food challenge

By Kim Reader

This gut-busting 7,000 calorie Shrove Tuesday food challenge includes a foot-high pancake stack smothered in sugary sauces – and washed down with a 15in monster milkshake.

The mammoth meal features a stack of 12 American-style fluffy pancakes, each measuring in at six inches wide and one inch thick, with chocolate, vanilla and caramel sauces and a berry compote.


And the decadent dessert, being dished out at Liverpool city centre’s Barley and Beans, is served with an Oreo and s’mores ‘freakshake’ piled 15in high with more pancakes, doughnuts, cream cakes and candyfloss – all doused in chocolate sauce.

Between 5,000 calories for the pancakes and an extra 2,200 calories for the super-sized shake, this culinary creation contains more than 7,000 calories – more than three times the recommended daily calorie intake for women.

And eatery owner Nick Strauss, 31, said he’ll be surprised if anyone from the tens of thousands of customers expected to take on the food challenge complete it successfully – but is certain everyone daring enough to try will be leaving with quite the sugar high.


Nick, from Liverpool, said: “This is the first time we’re doing a special challenge for Pancake Day and we wanted it be in tandem with our main item – the freakshake.

“So we’re doing a 5,000 man versus food style challenge with a stack of 12 pancakes. The pancakes are thick American pancakes and each layer is covered in Nutella, vanilla sauce, caramel sauce or a berry compote.

“Then we’ve got an Oreo and s’mores milkshake topped with pancakes, mini doughnuts, big doughnuts, cream cakes, cream, candyfloss and chocolate sauce.

“The freakshake alone is more than your daily calorie allowance – and probably your full fat and sugar allowance.


“I don’t think anybody is going to be able to finish both on their own – maybe in teams of two – but we’ll see.

“Even though we’re quite a small place we usually get tens of thousands of people interested in the events we run so it’ll be interesting to see if anyone can get through both.

“Whether they finish or not, everyone will get a massive sugar rush – I think all our customers do.

“We’re going to set up a ‘wall of shame’ for those who fail and a ‘wall of fame’ for anyone who completes the challenge and there’ll be prizes, even for pairs who complete it together.”

Anyone brave enough to tackle the mighty pancake stack and milkshake can take on the challenge from today (TUES) through to the end of the week.

Barley and Beans was opened by Nick back in 2014 and was designed as a neighbourhood café where ‘every seat is the best seat’ thanks to their range of sofas and armchairs.


But from their humble beginnings, the restaurant now see droves of customers queuing up each weekend after they became the first place in the North West to  start making super-sized freakshakes.

Nick said: “We set out to be a neighbourhood café with sofas and armchairs for everyone instead of the hard metal or plastic chairs so that every seat in the house is the best seat.

“But we started to get a lot more attention when we launched the huge milkshakes in January last year. They started in Australia and spread to London but we were the first place in the North West.

“Since then our milkshakes have just got bigger and bigger and so have we. We have people coming in at all hours and queues outside at the weekends.

“It doesn’t feel real yet. It just feels like a dream. But if it keeps up for another year or so then we’ll think about expanding.”