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Bites in Brief: Pro eating champ tackles giant pizza; old school food court gets revamp,

Just last week, Joey “Jaws” Chestnut polished off 71 hot dogs (and buns!) to win his 12th title at the Nathan’s Famous annual July Fourth hot dog eating contest in New York. Now the competitive eating champ is hungry for pizza.


Chestnut will be in town Sunday (July 14) to take part in an inaugural Fat Boy’s Pizza Eating Championship, at the namesake Old Metairie pizzeria (2565 Metairie Road, 504-345-2182).


It is a new event sanctioned by Major League Eating, the organization that hosts such feats of the mouth as the Nathan’s Famous hot dog contest and the local Acme Oyster Eating Championship in New Orleans.


Chestnut and other competitors will take on some oversized slices at the Sunday event.


The “2 Ft. Challenge” at Fat Boy’s Pizza is a beat-the-clock contest to eat a huge slice of pizza at the Metairie restaurant.

Fat Boy’s Pizza, which opened in February, makes big pizza. The large pies measure 30 inches across. Picture the spare tire on the back of a Jeep and you get an idea of the scale.


In addition, Fat Boy’s also makes a super slice dubbed the “2 Ft. Challenge.” Measuring 24-inches from crust to tip, this slice is served as part of a beat-the-clock food dare, with prizes for those who can finish it in less than seven minutes.


For the Major League Eating event, competitors will vie for the record of how many of these slices they can eat in 10 minutes.


The day will include a performance by Bag of Donuts and games and activities for kids. The event is from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Competition is at 1 p.m. 


CBD food court gets revamp


Staff photo by Ian McNulty – The Food Court at Place St. Charles in downtown New Orleans is a collection of quick, walk-up eateries that has been recently revamped.

The food court in downtown’s Place St. Charles office tower (201 St. Charles Ave.) has been gradually reinventing itself with an infusion of new vendors and diverse flavors, from Korean to Nicaraguan.

This week, the CBD lunch spot makes the revamp official after completing a renovation and rebranding effort.


A slice of pizza is covered with vegetables at Dona, a walk-up stand in the Place St. Charles food court in downtown New Orleans.

The food court dates to 1985, when the skyscraper first opened, and has long been a haven for quick, fast workday meals.

While the food hall trend has caught on more recently, running the food court model through modern millennial styling, this particular collection of walk-up eateries has remained steadfastly old school.

The renovation keeps the same blueprint in place but freshens up the look with new marble tables and décor and, of course, charging stations for the phones you’ll probably use to snap photos of your lunch.

The official name has also changed from Balcony Cafés (which nobody really used) to the Food Court at Place St. Charles (which is what most people called it anyway).

The nine food vendors here are all local businesses. They represent a mix of longtime food court tenants and a wave of additions that opened between late 2017 and last fall.

Those include the Bop for Korean food; NolaNica, an offshoot of a Nicaraguan restaurant in Kenner of the same name; Baba Ganuj Café, an offshoot of Uptown’s Middle Eastern restaurant Shahrazad Café; and Doña, a pizza stand with Mexican breakfast dishes.

They have joined longer-running stands here, including Rick’s Grille (cheesesteaks, Cuban sandwiches), Purple Cactus (Tex-Mex), Steve’s Diner (New Orleans style plate lunches, po-boys), St. Charles Noodle (Vietnamese) and Vintage Garden Kitchen (salads and healthy wraps).

A grand opening event for the Food Court at Place St. Charles is scheduled for Wednesday, beginning at 10:30 a.m., with live music, raffles and promos.

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