Man vs. Food vs. KC BBQ: Restaurant challenges TV host with a mountain of meat

Adam Richman is host of The Travel Channel’s “Man v. Food.”

The Ultimate Destroyer

The Ultimate Destroyer consists of:

• hoagie bun

• several slices of bread

• 1/2 lb. pulled pork

• 1/2 lb. hickory-smoked sliced pork

• 1/2 lb. hickory-smoked ham

• 1/2 lb. hickory-smoked turkey breast

• three 1/2 lb. smoked hamburgers

• 1/2 lb. hickory-smoked brisket

• 1/2 lb. hickory smoked-barbecue sausage

With a crowd of 120 people yelling, and the high-fives flying, Adam Richman makes his way to a single table at the front of Papa Bob’s Bar-B-Que in Bonner Springs.

To his back, a crowd of locals watches intently, and to his front, a television camera is set up, ready to capture every bite. The reason the host of the Travel Channel’s “Man v. Food” ventured to Bonner Springs is carried out of the kitchen and placed on the table.

It’s the Ultimate Destroyer Challenge, a 12-inch sandwich filled with 4 1/2 pounds of meat. Richman must finish the beast within 45 minutes to claim victory.

And from there the mystery will remain until viewers tune in to “Man v. Food” (7 p.m. Aug. 11 on Sunflower Broadband Channels 67 and 267HD) to see whether Richman rose or fell to the challenge.

But until then, Papa Bob’s owner Bob Caviar is reveling in the experience of having his small-town restaurant, 11610 Kaw Drive in Bonner Springs, featured on a national cable network show.

“It was wild in here,” Caviar says of the day of filming. “Everyone was yelling and high-fiving, just having a good ol’ time. (The television crew) really gets the crowd going.”

The show’s crew arrived May 12 in Bonner Springs, more than a year after the challenge was created as a way to draw in more business.

After several e-mails and website posts made by Caviar and local fans of the restaurant, the entertainment company for the show contacted the restaurant in January with the news it was being considered for “Man v. Food.”

“I didn’t expect to hear anything,” Caviar says of the messages he had sent the Travel Channel.

When the day of taping arrived, a huge storm was blowing through the area with heavy rains, thunder and lightning.

“We were worried about losing power,” Caviar says. “We had a backup generator, but we didn’t have any gasoline.”

The crew got right to work anyway, Caviar says, and Richman made his appearance.

“What a nice guy,” Caviar says of Richman. “This guy was top-notch. He was chit-chatting and making everyone feel comfortable. It was a really comfortable experience.”

Caviar says the first half of the day, during normal business hours, Richman talked with customers about why they eat at Papa Bob’s and the crew filmed the cooking process of the challenge sandwich.

“I thought it would just be a hand-held camera,” Caviar says of the filming process. “But the camera had a tripod and there were lights and (microphones). It was full-blown, the real deal.”

After a break, the real show began, when at 7 p.m. Richman made his way through the crowd and sat down to make his attempt at the Ultimate Destroyer.

The Ultimate Destroyer starts out on a 12-inch hoagie bun. First comes a half-pound of pulled pork and then a half-pound of hickory-smoked sliced pork. On top of that goes some of Papa Bob’s sauce and two slices of bread. The sandwich continues with a half-pound of hickory-smoked ham and a half-pound of hickory-smoked turkey breast, which is followed with more sauce, two more pieces of bread and then three half-pound smoked hamburgers and some more sauce. Next comes a half-pound of hickory-smoked brisket and a half-pound of hickory smoked-barbecue sausage. For good measure, a last squirt of sauce is added.

The rules of the challenge are to finish everything on the plate, including the sandwich, fries and pickles, in 45 minutes without throwing up, and you get the $48 dinner for free and, of course, bragging rights.

Prior to Richman ever setting foot in Bonner Springs, several brave souls had taken on the challenge, none of whom had successfully completed it.

Caviar says he was impressed with the whole experience, especially with how the crew and Richman treated everyone throughout the process.

“He’s just one of those types of people that after the challenge was over with, and he was miserable from eating so much, he still took time to sign autographs and take pictures with kids,” Caviar says. “That’s just something a special type of person would do.”

— Nicole Kelley is a staff writer with the Bonner Springs Chieftain/Basehor Sentinel.