Fort Worth, TX

Spicy food challenge set for Tuesday at Fort Worth hotspot El Chingon

Kristina Rowe - Just Me in Big D

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Located near Fort Worth's cultural district, El Chingon offers tasty food and drinks, DJs, bottle service and Forty-Twosdays.Courtesy of El Chingon

El Chingon provided lunch and drinks for me and a guest on a recent Sunday in May.

Nightclub and restaurant El Chingon, which opened in the Fort Worth cultural district in December is hosting a Fort Worth vs. The Chef food challenge at 8 p.m. Tuesday, May 24. It's all about the spicy food, and those who like it hot should show up and put their tolerance for heat on display.

Contenders must sign up by Monday, May 23 to compete in the challenge, which offers five rounds of spicy food items selected by El Chingon’s head chef. Contestant teams should check in between 7 and 7:30 p.m. Teams will also answer trivia questions that factor into their scores. The top-scoring team will win $250 in cash and El Chingon swag.

Spectators and other visitors can order specials from the Forty-Twosdays menu, available all day every Tuesday. The special menu includes a flight of five tacos for $9.42, half price on select tacos, and a Molcajete (grilled steak, chicken, shrimp and more) dinner with four frozen cocktails or draft beers for $42. Other drink specials include a shot of 1942 for $19.42, a flight of three mini margaritas for $13 and an Anejo Tequila flight for $35.

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The outdoor beer garden at El Chingon.Courtesy of El Chingon

El Chingon (2800 Bledsoe St. #100) opened in December 2020 in the walkable West 7th Street entertainment district. It's the first expansion outside of California from Go Big or Die Hospitality Group, which manages five restaurant concepts, including the original El Chingon in San Diego.

"We chose Fort Worth initially because we loved the location and saw that we could bring a new and different vibe to the area," general manager Andrew Walsh said. Walsh moved from San Diego for the opening of the restaurant, and is excited about the brand growing in the DFW area. "We are looking to expand to Dallas next, in the near future," Walsh said.

Inspired by the people and events of the Mexican Revolution (which ended with Mexico becoming a a constitutional republic), drinks named for Pancho Villa, Emiliano Zapata and Francisco Madero bring the restaurant's tagline "Bad Ass Mexican" to life. The Mexican Firing Squad and the Bad Hombre continue the theme, and to add upgrades to food or drink items, ask to "Make it Bad Ass."

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The Madero, "bad ass" style with house-made watermelon cordial, Tres Agaves, a candy straw and a paleta.Courtesy of El Chingon

With cocktails flowing, a full slate of weekly theme nights and a consistent lineup of visiting DJs, the place feels like a party all the time, but the real party might be in the kitchen. The menu offers classic Tex-Mex standards like queso, fajitas and nachos, plus more traditional Mexican items like tortas, tacos and carne asada. California style burritos throw their weight around on the menu as well.

A breakfast burrito is an obvious choice on the brunch menu offered from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays. Other brunch options include chilaquiles, huevos rancheros as well as mimosa towers and beer towers for groups. The Super Sundia for two or more people, offered in limited quantities, has Michelada mix and watermelon chunks served in half a watermelon with chamoy and tajin on the rim.

For the competition on Tuesday, expect the food to be extra spicy. The event isn't El Chingon's first food challenge, and it won't be the last, but Monday, May 23 is the last day to enter if you want to take on the chef and win a hot one for Fort Worth.

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Lifelong North Texas resident Kristina Rowe writes helpful guides to the best food and fun in Dallas, Fort Worth, Plano, Arlington and more cities in the DFW metroplex. New or nostalgic, frugal or frivolous, count on Kristina for insider tips on things to do in Dallas Fort Worth.

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