Pro eaters take on new 4-foot cheesesteak challenge at Spring Hill restaurant

Bite after meaty bite, a Spring Hill restaurant is getting some big attention from two popular professional eaters and their massive following.

Monday night, the pair took on the Brotherly Love Challenge, attempting to devour more than four feet of cheesesteak, plus milkshakes, at Richie Cheesesteak. It was a chance to put their business on the map following a year that was its own challenge.

Sure, it's ribeye from Philly and white American cheese on an Amoroso roll. But what makes this cheesesteak a "Richie Cheesesteak" is pure brotherly love.

"It comes from here, plain and simple," said owner Richard Fascenda, putting his fist on his heart. "I'm from Philly, always loved the cheesesteak.

Richie Cheesesteak has been grilling in Spring Hill for about 20 years. This last year presented both challenges and opportunities.

"We shut down, we went through all the restrictions, everything they needed us to do, of course. It was tough," Fascenda said. "With the big chain restaurants closing, it drove business here."

After the highs and lows of 2020, in 2021, they took on a new challenge: The Brotherly Love Challenge. How much cheesesteak can two people eat? 

Professional eaters Randy Santel and Katina Eats Kilos were planning a Florida food tour. So Fascenda took a chance and asked them, why not visit Hernando County? 

Challenge accepted.

Richie crafted a four-foot cheesesteak loaded with meat, cheese, onions, mushrooms and sweet peppers, paired with two milkshakes wash it down.

The eaters had one hour to finish. If they failed, they had to pay $200. If they won, they were paid $200 and given shirts and hats. 

It came down the wire but they successfully housed every last bite.

"I thought for sure we were going to run out of time and not be able to finish," Santel said. "Katina asked for water so she could dunk the bread; we hate dunking the bread, but if you need to do it to win."

"That was a very challenging challenge," Katina said one she swallowed her last mouthful. 

Combined, Randy and Katina have 1.5 million YouTube subscribers from all over the world.

"It’s awesome to be able to support all of these small businesses and restaurants during our tours," Santel said.

All of those eyes are now feasting on this sizzling Spring Hill sandwich.

"My staff's great, my wife is my backbone," Fascenda said. "We have great customers, great support from the community."

If you think you have the stamina and gastrointestinal fortitude, the Brotherly Love Challenge is open to anyone. They'll probably shorten the cheesesteak but add a pound of fries, so come hungry.