Man versus Joe Snuffy’s

We had a rule about eating in Kansas. We would only eat in local or regional restaurants, no national restaurant chains. We never had a bad meal in Kansas. The cuts of meat and fresh vegetables in local dives rivaled fine restaurants in the east, but at lower prices. Not only did we find great food, we also found the most hospitable owners and staff.

One place that never seemed to close except for Tuesdays is Joe Snuffy’s in Abilene. You can read the writing on the wall (literally). The food is fresh, served piping hot, and the peanut butter pie is to die for.

My husband Bill suggested that our son and I eat lunch there one day. (He was at work and had been there many times before.) Owners Marty and his wife, Anja, gave us a big welcome. We studied the menu as we noticed orders coming out of the kitchen looking delicious.

Live Lunchtime Entertainment

To our great surprise there was a contestant in Joe Snuffy’s Triple Hammer Challenge.  Patrick had seen Adam Richman on “Man versus Food” on the Travel Channel‘s reality show many times. Now, here, live, was a real food challenge! Our lunch was getting exciting.

Marty told me the food challenge thing began because of his T-shirt. The image of the  burger was so big that his buddy said it was false advertising. So, Marty created a huge burger just like the one on the shirt. Then came the dares for people to eat it. His customers kept bugging Marty to start a food challenge. He caved and now there is “Joe Snuffy’s Triple Hammer Challenge.”

The Tripple Hammer Challenge


  1. $15.99 Triple Hammer and Fries…No subs no omissions!
  2. No sharing…This is a food challenge and not a cheap way to feed four people. (No doggy boxes.)
  3. 30 minutes to consume all food on platter. Joe Snuffy’s manager will keep the time.
  4. Drinks are not included in the price or any other sides….
  5. Contestants relieve Joe Snuffy’s of any liability resulting in challenge to include death.
  6. Contestants must sign bottom of rules form as waiver of liability.
  7. Eat it all in 30 minutes, it’s free and we give you a T-shirt.
Ken waits for the starting bell.

Ken from Arkansas

Ken came with two friends to take the challenge. The Triple Hammer and Fries came —a little more than a pound of meat, bacon, ham, hash browns, eggs equaling their triple omelet, and more, all on a huge bun, plus at least a pound of fries.

The timer began and the clock ticked. Ken ate, paused, sipped water, ate, paused, took a deep breath, and on and on. We had to leave, but told Marty we would be back to find out what happened. We came back the next night with Bill. Marty told us Ken from Arkansas didn’t finish— almost, though. There have only been seven people make it and their photos are on the wall. I wonder if Adam Richman could handle it?

Who needs a reality show when we found real-life, small-town excitement?

Owner Marty and the T-shirt.

Joe Snuffy’s is located at 209 West 1st Street, Abilene, KS 67410.Joe Snuffy's on Urbanspoon


4 thoughts on “Man versus Joe Snuffy’s

  1. Barbara, it is with a saddened heart and a bulging waistline that I must un-follow your blog. When I started following your cooking and decorating and traveling and hosting accomplishments my belt buckle was secured in the last hole, and having lost a significant amount of weight I was considering cinching the belt smaller to acknowledge my reduced girth.

    However—and this is a huge however—two unused belt holes are now highly visible and I am considering punching another hole to alleviate the pressure. I unwillingly admit to going from a 34-inch waist to a 36-incher, and I now have 28 pairs of jeans that are uncomfortable. I must regretfully remove myself from temptation or else return to wearing those big-butt Dockers that still lurk in my closet. Every time I read one of your blogs I shut the computer down and race to the refrigerator—bummer!

    The final straw, the one that broke the proverbial chubby camel’s back was this posting of “Joe Snuffy’s Triple Hammer Challenge.” The unforgiving photo of that mountainous hamburger bun, burdened with “more than a pound of meat, bacon, ham, hash browns and eggs equaling a triple omelet” was “the final nail in the coffin,” another hoary proverb. And finally, the avalanche of fries in the valley of the mountain was the ultimate bummer in that photo, regardless of its beautiful composition and its loving placement on silver foil against a gorgeous sky-blue table cloth.

    Au revoir, as the French are wont to say, which literally means “to the seeing again,” but not in this case—those store-bought jeans are just too expensive to replace and I must reluctantly dissolve our relationship. I considered asking you to nix the photos, but your narratives are so realistic and so beautifully captioned that removing the images would not significantly diminish the adrenaline rush that propels me toward the refrigerator.

    Incidentally, I used the term “toward” and I mention it only because I have been chastised for using it instead of “towards.” However, the words are interchangeable in all situations. I prefer “toward” because it has fewer letters. That saves typing time, ink and paper and reduces wear and tear on the letter “s” and the left-hand ring finger.

    • Dear King:
      I read your Dear Jane letter several times before making this reply. Parting is such sweet sorrow but I understand the bulging waistline. Since you invoked some French (au revoir), I’ll give you some suggested reading in hopes it will help you garner the strength to return to my blog. Google the book French Women Don’t Get Fat by Mireille Guilano. Better yet, read the book. Woah man, I know you’re not a woman but you might find some inspiration to be able to satisfy your hunger without getting largesse. I hope your “au revoir” turns into “bonjour!”
      Bon appetit,
      Barbara Kelley

  2. I rather enjoyed the article and even though i don’t find it at all tempting to eat one pound of anything I did enjoy reading how others would subject themselves to such torture over a free meal and shirt but then i realized it was for neither it was for the glory of the accomplishment that they subject themselves to such pain.
    I also enjoy eating at restaurants that are not chains because of the versatility of food and the hospitality that can be found there. I would also like to say that you can eat anything you want with moderation and omitting something from your diet will only make you desire it more thus eating more of it than you should of resulting in gaining more weight than losing.
    I do think that this challenge is not something someone will do everyday and it is fun to see who will accomplish the goal of this challenge.
    Tammy from Abilene Kansas Home of The Hammer

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