For more than 30 years, the locally owned Chuy’s Mexican Restaurant (not to be confused with the Austin-based chain of the same name) has offered simple, uncomplicated Mexican dishes. As good as the food is, little of it deviates from the norm.
Chuyito’s Texican Burgers & Cantina, a Chuy’s offshoot, takes a more imaginative approach to burgers.
Beef patties are given a Mexican-food bent and made with chorizo or pico de gallo, then topped with eggs, fried slivers of jalapeños, ham, chili and other toppings. These aren’t gourmet burgers like you’ll find at Rodeo Goat or Hopdoddy. But the little splashes of creativity often result in pleasingly complex flavors — and very good burgers.
Chuyito’s is a new venture for owners Jesse and Jesus Adame, both of whom are part of the Chuy’s family and former employees. They’re sentimental about the restaurant’s north-side location; it’s a block from where Chuy’s reigned for years. More recently, this space was home to a rebooted Billy Miner’s Saloon.
The menu consists of sandwiches, tacos, wings and fried sides, but the main attraction is the five specialty burgers, whose patties are infused with chorizo, pico de gallo or both. If infused burgers aren’t your thing, you can order a plain patty and build your own burger, choosing from toppings such as chili, bacon and various cheeses; you pluck your own veggies, including a recommended house-made slaw, from a salad bar.
If you like spicy, a good option is the La Mexicana burger ($7). Its thick, pico-infused patty was a little spicy on its own, but when we got a bite of the chipotle mayo, it made for a mouthful of fire. The heat was tempered somewhat by cool, creamy guacamole, which also came on the burger, along with melted Monterrey cheese.
Chuyito’s pride and joy is the “No Mames” or “Exaggeration” burger ($12.50), and they’re not kidding. It consists of two chorizo-infused patties, a thick-cut slice of ham, melted cheddar, grilled onions and chipotle mayo. Bacon and fried jalapeños were supposed to come on it, too, but ours did not.
That might have been a blessing, though, as this was already a ridiculous amount of food. Extravagant as the burger was, the flavors worked well together, the chorizo and beef combining for a rich, vivid patty, the ham offering a chewy texture and a pleasant hit of salt.
Both burgers were served on thick, sweet buns, grilled and buttered.
Vegetarians are out of luck; as of now, there are no nonmeat options.
But there are sandwiches, pulled pork and chicken, served on Texas toast, as well as hot dogs and four kinds of tacos: tilapia, pulled pork, chicken and brisket ($6.50), each served three to an order. We tried the latter, and liked the simple presentation — corn tortillas laid flat with shredded beef piled on top — and the tenderness and simple, smoky flavor of the beef.
Sides were hit and miss. Long-cut regular fries ($2) and sweet potato fries ($3) were soggy and in need of seasoning. Onion rings ($3.50) were better, their crispy, salty, browned shells hanging tightly to the onions.
Best bet for sides: jalapeño fries, pepper slices cut lengthwise, battered and served with a tangy chipotle sauce. There wasn’t a lot of batter to mask the flavor of the jalapeños, and they weren’t so hot that they overpowered the salt and peppery batter.
Desserts are coming soon, a manager promised. Until then, there’s plenty else to like about Chuyito’s. It’s a fine addition to Fort Worth’s growing list of great burger joints.