Click photo to enlarge
Daniel Burell, cook for the Wrightsville Inn, practices flipping hamburgers with a pizza board in preparation for the restuarants' annual King Kong Burger eating contest, Tuesday January 23, 2007. On Feb. 17 teams of five will gather around a 15 pound King Kong Burger and the first team to finish the entire meal will be crowned the King Kong Burger eating champions. Entry for the event is $104 per team of five. Proceeds from the event will benefit the Children's Home of York. For information about the event, contact the Wrightsville Inn at 252-4508. (John Pavoncello photo)
The Wrightsville Inn is planning a mammoth meal to raise money for the Children's Home of York.

The restaurant, at 601 S. Front St. in Wrightsville, will hold a hamburger-eating contest Feb. 17, awarding top prize to the fastest hamburger-eating team.

But it's not just a regular hamburger the restaurant will be serving, said Wrightsville Inn's Ruth Myers: the teams of five will have to down a 15-pound King Kong Burger. That's about three pounds of beef apiece, not including the bun, pickles, lettuce, tomatoes and cheese.

"Awesome," was how Myers described the burger the restaurant serves. She manages and owns the Wrightsville Inn with her husband, Ed Myers.

"When we bring it out, mouths drop, and people get their cell phones out and start snapping pictures," Ruth Myers said. "You'd think it was a brand new baby."

Started serving in July: The Wrightsville Inn has been serving the burger since last July to parties of as many as 32 people. Even the group of 32 had leftovers, Myers said.

Since the couple took ownership of the restaurant almost four years ago, they've discussed serving the King Kong Burger. But until they were more comfortable with operating the business, the couple put the idea on the back burner.

It's not an original idea, she said, and she actually first saw such a burger while watching television. Other places, like Denny's Beer Barrel Pub, northwest of State College, serve hamburgers that weigh in excess of 50 pounds.

"But it's a nice conversation piece. And, hey, if people do it elsewhere, there's no reason we can't do it in Wrightsville," Myers said.

The 15-pound beef patty starts cooking in the oven and finishes on a charcoal grill. Myers said cooks use a pizza paddle to flip the burger "and pray it doesn't break when it comes down."

22 pounds, total: The restaurant also makes its own buns. When all is said and done, Myers said, the King Kong Burger weighs 22 pounds.

Though the restaurant has been serving the burger for half a year,
this is the first time they've had an eating contest with it, Myers said.

"We try to do some fund-raisers here and there so the community knows that we're not just here as a restaurant, but we also want to help our neighbors and different organizations," she said.

Myers happened to receive a letter in the mail about the Children's Home of York and decided "it was a sign" proceeds from the contest would go toward the group.

The winning group gets five free T-shirts, five $20 gift certificates to the restaurant and the team's name on a plaque along with a group photo, hung in the Wrightsville Inn.

What: Five-member teams sought to eat burgers for a fund-raiser benefiting the Children's Home of York.

Where: Wrightsville Inn, 601 S. Front St., Wrightsville

When: 1 p.m., Saturday, Feb. 17

Entry fee: A team of five costs $104, half of which must be deposited by Feb. 3

Contact: 252-4508
-- Reach Charles Schillinger at 505-5431 or cschillinger@yorkdispatch.com.