24 Small Plates In 24 Hours: The Challenge

Shelley Mann, Columbus Alive

You know what seems like a fun and amusing idea until you're about two-thirds of the way through? Eating 24 small plates in 24 hours. In terms of eating competitions, it's the equivalent of a marathon to a hot-dog-eating contest's sprint.

My partner in crime for this daylong eating extravaganza is my boyfriend, Pete-who, solely by virtue of being a guy, has more experience with this type of gorging than I do. We will share 24 small plates over the span of 12 hours, which is our mathematical equivalent of 24 small plates in 24 hours.

The rule for this challenge is that we can only order dishes designated on the menus as small plates (or some similar variation on that term), which means appetizers don't count. Our itinerary is also limited by the fact that we're doing this on a Sunday, a day when many of the small-plates specialists I'd hoped to include are closed.

And every plate will be carefully documented on Instagram and Twitter, just to keep things on the up and up.

We prepare to head out with this basic itinerary in mind:

Breakfast: Four small plates at Explorers Club in Merion Village

Morning snack: Four dim sum plates at Sunflower Chinese Restaurant in Dublin

Lunch: Three small plates at Till in Victorian Village

Happyhour: Two small plates at Barrel 44 in the Short North

Dinner: Five small plates at G. Michael's in German Village

Dessert: Two Petite Sweets at Bon Vie at Easton

Evening snack: Two small plates at Mitchell's Ocean Club at Easton

Fourth meal: Two small plates at Bodega in the Short North

We can quickly see that dinner at G. Michael's will be the dividing line between feel-good eating free-for-all and grueling challenge. Luckily, once we conquer those five plates, all that remains will be a relatively easy two dishes at three more restaurants.

At least, it looks relatively easy on paper.

Breakfast >>