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Huntington Beach mayor takes pizzeria’s calzone challenge, but he can’t quite down all 6 pounds

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Huntington Beach Mayor Erik Petersen digs into a 6-pound calzone Sunday in the company of Bob and Linda Wentzel at Stoney’s Pizza.
(Spencer Grant)

Huntington Beach Mayor Erik Peterson helped roll out Surf City’s newest way to overindulge in pizza.

Stoney’s Pizza at Warner Avenue and Pacific Coast Highway invited Peterson to take on its 6-pound calzone — a folded pizza — as a way to drum up interest in Stoney’s food challenge.

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David Skulavik takes Mayor Erik Petersen’s 6-pound calzone out of the oven at Stoney’s Pizza in Huntington Beach.
(Spencer Grant)

“I’ve never, ever thought of doing a food challenge before,” Peterson said Monday. But, he figured, “why not?”

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Peterson took on the task Sunday of eating the massive calzone in less than 30 minutes, but ultimately, he was defeated by the crust.

“I did regret it a little after,” said Peterson, who still had “a half-pound of dense bread” on his plate when the time limit ran out.

Peterson was only the second person to attempt the challenge, and the closest to completing it, since Stoney’s announced it a week earlier, according to owner Brandt Stebbins, whose wife, Jennifer Kulik, helped introduce the contest after becoming a partner in the business in September.

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Huntington Beach Mayor Erik Petersen tries to eat an entire 6-pound calzone in 30 minutes Sunday as Stoney’s Pizza owner Brandt Stebbins, center, watches with Bob and Linda Wentzel.
(Spencer Grant)

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“It was a lot of pizza,” Peterson said. “More than anyone should eat.”

The made-to-order calzone contains ricotta and mozzarella cheese, meatballs, onions, sauce, mushrooms and about a half-pound of french fries, Stebbins said.

Why french fries? The idea is to keep the calzone’s cheesy contents from cooking into a solid mass.

“It’s put in the middle of the cheese and meat for separation,” Stebbins said.

“I think it just makes it so that nobody can finish it,” Peterson theorized.

Anyone can walk in and order the $40 calzone, which comes with a side of marinara sauce for dipping, Stebbins said.

The challenge requires that the entire thing be tackled by a single ambitious eater. If the plate is cleared within 30 minutes, the calzone is free and the champion gets his or her photo on Stoney’s wall of fame, as well as a T-shirt and a certificate good for five pizzas of any kind.

“It was fun and I was glad I was able to do it,” Peterson said, though he assured there wouldn’t a repeat showing. “Once is enough.”

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