It’s six pounds of roasted meat, tomatoes, onions and sweet garlic sauce atop a pizza-sized pita – and so far no one has been able to eat it all.
Alexandra’s Pizza in Sydney, N.S., has been challenging people to devour its massive donair, but no one has finished it after 17 attempts in the last five months.
Up for grabs is a year of free pizza or donairs, $500 to a local charity of their choice, and a photo on the pizza shop’s wall-of-fame.
Restaurant owner Justin Ayre said the contest has attracted attention from across the country, and videos documenting attempts have been viewed thousands of times on the shop’s Facebook page.
“We’re getting people from Calgary, Vancouver – you name it – they want to get on the road and come here to try it out,” said Ayre in an interview Wednesday.
Each attempt to eat the six-pound donair – about the same weight as a brick – costs $59 plus tax, and must be pre-paid.
Ayre said their version of the East Coast delicacy is the size of a large pizza, and stands about four inches tall. It’s made to the contestant’s taste – without veggies, for example.
He said a participant from Whitney Pier, N.S., did come close to finishing the messy dish within the allotted hour, while one of the challenge’s first ever contestants is gearing up for another shot.
He said the contest has been popular among local college students.
“People usually bring a lot of their friends and family. After the hour’s up, the friends sometimes end up picking at the leftovers. Or they bring what’s left home,” he said with a laugh.
WATCH: Live feed of Halifax donair meat goes viral online
Two men from New Brunswick went head-to-head, but neither were victorious.
“Everybody trains for it. They watch YouTube videos and come up with their own strategies – to figure out how to beat it,” said Ayre.
Ayre said he’s hoping the quintessentially East Coast contest attracts some notable extreme eaters.
The sweet and savory meat-lovers treat – closely related to the Greek gyro – has a decades-old, cult-like following in the Maritimes, and in 2015 was named the official food of Halifax.