Pic: Dom Henry
I bloomin’ love pancakes, but - like most people - I only eat them once a year on Shrove Tuesday. So when I was offered the chance to visit The Southbank Bar - West Bridgford’s telly-encrusted sports pub - to take part in their epic Man vs. Food-style pancake challenge, I didn’t need asking twice.
Slap bang next to the City Ground and a ball’s throw from Trent Bridge, it pulls no punches as to what it is: a sports-themed watering hole. As menus go, it has the required fare on offer to soak up the pre-match booze or act as a bridge between match and night on the town, but I was not here for the regular menu.
The premise of Man v Southbank is simple: lay down £15 and get dealt a gargantuanly pimped-up dish. If you deck it in 45 minutes, you get your money back or win beer tokens, as well as the title of, well, the fattest bastard in Bridgford. My partner, being of sound mind, opted for a proper dinner of fish and chips, which I was informed was a tasty chunk of haddock with beer batter courtesy of their own Navigation Brewery ale (£5.95). I, however, had bigger things to worry about, namely the stack of American pancakes that had just been put down in front of me. Dripping in blueberries and sticky sauce, I dove into the floury mountain of sweetness...
In the States they eat these things for breakfast and, unlike our traditional French-inspired crepes, they pack a punch. Within minutes the stark reality dawned on me that you’d have to be some kind of Marvel superhero to put all this away. With my stomach filling and my vision on the wane, I felt light-headed as all the sugary carbohydrates started to take their toll. With a few locals cheering me on I slowly approached the halfway mark and hope was fading fast. With only half of the pile downed and fifteen minutes on the clock, I wimpishly threw in the towel. As I nibbled upon the agony of defeat (and was given a t-shirt that read ‘I CAME, I SAW, I FAILED’), I could hardly bring myself to look at the huge photo of Brian Clough above my table. Had he been there. I would have welcomed the slap he would have deservedly applied to my face.
Part of me feels I would have fared better with a savoury challenge - previous dishes have include a burrito the size of a baby, and a burger that Elvis himself would have found a bit too massive. But who knows? For those attempting such a foolhardy feat, take caution with these portions; they’re veritable monsters.
The Southbank, 1 Bridgford House, Trent Bridge, NG2 5GJ