This article originally appeared on VICE US.
“Head shops take there with my family and when I got home about 2 hours later I threw up fuchsia asleep for a few minutes then I had the diary Saturday Sunday Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday I was admitted into the hospital and had to have IVs and given potassium,” one [sic]-tastic three-star Yelp review of Johnny V’s Classic Cafe reads. “ And then sent home. I suspect dirty kitchen.”
In addition to six days’ worth of “diary”—a phonetic attempt at diarrhea, we think—the West Allis, Wisconsin restaurant is known for its generous Seniors Menu, its all-day breakfast offerings, and for having a “Robert E. Lee” biscuits-and-gravy special despite the fact that Wisconsin fought for the Union during the Civil War. A group of Medicare-aged regulars who have a questionable understanding of history? That makes Johnny V’s the perfect setting for a Fox & Friends segment.
On Wednesday morning, F&F reporter Todd Piro pushed his microphone toward the mouths of several Johnny V’s customers, including a man who said that the economy was the reason he was out having breakfast instead of sitting in his own kitchen eating cereal. And then there was Johnny, a Trump-loving retired truck driver who sat with his arms folded and said that he doesn’t “give a rear end” about the President’s tax returns.
What Johnny does give a rear-end about is eggs. Johnny had a plate with ten whole eggs in front of him, arranged in a way that is best described as austere.
So… what’s going on here? After a lot of speculation—and a lot of Ron Swanson references—documentarian Arlen Parsa discovered that Johnny seemed to be trying to finish “The King of Johnny V’s,” the restaurant’s five-pounds-of-breakfast eating challenge. The King involves ten eggs, eight pancakes, hash browns, three pieces of bacon and sausage, a slice of ham, and two pieces of Texas toast. That collection of around 2,400 calories costs $18.99—unless you can down it all in an hour without some kind of cardiac event. Then it’s freeeeeee!
The fact that Johnny complained about the Democrats “buying votes” by promising “free this, free that” while trying to get an $18.99 breakfast for zero dollars is just *chef’s kiss* almost as perfect as a 21st-century Wisconsin diner naming a special after a long-dead Confederate general.
But… was Johnny really attempting to complete The King challenge? Because a similar-looking plate of eggs was spotted later in the same broadcast, beaming up at restaurant owner John Vassallo’s wife, RyAnn.
Splinter did a deep-dive into the eggs, and learned that neither Johnny nor RyAnn may have been responsible for ordering an $18.99 breakfast, and neither one of them might’ve actually eaten it. Kathy Vassallo, one of the restaurant’s co-owners, said that the staff prepared a significant amount of food for the Fox & Friends segment, and she suggested that the original plan might’ve been to have someone try to finish The King on-camera—but there weren’t enough people in the restaurant at 5 AM to make the challenge worthwhile.
Kathy also said that, after the show finished filming, that Johnny V’s employees were allowed to eat all of the leftover food and, honestly the only thing that seems worse than trying to down ten eggs would be trying to down ten eggs that had already been passed around the restaurant.
Fingers crossed that nobody got “the diary.”