The Trashcan Challenge

Sometimes silly ideas get wedged in my head. The latest one of these was cooked up in partnership with Jemma of Jemma Eat World fame, who was on a little break back in Edinburgh from her world travels.



The idea was attempting the Trashcan Challenge, a massive platter of meat and stuff served at Flaming Grill Pubs. We chose to sample it at McCowan’s just near the Fountainpark cinema.

Although we’re both capable of packing away a fairly substantial nosebag, neither of us are in the competitive eater category so we took some time to psych ourselves up with a couple of light ales at the nearby Fountain Bar. We arrived primed and ready to go.

The place is pretty ghastly but the welcome was warm and we were promptly shown to a booth. We stared at the menu for a bit, but we weren’t distracted from the task at hand, so we were soon ordering our feast at the bar.

The drinks were very reasonably priced and for the amount of food we were about to try and eat, £19.99 also represented a very low pricetag.

Start your engines

Start your engines

My expectations were set to minimal, so I had a feeling I was going to be pleasantly surprised by at least some of it.

Presented on a stylised trashcan lid, it was truly a mountain of food. It comprised: a mixed grill burger; a whole rack of ribs; a pulled pork nacho sundae; corn; a triple portion of chips; various chicken nugget things; onion rings; and two portions of beans.

Disappointingly, everything was pretty lukewarm which didn’t really aid our attempts at eating it all.



I hadn’t thought about how best to approach the task of eating it all, but given that it wasn’t one of those where it was free if you ate every last bite, there wasn’t much incentive to approach it scientifically.

In descending order of quality, the ribs were pretty good, the onion rings were decent, the burger wasn’t bad (although the bottom layer which was apparently a gammon burger was rather strange), the corn was OK, the sundae was fine, the nuggets were dry, the chips were bad, and the beans were beans.

Barely dented

Barely dented

I ate all of the burger, two thirds of the ribs, half the corn, all of the sundae, all of the onion rings, some of the nuggets, a few of the chips, and virtually none of the beans. Jemma did about the same minus her reluctance to deal with the suspicious lower layer of the burger. We both survived.

So overall, I’m glad to have attempted the Trashcan Challenge but it’s not one I’ll be repeating any time soon. We had hilarious fun giving it a shot, but for it to be a more culinarily enjoyable experience, everything needed to be a bit warmer, the weird lower layer on the mixed grill burger needs fixed, and the chips need an upgrade. Still, if and when the mood takes you this is a cheap way to eat a mountain of mediocre food, so give it a go when that impulse strikes.

Today’s questers were: Jemma, Blythe

We ate: the Trashcan challenge (2)

We wore: stripes, action footwear

Total bill: £39.98

Address: Fountain Park, 134 Dundee Street, Edinburgh EH11 1AF

McCowans Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Written by BKR