brave and hungry souls have succeeded.
This Sunday, a world-famous professional eater will exercise his mandibles as he attempts to become just the fifth patron to enter Reubin’s Diner in North Kamloops and finish the famous and intimidating Reubinator sandwich.
The man of the hour is Randy Santel, the self-proclaimed “record holder of worldwide food challenge wins.” Santel is expected to be at Reubin’s Diner, 204 Tranquille Rd., between 3 p.m.. and 6 p.m., with his camera crew in tow as he films the challenge for his immensely popular YouTube channel, which has more than 760,000 followers.
Santel’s channel features videos of him criss-crossing the world as he tackles various food challenges — generally trying to eat a massive amount of food within an allotted time. Succeed and he eats for free and becomes a legend in the eatery; fail and he is out of pocket.
The Reubinator is perhaps Kamloops’ most intimidating sandwich creation. It weighs more than many newborns, registering 8.5 pounds on the scale, 7.5 pounds of which are various types of meat.
Its full ingredients: ham, pastrami bacon, pulled pork, pork tenderloin, fried eggs, swiss cheese, sauerkraut, tomato, pickles and mayonnaise between two hefty slabs of medium rye bread.
If Santel can eat the sandwich within an hour, he gets a free meal, his name added to the Wall of Fame and a chance to create an eponymous menu item. If Santel fails, he will be $47 poorer.
After watching videos of Santel scarfing down massive meals around the globe, Reubin’s Diner owner Mike Ward is quite confident Santel will be adding his name to the diner’s Wall of Fame.
“This guy is going to destroy that sandwich,” Ward said. “But it should be interesting. We want people to come and have some fun with this.”
Santel’s most recent triumph occurred on May 29, when he took on the Mission Impossible Challenge at Chicago’s Safehouse restaurant. The challenge was to finish 15 burger patties layered with cheese, two pounds of cheese curds and a 51-ounce mug of beer within one hour. It had never been done until Santel sat down and devoured it all in less than 27 minutes.
It was Santel’s 600th food challenge victory.
The last diner to finish the Reubinator was pilot Eric Fraser, who wandered into Reubin’s from Kamloops Airport on May 4 to challenge the sandwich. He succeeded and set a record, polishing off the meal in 23 minutes.
Reubin’s also has a challenge specifically aimed at female diners. The $37 Sarah Connor is a sandwich housing 4.5 pounds of meat. Five diners have tried to eat it within an hour and all five have failed.
Ward’s advice for those attempting to defeat the Reubinator?
“Wear stretchy pants.”
The genesis of the Reubinator: