She’s the only woman so far with enough bravado to try the Triple-Triple Burger — a gigantic cheeseburger stuffed with nine patties and a total of 2,000 calories.
Candy L. Brozzo of Watertown had plenty of reasons to be intimidated as she waited for the arrival of her burger at noon Monday outside Jake’s Wayback Burgers at the Salmon Run Mall: A crowd of eager spectators encircled her, including reporters and photographers from a local cable news channel and the Watertown Daily Times. But the 33-year-old didn’t look fazed when Joseph A. Biccum, the franchise’s co-owner, set the 6-inch mound of beef in front of her.
The $12.99 burger took about 10 minutes to grill. Mr. Biccum placed a thick pile of napkins by the platter, giving Mrs. Brozzo the green light to dig in. A timer was started as she peeled off the top bun and stuck her plastic fork into the first patty, taking her first bite.
This particular Triple-Triple challenge at Jake’s was significant for several reasons. The eatery became the first Jake’s in the country to offer the gigantic burger when it opened at the mall on Black Friday. The franchise gave the burger a three-week trial period to test its success and it passed with flying colors: more than 100 burgers were sold in the first three weeks at the eatery, which has now sold more than 200. As a result, on March 1 the burger will be introduced at the chain’s 662 restaurants nationwide.
“I didn’t think it was going to be this successful,” said Mr. Biccum, who co-owns the eatery with his brother Mark. “But we’ve had guys come in here and pound down these burgers, and it blew my socks off. We’ve had five guys at a table eating these; some finish, some have to box them up.”
When she woke up Monday morning, Mrs. Brozzo didn’t know she’d be in the media limelight eating the burger, which comes with a tomato slice, lettuce and nine slices of cheese. She was cleaning her house when friend Jessica Pitcher, a Jake’s employee, unexpectedly called her. It was 11:20 a.m. and she had just stepped out of the shower. Luckily, she hadn’t eaten breakfast.
“She first asked if my brother wanted to do it, and I knew he wouldn’t, so I agreed,” Mrs. Brozzo said. “She told me I had to be here at noon, so I hurried up and took my children to a baby sitter to get here in time.”
After 12 minutes of nonstop eating, Mrs. Brozzo ordered a drink of water. She started to slow down.
“So much for the diet I planned,” she laughed, sticking her fork in again. “I think I just found another patty.”
She received encouragement to press on, though, from amused bystanders. Cody R. Cloud, a Fort Drum soldier, showed disbelief when he looked at the burger.
“I give you mad props!” said the 21-year-old from Austin, Texas. “I don’t even think I could do that. If she can finish it, that would give me motivation to try.”
Sitting at an adjacent table at the food court, 57-year-old Henry R. LaClair of Clayton was clearly impressed with Mrs. Brozzo’s appetite. He’d ordered only a hamburger, fries and a drink.
“She’s another Danica Patrick,” he said, likening her to the NASCAR racing pioneer. “I’ve ordered the smallest burger they have and am almost full. But she’s going to need a wheelchair to get out of here.”
Time continued to pass. Twenty-three minutes into the challenge, Mrs. Brozzo made a sudden announcement: “I’m tapping out.”
Looking at the mound of ground beef left over, she estimated about seven patties were consumed. She looked fatigued, ready for a nap.
“At first it’s absolutely delicious,” she said. “But then it just starts tasting the same and dissolves in your mouth. I’m upset that I couldn’t eat it all.”
Thanks to the early success at Jake’s, the Biccums plan to start a second location in Evans Mills closer to Fort Drum. It would be in the plaza next to Walmart on Route 11 in a space recently vacated by Radio Shack. The deal is expected to be announced in the next month.
“I think it’s going to be a huge success,” Mr. Biccum said of the plan. “We would get a lot of military people out there.”