But instead of hardened rock, Louis’ is challenging students to hoist the sword from two tender patties of moist beef.
Plain and simple, the Excalibur is an edible monstrosity that sits five inches high on the plate. Two half-pound patties, bacon, mushrooms, tomatoes, lettuce and — drum roll — two grilled cheese sandwich buns make up the daunting Excalibur sandwich.
Impaled on a mighty steak knife to embody “the sword in the stone,” the feast can only be finished by a select few.
Right from the get-go, it was clear the Excalibur was all about big numbers. Upwards of 1,700 calories and 100 grams of fat were enveloped in this sandwich. At a whopping cost of $17.99, I planned on not eating — or moving — for several days.
After the hulking menu item was placed in front of me, the full scale of my dining challenge sank in. This thing was beyond gigantic. Would I be man enough to stomach the Excalibur? And if so, would I survive to tell the tale?
Louis’ food and beverage manager Jason Kovitch and assistant manager Daniel Smolinski brainstormed The Excalibur after attending food service conferences across Canada.
“Outrageous foods are really popular and romantic right now,” said Smolinski.
A fan of “outrageous food” shows like Man Vs. Food and the YouTube hit Epic Meal Time, Smolinski said his small-town restaurant instincts played a part in concocting the sandwich.
“Large meals and who can eat them have always been a carnival sideshow of restaurants. It’s pretty important to have one in your own restaurant,” he said.
As drool caked at the sides of my mouth, lethargy was crippling my body and I thought I could eat no more, I was informed that if I finished the sandwich, I would be granted exclusive membership to the “Knights of The Excalibur.” A photo album on Louis’ Facebook page, the Knights of The Excalibur is dedicated to those who have stomached this massive sandwich.
“It’s something fun to eat and help promote our social media networking,” said Smolinski.
So far his strategy has proven to be successful.
“Every restaurant has a different idea on using Facebook and Twitter to a certain effect. This was one way to get people on your Facebook page. They will look at themselves doing something outrageous and then their friends will see that and let it snowball out of there.”
Smolinski noted that 80 people have liked the Louis’ Facebook page in October alone. The Knights of The Excalibur online album currently shows about 20 patrons who have finished the dish to retrieve the steak knife sword.
As for me, David toppled Golliath in the end and after three heart bypass surgeries, my harrowing tale of conquering the Excalibur lives on.
Taking roughly an hour to devour, the Excalibur proved no easy task. This beast packed more fromage than the Bulk Cheese Warehouse. Considering my lusty relationship with cheese, the grilled cheese sandwich buns were a quirky, but fun addition.
The full one-pound burger at Fuddruckers is likely the closest thing you’ll find to the Excalibur in Saskatoon. Even then, The Excalibur makes the famous Fudd burger look like a wimpy baloney sandwich. Plus, you don’t have to cope with dozens of screaming children while dining at Louis’ — unless you decide to sample this feast on Tuesday during Dollar Draft.
Casual snackers, vegetarians and nutrition freaks: The Excalibur is not up your alley. Do not try fighting it — you will surely lose in the end.
Louis’ remains undecided if the Excalibur will be a limited-time offer or if it will emerge as a staple of their menu, so try it today before your chance for glory disappears.
Photo: Raisa Pezderic/The Sheaf