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New Orleans eating challenges 

  Winter is coming, and what better way to avoid buying a spread of winter weather accessories than packing on a few extra pounds for natural insulation? Here are five local eating challenges to help with the process of warming oneself from the inside out and, if you're successful, scoring a massive free meal.

  • Pho challenge, Pho Cam Ly (3814 Magazine St., 504-644-4228;

  Diners must eat two pounds of noodles and two pounds of meat within one hour to get the meal for free, plus a T-shirt and place on the restaurant's wall. Failure draws a $40 charge for the meal.

  • Tchoupitoulas sundae challenge, Creole Creamery (4924 Prytania St., 504-894-8680; 6260 Vicksburg St., 504-482-2924;

  The wall of fame includes 598 eaters who have downed eight scoops of ice cream, eight toppings, whipped cream, cherries and wafers.

  • Bayou Beast challenge, Bayou Hot Wings (6221 S. Claiborne Ave., 504-865-9464;

  Competitors must eat 10 of the restaurant's spiciest wings in five minutes without the aid of water, napkins or side items. Winners get their photo on the wall and a T-shirt.

  • Cannon burger challenge, Bobby Hebert's Cajun Cannon (4101 Veteran's Memorial Blvd., Metairie, 504-324-6841;

  The Cannon burger features seven beef patties topped with three fried shrimp, cheddar cheese, tomatoes, onions and pickles and served with Cajun-spiced fries. A single person who eats it all gets the $50 meal for free.

  • 15 Dozen club, Acme Oyster House (724 Iberville St., 504-522-5973; 1202 N. Highway 190, Covington, 985-246-6155; 3000 Veterans Memorial Blvd., Metairie, 504-309-4056;

  Challengers must down 180 oysters in an hour to receive a hat, T-shirt, place on the restaurant's wall and half off the price of the oysters they've eaten. All competitors must pre-pay and there is an 18 percent gratuity.

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