We tend to think of the hamburger as something classically all-American – or at least something invented in 19th century Germany but perfected in the United States in the early 20th century. And here in Fort Worth, there is certainly no shortage of excellent burger joints, from old-school legends like Kincaid’s and Tommy’s to inventive, nouveau hotspots likes Rodeo Goat and Love Shack.
But the hamburger is also one of those creations that’s been around so long that other cultures start to adopt it as their own. (In Vietnam, for instance, you can get a riceburger, and in Australia – provided you don’t mind eating Joey for dinner – you get a kangaroo burger.) With the opening of Chuyito’s Texicana Burgers & Cantina, located near the Stockyards, Fort Worth now gets to experience burgers with a delicious Mexican twist.
Chuyito’s is the brainchild of Jesse Adame, whose family has for many years operated Chuy’s Mexican Restaurant in west Fort Worth (not to be confused with the popular Chuy’s chain.) You order at a counter near the back of the restaurant, and the service is efficient and friendly.
And while you can enjoy a traditional beef hamburger patty at Chuyitos, the restaurant specializes in a pair of cross-cultural offerings: the Ranchera patty, whcih is is made from a combination of beef and chorizo; and the Pico de Gallo patty, which mixes pico with beef.
On our recent visited, we started with the "Jalapeno Fries," strips of fresh jalapenos tossed in flour and then deep fried, accompanied by a side of the house made “Boom-Boom sauce.” We were warned that they would be spicy – the sides from the jalapenos are not removed – but we were able to handle the heat. And the preparation was perfect – with the jalapenos fried just enough to provided savory-salty kick, but not to much that the freshness of the pepper was lost.
For our burgers, we tried the “La Mexicana,” which features a pico de gallo patty, chipotle mayonnaise, Monterrey cheese and gaucomole. and the “El Chingon,” a ranchero patty topped with chipotle mayonnaise, pepper jack cheese, grilled jalapenos and a fried egg.
The “La Mexicana” offered an impressive blend of flavors – creamy, spicy and salty -- without overwhelming the juicy, nicely cooked patty. But we were especially taken with the “El Chingon.” The combination of beef and chorizo in the patty makes for a dense, but not chewy burger; and the fried egg is served over easy. It makes for a messy meal, with yellow yolk likely spilling all over your chin and fingers, but every bite is delicious.
Chuyito’s only opened a few weeks ago, and when we visited, the cantina part of the restaurant – a full-stocked bar near the front – was still a work in progress. But there was a surprisingly large lunchtime crowd, suggesting that the restaurant is already building strong word of mouth. Indeed, once the beer starts flowing behind the bar, Chuyito’s seems poised to takes its place as one of the Stockyards’ busiest, buzziest places.