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I noticed a Facebook post from my friend Shannen Park, looking for "eaters" to attend the "Hangover Challenge" eating contest at Rivers Edge Caf and Espresso Bar, that she co-owns, along with her husband, Tony.  The event was to be held at 0530, early in the morning,  January 01, 2018, which just happens to be New Years Day.  KXTV-TV, the Sacramento ABC affiliate Channel 10 was to be broadcasting the event live on their morning show, and it was to be hosted by legendary television and radio host Mark S. Allen.  I like to eat, and I get up early every morning, so how could I refuse?

Photo:  It's a little after 0500 on New Years Day, 2018, and I've been invited to the "Hangover Challenge" eating contest at Rivers Edge Cafe, and I'm up and ready to do some serious eating.  What made the event even more interesting is it was broadcast on live Sacramento television, KXTV-TV, Channel 10, and hosted by legendary broadcaster Mark S. Allen.

I didn't have a hangover, as I'd gone to bed at 9 o'clock the previous evening, and I rang in the new year sound asleep.  Personally, I'd prefer to enjoy an early morning eating contest than a boozy night on the town.

Photo:  Mark interviews Tony and Shannen Park, owners of the restaurant on live television, and sets the stage for the events that are ready to happen.  Shannen and Tony provided all of the food, and also gave free "Hangover Breakfasts" to any customers who came in before 0730, which was very generous of them.  They are great people and they operate a wonderful restaurant!  Note the television monitor at the upper left of the photo, where the event is being broadcast on live television, KXTV-TV, Channel 10, as the photo is being taken.

Photo:  Mark S. Allen, ever the entertaining stunt reporter, clowns things up for the camera.  All of the contestants sat at the counter, and you can see some of the food that was placed before us, just in case we got hungry after eating our "Hangover Breakfast."

Photo:  Restaurant co-owner, Tony Park poses with fellow contestant Shelle Parsons before the event.  Shannen Park, co-owner of Rivers Edge Cafe can be seen in the background of the photo.  Thanks to my friend and fellow contestant Lisa Howard for allowing me to publish this photo, and the next two photos.

Photo:  Television reporter Mark S. Allen talks it up on live television, as the event unfolds.  After the eating contest finished, Mark went to nearby Folsom Lake to enjoy a "Polar Bear Swim" on live television, wearing his suit.  This gentleman has class!

Photo:  My friend Lisa Howard shows off her "Hangover Breakfast" that she's about ready to enjoy on live Sacramento television.  In the foreground, Shannen has place one of the restaurant's legendary "Reuben Sandwiches" with an order of curly fries in case anybody is hungry.  After devouring my "Hangover Breakfast," I didn't have room for the Reuben, as tempting as it was.

Photo:  Mark and I exchange knuckles before we begin our challenge.  As you can tell, the photo was taken on live television.  

The idea was to see who could eat as much of their breakfast in the 60 seconds the actual eating was aired on live television.  

Photo:  I'm eating my breakfast in earnest and basically just shoveling it all into my mouth as fast as I can.  My friend and worthy opponent, Barney Young, sits next to me, and absolutely destroys his breakfast.  Barney ended up the winner of the contest.  In addition to bragging rights, he garnered a free breakfast for he and a friend at River's Edge Cafe at a later date.

Photo:  So, you ask, what is a "Hangover Special" you ask?   Stuffed hash brown potatoes start out as a giant order of hash brown potatoes, which are pre-cooked on the griddle.  Diced sausage, bacon, cheese and sour cream is added, then the potatoes are folded over, and grilled to perfection, and  to a crispy, golden brown.  Top all this goodness  off with a fried egg, and you have the "Hangover Special," which is a breakfast that will keep breakfast lovers coming back forever.   Mmmmm.... mmmm good!  Try eating all of this delicious breakfast on live television in 60 seconds!  

Photo:  Today's "Hangover Challenge" eating contestants, from left to right... Front row:  Shannon Park and her two children.  Back row, "The Air Force Guy," Tony Park, Shelle Parsons, Lisa Howard, Eric Rench - your author - Mark S. Allen, and the winner of the contest, Barney Young.  Thanks to Shannen Park for allowing me to publish this photo.

The television station photographer, Mark, wanted us to make funny faces for live television, so we all did our best to ring in the New Year with a wonderful breakfast, and a "class-act" challenge broadcast live on Sacramento television.

This was definitely not your typical "wake up call" for New Years Day, but it was a great way to get 2018 off to a great start.   I LOVE Rivers Edge Caf and Espresso Bar... for the friendly service, the comfortable decor, and the great food... oh, did I forget? ... the stuffed hash brown potatoes...

Rivers Edge Caf and Espresso Bar
8740 La Rivera Dr.
Sacramento, CA 95826
916 362-2221
www. riversedgecafeonline.com

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