How the All-Paleo, Protein-Packed ‘Bowl of Doom’ Became a Muscle-Building Sensation for the World’s Best Pro Athletes

Bowl of doom noah syndergaard
Photo illustration by Jackie Friedman | Images courtesy Shutterstock, Kozy Kitchen

After the 2016 Major League Baseball season, Noah Syndergaard was on a mission. Despite posting the third best E.R.A. in the majors and making his first-career All-Star team, the 6’6”, 240-pound goliath—the guy New York Mets fans lovingly call ‘Thor’—wanted to get even stronger for 2017.

And so, looking to add even more speed to his 98 mile per hour fastball, Syndergaard went home to Texas and worked out like a warrior to pack on nearly 20 pounds of muscle. But while his regimented workout routine was undoubtedly Asgardian, Syndergaard had a secret weapon for fueling that monster growth.

Locals call it the “Bowl of Doom.”

In an effort to pack his diet with protein, Syndergaard headed to Kozy Kitchen, an all-organic, health-conscious, Paleo-friendly restaurant in Dallas. There, he found the perfect (albeit off-menu) meal: A pile of meat, sweet potato hash, egg, and avocado.

“You can get whatever you want, meat-wise,” Kozy Kitchen chef Nicholas Pavageaux told Men’s Journal. “You can pick from grass-fed beef, buffalo, chicken, wild shrimp, salmon, ribeye, filet, venison sausage, and bacon. It’s on our secret-recipe sweet potato hash and topped with two eggs and a half an avocado.”

Pavageaux’s favorite Bowl of Doom order—venison, buffalo, and applewood smoked bacon—just so happened to be Syndergaard’s go-to order, too.

Born from hunger: How the Bowl of Doom was forged

But while it’s just now earning its place in the national Paleo spotlight, the Bowl of Doom was born roughly a decade ago, when a hungry CrossFitter—much like Syndergaard—stumbled into Kozy Kitchen looking for a mighty meal.

“He described to me what he wanted, so I just threw it all together in a huge bowl,” Pavageaux said. “When I served it I said, ‘That’s a bowl of doom for you.’ And the name stuck.”

And lo: The Bowl of Doom was born.

“That’s literally what it was, just this massive amount of food,” Pavageaux said. “It’s all Paleo. It works as the perfect pre-workout meal, after-workout meal, whatever you need. It became very popular with CrossFit people. Now, when someone comes in and says, ‘I heard about this dish…’ my staff immediately knows it’s a ‘Bowl of Doom.’”

Syndergaard wasn’t the first pro athlete to make his way to the Kozy Kitchen.

“He was in so much, and with how massive he is, it was hard not to see him,” Pavageaux said. “Noah was very down-to-earth, a very cool guy. We’ve had Mike Modano, Brendan Morrow, several Dallas Stars and other hockey players. Chris Bosh too, and some movie stars.”

And what are they all usually looking for?

“A ‘Bowl of Doom,’ of course,” Pavageaux said.

As for the recipe? Pavageaux was (understandably) reluctant to share his secret recipe, but we know this much: If we’re ever lifting in Dallas, we know where we’re heading after the workout.

Clearly, the dish worked—and keeps working—for Syndergaard:

Here’s another look at Syndergaard getting ready for the season, post-Doom workouts:

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