Roma's pays off; Aroma Coffee adds beer, wine

Roma's Pizza recently paid $1,000 to competitive eater Dale Boone, of Atlanta, after he devoured the restaurant's 28-inch cheese pizza in about 40 minutes.

 

Mr. Boone is the first person to win Roma's pizza challenge, which is several years old and which requires participants to eat the large pizza within 90 minutes without visiting the rest room or leaving the restaurant.

"We had found it on the Internet, but we had found an old article where the grand prize was just $200," Mr. Boone said. "So when we picked up the phone to find out that the prize had been bumped up to $1,000, we packed the bags; we were there the next day."

In the wake of Mr. Boone's visit, owner Damiano Esposito said he might increase the challenge's level of difficulty.

"There is no way of me verifying that these people are professionals, and of course they're not going to volunteer, say, 'Yes, I am a professional eater.' ... So the next best thing for me to do is downsize the time limit and increase the toppings on the pizza."

Mr. Boone, who must wait a year before he can try to win the prize again, said such stipulations wouldn't deter him from taking another stab at the challenge.

"I would definitely come up and try it again," he said.

Aroma Coffee & Wine Bar , at the former location of the PJ's Coffee and Tea CafÃ, now serves tapas, wine and beer.

It offers pitas and hummus, antipasto trays, artichoke dip, olive tapenade, crostini and salads, said owner Charity Adriano, who worked at PJ's for about 10 years and Boll Weevil for about two. Prices range from $4 for some salads to $10 for an antipasto tray for four.

The wines include reds, whites, riesling and port, ranging from $5-$6 per glass.

"We're going to have mostly smaller wineries," Mrs. Adriano said. The beers include imports and domestics, such as Terrapin Wake-N-Bake Coffee Oatmeal Imperial Stout.

The tapas and alcoholic drinks have joined Aroma's existing lineup of coffee, cappuccinos, mochas, lattes, cheesecakes, scones, muffins, paninis and frappes.

The paninis include steak and cheese, turkey pesto, vegetarian and Italian, cost $6.25 and come with chips.

The frappes are $4.25 for a 16-ounce cup, and flavors include mocha, vanilla, chocolate mint and java chip.

The hours are 7:30 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday-Thursday, 7:30 a.m. to 10 p.m. Friday and 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. Saturday.

KNOW OF A RESTAURANT OR BAR OPENING, CLOSING OR CHANGING? CALL RYAN WEHMEYER AT (706) 823-3220, OR E-MAIL RYAN.WEHMEYER@ AUGUSTACHRONICLE.COM.

 

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