The Indianapolis impact of 'Man vs. Food' - 13 WTHR Indianapolis

The Indianapolis impact of 'Man vs. Food'


Julia Moffitt/Eyewitness News

A recent visit to Indianapolis by reality television is now creating a feeding frenzy at two local restaurants. 

The boom in business has been brought on by the recent visit of Adam Richman and his internationally seen television show 'Man vs. Food' on the Travel Channel. After the show aired about two weeks ago, these restaurants are finding that diners are driving for hours just for a taste.

The music and décor might be intentionally old at Edward's Drive-In, but there is a new feeling in the air at the diner on the southside of Indianapolis.

"There's been a pretty massive increase in business, it's been very interesting," Drive-In's Jeff Edwards said. "Everyone comes in and asks for the Holy Trinity."

That would be the jumbo breaded tenderloin drawing in customers from around the world since the show aired.

Edwards said visitors have come from Oregon, Maryland, Australia, Germany and Taiwan.

Not far away, another giant featured on the 'man vs. Food' menu was the Big Ugly at Bub's in Carmel.

Matt Frey, owner of Bub's, said the show has hit the nerve of foodies everywhere.

"Who would think that eating a one pound burger would make you want to hop in your car for four or five hours to eat it," he said. "It's just crazy. We're very blessed and lucky."

On a typical summer week, Bub's will sell about 190 Big Ugly's - good business. But Frey said that after the 'man vs. Food' show aired, 621 Big Ugly's were sold in the first week alone. 

"It's a whirlwind," he said. "It's a Big Ugly frenzy. People are driving in from Chicago, St. Louis, Tennessee, Cincinnati, Grand Rapids and Evansville."

One group of friends came from Dayton, Ohio to take the Big Ugly challenge, a feat that gets you a picture on the wall.

"Thought it might be fun to come out here and give it a shot," one said.

It's a gut-wrenching goal that's given local businesses a boost.

'Man vs. Food' also stopped by Gray Brothers cafeteria in Mooresville, Ind. The manager there said they have also seen an increase in business since the show aired.

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