Are You Cheeky Enough To Chow?

(Contest Completed!)

Yep, Mike and Chao have been Cheeky-fied, starting with a pretty sweet contest: Are You Cheeky Enough To Chow? Basically, we (Cheeky and the Union Sushi + Barbeque Bar gang) want to know about your craziest eating adventure. Leave no detail out—where did you eat, what did you have, what made it so delicious/bizarre/surprising? Like the time we ate live octopus in Osaka, or Kudu Tartare in Cape Town… yum.

The top 10 finalists will be invited to the First Look at Union Sushi + Barbeque Bar, where the grand prize winner—and Cheeky’s first San Francisco correspondent—will be announced. The winner will receive a 2 night/3 day vacation to San Francisco for two, including a Southwest flight and accommodations at The InterContinental San Francisco.

Best of all, you’ll get the Mike and Chao Ultimate Concierge Service. The winner will have their journey featured on the all-new Cheeky San Fran (follow @CheekySF on Twitter!).

Click here to enter the contest, and make sure to check back on our blog to see the most recent entries!

Click below for contest details and entry form!

Buenos Aires, Argentina

“Argentineans take their meat seriously, and it shows. The beef was cooked rare (anything over is an offense to their cows), and it melted in my mouth.”


“We ate uni ice cream served in a pine-flavored waffle cone with yuzu gelee at the bottom. Rabbit tenderloin. Lamb brain… Advance research could never prepare you for the transcendent memories you will have of your first time there.” (Schwa)

Chicago II

“I order the “skinny” mojito to start and their famous guacamole. You can smell the mint from my drink and the cilantro and lime from the guac minutes before it hits my tastes buds, making the whole experience all the more enjoyable.” (Carnivale)

Chicago III

“Bacon2 = bacon-wrapped pork belly… Tried to bite the chunk in half—mistake. Juices running down your chin is only cute at age 5, or maybe at a picnic, definitely not on me anytime. My next bite I did the right thing and ate it whole. I am salivating as I write this.” (The Drawing Room)

Chicago IV

“I’m a sucker for pairing different extremes of flavors and served with a side of decadent coffee butter, the two complimented each other perfectly. Each had a hint of their namesake ingredients but didn’t overwhelm the palate.” (Girl and the Goat)

Chicago V

“My latest most memorable meal was a private chef prepared 6 course meal at Sunda. It was one of those meals where each bite was mouthwatering & each course got better. I ate things I thought I would never try that night. “ (Sunda)

Chicago VI

“I knew that it changed with the seasons but I didn’t realize that I would be able to try dishes like that ranged from Asian to Italian and everywhere in between. The menu merged cooking styles in such a way that I didn’t have the capacity to notice that they lacked the meat that usually would take precedent in my meals.” (Green Zebra)

Chicago VII

“Both thick, salty bacon and fatty, marbled prosciutto added to the plethora of pork that was waiting to be consumed. I nibbled on tortellini filled with smack-worthy, vinegary head cheese… Light and simple Porchetta di Testa sandwiches were perfectly executed…” (Cochon 555)

Chicago VIII

“…a bottle of M. Lawrence SEX, a lovely rose sparkling wine from Michigan… After searching high and low, I had three bottles of SEX in my possession… At midnight my select few and I had ice cold flutes of SEX, garnished with fresh pomegranate seeds for dramatic effect.” (L. Mawby)

Chicago IX

“The order: Dish came to the table, placed in front of me so I could take pictures (squee!!)… the crouton was filled with cream cheese and parmesan, someone started the dish, we all took a bit & passed… My favorite? The ramp chicken & the casear.” (Hearty Boys)

Chicago X

“I was fascinated by the brioche ‘Twinkie’ filled with warm creamy cheese in his now-signature Caesar, overawed by the opulence of the largest quennelle of caviar I’ve seen to date, tickled by the use of Cheez-Its in his risotto. Inspired by his retooling of buffalo wings…” (Graham Elliot at Avenues)

Chicago XI

“…back to dessert, it was warm, tall and broke through the pillow top raised dessert. Pouring the decadent chocolate sauce into the light fluffy egg moose was mind blowing. Ever since that meal, I’ve been in love with food…” (Ambria)

Tokyo, Japan

“…deliciously forbidden octopus on a stick. It looked like the tentacles would attack me and pull me under, but as soon as I took the first bite, it was easy to see who was in charge…”

Jerez de la Frontera, Spain

“We conquered a number of the local bars, and after the requisite siesta before dinner, we made it our mission to visit a final tapas bar… The sherry flowed just as freely as the laughs and conversation at this perfect end to our tapeo in Spain.”

Reykjavik, Iceland

“Hákarl (fermented shark meat) has a very particular ammonia-rich smell and fishy taste, similar to very strong cheese slathered in ammonia… I can safely say I probably won’t be eating hákarl again anytime soon…”
(Við Tjörnina)

Agra, India

“Our chicken and lamb was perfectly spiced and heavy with garlic and ginger. We also ordered dal (lentils) and raita to accompany our meats, which were served kebab-style… we ate with our hands, scooping the meat, rice, and sauce with our garlic naan.” (Peshawari)

Kerala, India

“Our guide stopped at a small shop along the water, and we purchased the biggest tiger prawns I have ever seen. These were prepared on our boat that evening with the freshest of Indian spices. It was quite the feast, and one that I will never forget.”

New York City

“I never knew a bowl of noodles could taste that good… So crazy good. Definitely a life changer.” (Momofuku)

New York City II

“We ordered an afternoon ‘snack’ of soju slushies to cool down from the heat, a fluke appetizer, pork belly baos, and ramen. The ramen warmed my belly. The most magical part of the meal, however, were the pork belly baos.” (Momofuku)

New York City III

“Sensual aromas of pork filled broth beckon, while wafting submersed house made noodles beg break dancing of the poached egg. What do springy, supple noodles and visceral egg yolks yearn for? A side of porky goodness of course, the succulent noodles get perfectly punctuated pork…” (Momofuku)


“I ordered the Calamari Stuffed with Shredded Wild Boar served over Root Vegetables and Ink Sauce… The Ink Sauce was thick and coated the vegetables perfectly; the boar was an inventive stuffing that balanced the calamari texture presented seared but also battered and deep fried on top.” (The Pearl)

Cayman Islands

“He cracked open the conch to pull out the live meat, threw in spices, hot sauce, and simmered the delectable meat in a little pan simmering over our beach bonfire. The result was a fresh, juicy, ceviche-like conch concoction of pure delight…”

St. Croix, Virgin Islands

“The first night in we went to Savant, a local rustic Island restaurant with enchanting flare & comforting flavors. I was more than pleased when my plate arrived full with Cassava Crusted Mahi Mahi. The fish swam in a sea of sweet & savory homemade curry made with Island picked coconuts & fish caught fresh that day.” (Savant)

New Orleans

“It tasted like the ocean – a fresh burst of the sea right on my tongue. I was instantly hooked. We finished the first six and ordered six more. That night, I ordered oyster soup with dinner. And since then I’ve been trying oysters everywhere I go… I haven’t yet found one I didn’t love.”

New Orleans II

“The last stop on my eating tour of New Orleans was a bucket full of crawfish at a riverfront café on the edge of the French Quarter… I slurped up that juicy goodness and never looked back. Before I knew what happened, that entire bucket had made its way into my belly…. The rest, as they say, is history…”


“Bits of locally-grown pineapple gently flare in and out of the palette. The sauce? Let’s say this: It would be a crime not to kidnap Pat to jar his smoky-tang Campari tomato blend for deliciousness-deprived inlanders like us.” (Patz Pies)


“The symphony of flavors began with flakey rolls dripping in butter, followed by the most succulent lamb chop cooked to perfection, and ended with a velvety chocolate tart that dreams are made of. The night was a foodies fantasy come true!” (Le Jules Verne)

Paris II

“It was with fond memories I found myself sitting in a Paris café… My stomach craved carbs, perhaps some warm French bread, yet I found myself face to er, head with a plate of tete de veau. The calf’s head was delicious and the best gastronomic introduction I can remember.”

Kinsale, Ireland

“Our seafood pie arrives with beautiful presentation… I take the first bite. Heaven. Huge chunks of fresh lobster, prawns and scallops each fit to be on a plate by themselves in the deliciousness of a creamy sauce buried underneath perfectly cheesy, crisp-on-top mashed potatoes.” (Crackpots)


“Chilean sea bass, Mahi Mahi, Rustic Potato Leek Soup with garlic croutons & bacon bits, more, more, more…a coconut-inspired dessert so large we invited neighboring tables to accompany the feast ~ bottle of wine shared. It was here, for the first time, I fell in *culinary love*…” (Madame Janatte’s)

Athens, Greece

“For 10 Euro we had more delicious Grecian food and wine than I could ever imagine. We were served on simple white plates while a live band played traditional Greek music in the corner. The menu included creamy baked feta, fresh tomato and cucumber Greek salad, gooey Saganaki, and juicy gyros…”

Mykonos, Greece

“We tried our ‘traditional’ Greek dishes, and then ventured into the authentic dishes, the ones only locals would dare eat. Including the cold, marinated octopus… Now that’s something to OPA about!”

San Carlos, Mexico

“After the first bite, I started to come around to the idea of this being my last meal – served piping hot, cooked in fresh pungent garlic and salted butter, with an earthen Umami flavor, these mushrooms were worth dying for. Fortunately, I lived to tell the tale and order them each visit thereafter.”


“…enjoying ‘Lobster Pop Tarts’- an insane lobster and gruyere cheese concoction in a pastry crust, shaped like a pop tart, and served in an actual toaster… I topped off the evening with a martini in one hand and their signature cotton candy in the other. Best circus I’ve ever been to.” (Barton G)

Sandusky, Ohio

“Dipping crusty Tuscan bread into balsamic drizzle, the sweet + sour taste with each slice of a crisp Granny Smith apple. Remembering how the Gouda cheese complimented my glass of Chardonnay, offering notes of fruit and minerality.” (Hermes Vineyard)


“Chewy and intense with charred edges and sublime sauce with a perfect balance of sweet Italian sausage and grilled onions, made right in front of me by Devon, the House Certified Pizzaiolo! The dough was like rolling silk and topping with jewels of pork and caramel flavors.” (Tutta Bella)


“The linguine was perfectly toothsome, each strand coated in a rich pomodoro sauce, at once both earthy and bright. It cradled creamy, briny mussels caught early that morning, and calamari as tender as your high school boyfriend. There was spicy basil running through with the sweetest squeeze of lemon…”


“A few minutes later, a bowl of hash browns appeared, smothered with two fried eggs and slaw. I cut into the eggs with my fork, the yolks breaking perfectly over the crisped potatoes in a vibrant yellow stream. My mouth parted. I surrendered. Heaven ensued…”

Machu Picchu, Peru

“It was wild to try the cuy or in English guinea pig. You can imagine that there is not a lot of meat on the bone and it can be a little dry but back to the once in a lifetime theme… Here I tried alpaca in a thick gravy sauce… I took this picture with one while I climbed the mountain.” (Inka Grill, Pachapapas)


“the most interesting meat i ate would have to be squirrl. i stopped a small dinner in the middle of no where… to my suprise it tasted more like bbq duck. with a nice smokey flavor. not much meat, almost like frog legs, but the meat that was there was delicious!”

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