A large platter plate is filled with 2.2 pounds of schnitzel covered with mushroom gravy and a double order of beer-battered fries with choice of dipping sauce.
The timer is set at one hour. If all of the food is consumed within 30 minutes, your meal is free and you receive some prizes. Any longer than that, the cost is $50. Whether you finish it or not, your photo also is featured on Facebook.
Are you up for the challenge?
If so, Schwätzer’s German Restaurant in downtown Seymour is the place to go.
Since starting the Schwätzer’s Schnitzel Challenge in the fall of 2021, restaurant owner Solomon Rust said nearly 20 people have tried it. Several have accomplished the feat.
The most recent finisher came all the way from the United Kingdom and set a record in the process.
Adam Moran, whose YouTube channel Beard Meats Food has 2.6 million subscribers, recently posted a video from his Jan. 12 visit to the restaurant at 113 Indianapolis Ave. He completed the challenge in 8 minutes, 50 seconds. To top it off, he enjoyed a streusel with ice cream for dessert.
Besides getting his meal free, Moran received a Schwätzer’s T-shirt and mug and a mini package of Haribo gummy bears.
So how was he able to do this under 9 minutes?
“Practice mostly,” the professional competitive eater said. “I’m not the quickest eater these days, but using plenty of water to wash it down helps. Finishing 4 to 5 pounds of food in half an hour shouldn’t be too tricky for anyone with a good appetite, but doing it under 10 minutes is a different kettle of fish. It helped that it tasted great. Schnitzel can be pretty dry, but the meat was tender, and they put on a lot of their homemade sauce, which was delicious.”
Moran said he found out about the challenge through one of his subscribers, who had taken a picture inside the restaurant and sent it to him.
“I keep a list of things like that in case I’m ever in the area,” he said. “I happened to be in Kentucky filming some stuff and decided to make the trip a bit further north since there aren’t many schnitzel challenges around, certainly in North America.”
He gave a few reasons why he decided to give it a try.
“First of all, eating challenges like this are pretty abundant throughout the states, but more often than not, they consist of burgers, pizza, wings, that kind of thing,” he said. “I’m always on the lookout for more interesting or unusual types of cuisine.”
He also thought it sounded fun that the prizes varied based on how quick you finish the meal. Every 10 minutes, the number of prizes changes.
“I’d heard nobody had managed to do it under 10 minutes and win it all — free meal, shirt, mug and all that,” Moran said. “I knew that would make an entertaining episode for my YouTube channel.”
Since posting the video a week ago, it already has received 1.2 million views. View it at youtube/Suw3z9fAYYo.
“Broadly speaking, I do it to entertain people,” Moran said. “Most of the videos on the channel get a million or more views on average in the short term, and that’s a responsibility I don’t take lightly, so I’m always looking for the best stories to tell, albeit usually confined to the act of eating a lot.”
From a personal perspective, he said it’s always nice to meet people and interact with them, be it restaurant owners or fellow diners.
“Naturally, people react with shock fairly commonly, which I suppose is its own reward in a way,” he said.
Rust said Moran had messaged the restaurant on Facebook before coming by, and he didn’t realize Moran was a YouTuber until he showed up Jan. 12 with camera equipment.
“He really enjoyed ours because it was something different,” Rust said. “He said he runs into a lot of things that are burgers or pizza over and over again, so to have something like this, it’s just totally one-off. He said he felt bad he was enjoying himself too much.”
Since the challenge started, Rust said those who have completed it have averaged between the 10- and 15-minute mark. That includes Josh Robinson of Seymour, who finished the meal in 10 minutes, 31 seconds on April 30, 2022.
“He took second place at the 2019 Seymour Oktoberfest brat eating contest but took first place tonight at Schwätzer’s Schnitzel Challenge,” Rust posted on the restaurant’s Facebook page.
There are a few who took a little longer but still completed it.
That includes the first person to complete the challenge, Rust’s friend, Brett Hanchar. In November 2021, he finished in 30 minutes, 11 seconds. He wanted to try the challenge after hearing Rust had completed a similar one at Harzer Schnitzelkönig in Germany twice in the past 10 years.
On March 18, 2022, John King knocked out the meal in 26 minutes, 36 seconds. He even wore a shirt with the message “I don’t give a schnitzel,” and he polished it off with a shot of Jägermeister.
Even the people who aren’t able to finish the challenge receive Facebook fame for giving it a try. The bonus is they have leftovers for another day.
Nathan Patman of Brownstown said he went into the challenge earlier this month without any real plan and didn’t properly prepare for it.
“I was just ready for dinner and decided to give it a shot,” he said. “I started off fast and was doing pretty well at the 10-minute mark, but then I really started to slow down. Once I saw that I wasn’t going to complete it in a time that would put me into the prizes, I decided not to jeopardize my love of schnitzel, asked for a box and ordered a Hefeweizen, which was quite enjoyable.”
He said he wants to try it again sometime with a proper game plan.
“The best part was eating some delicious schnitzel. Schwätzer’s makes a great schnitzel, and I really enjoyed my meal, regardless of failing the challenge,” he said.
Patman encourages others to give it a try.
“Just go for it,” he said. “At the worst, you’re going to pay a fair price for a delicious meal.”
Since the brat eating contest isn’t offered at the Seymour Oktoberfest anymore, Rust said the Schnitzel Challenge has been a good alternative.
“For me, the fun is it’s just something different,” he said. “When you come out with this big platter, everybody is looking over and saying, ‘What’s going on over here?’ It’s still something that gets people something to think about or get excited about.”
At a glance
Schwätzer’s German Restaurant is at 113 Indianapolis Ave., Seymour.
Hours are 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays and 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays.
For information, call 812-682-0007 or visit schwatzers.com or facebook.com/schwatzers.