FALLBROOK – Local resident Heather Howard, owner of Mimi’s Boutique SoCal in downtown Fallbrook, visited another downtown establishment March 1 when she participated in the “Lamkinator” burger challenge at Oink and Moo.
Only two contestants in four and one-half years have ever defeated the Lamkinator, which derives its name from a former challenger who conquered the burger. Jonathan Arbel, owner/chef of Oink and Moo, explained that a contestant who successfully completes the challenge in the allotted time is entitled to not only rename the burger, but choose another ingredient to add to it.
“The last winner, Adam Lampkin, added a BBQ quarter chicken to the burger and named it the Lamkinator,” said Arbel. “Win it (the challenge) and the burger is free.”
Howard was the first female challenger ever, and weighing in at a mere 110 pounds, the crowd was skeptical of her chances at taking on the 30-inch tall, 5 1/2 pound Lamkinator.
Beforehand, Arbel said, “I’ve sized Heather up. At first I was laughing – how will this ‘little lady’ take this burger down? This burger is taller than she is. She has no chance.”
Howard accepted the challenge on behalf of her brother-in-law, Fred Garnett, who was visiting Fallbrook on his first vacation in at least 15 years.
In December, Garnett and Howard’s husband Guy Howard (Garnett’s best friend), flew to Florida where Garnett underwent a stem cell procedure to attempt to restore his vision (he has been blind since he was 16). It was during that visit that the idea for Heather to take on the Lamkinator was born, and when Garnett came back to town, it was on.
Once the 46 minute timer started, Howard attacked the top layers of her imposing challenger. The crowd was very supportive and helped root her on as she slowly dismantled the Lamkinator. Bite by bite, the Lamkinator gave way to this most unlikeliest of challengers, who was quoted early on as saying “what’s for dessert?” and “I hope these are bottomless fries”.
Unfortunately, heart and desire were eventually overcome by the physical restrictions of a tiny stomach, and the diminutive Howard had to tap out with 16 minutes to go.