Monday, October 17, 2011

El Diablo Challenge

Here comes the pain…
Today the gauntlet had been thrown and it was time to carry myself over to the River City (Winooski, VT) to Don Pedro's Authentic Mexican Taqueria to take on the El Diablo Challenge. This challenge is advertised as 3 Hellish Chicken or Shredded Beef Tacos (I chose Chicken) and boasts to only try it if you think you have the Huevos. If you complete the challenge, you get a free T-Shirt and your photo on the Wall of Fame. If, however, you don’t, your photo is headed for the Wall of Posers. Curious where I ended up? I’ll tell you now; I’m no Hall of Fame winner. 

I’ve tried a challenge or two in my day, but as far as hot challenges go I’ve only successfully made it through the Buffalo Wild Wings Blazin’ Challenge, billed as 12 Blazin hot wings, 6 minutes, no water, no wiping your face in any way, no napkins.  "It’s like walking on hot coals, EXCEPT YOU EAT THEM!" I made it through that (barely; I want to say my time was like five minutes and forty-five seconds) but I made it. This challenge was something different, something evil, something created by El Diablo himself. 

When the plate of tacos was set before me, I could smell the liquid pain in the air, my eyes already starting to tear up before I had even taken my first bite. But my first bite is exactly what I had to take in order to get this show started or really to start the egg timer that would time my torment (did I mention you have to last 15 minutes from your first bite with no drink?). So I took my first bite of what could only be described as hot lava; it burned my lips, nose and throat simultaneously. I swallowed hard as what felt like razorblades ran down my throat and into my stomach. Instantly I knew this was a big mistake, but I kept on going. I mean, I was already burning up, how much hotter could it get? Answer: much hotter. I made it through my first taco, each bite feeling worse and worse, my forehead now drenched in sweat, my face completely flushed and my nose starting to run. But I had my first taco down, just two more to go… Two freakin’ more??? 

I looked across the table at my challenge compadre who was suffering in silence (minus he had hiccupped a little into his nose). I managed to muster the strength to push on and grabbed my second taco, taking a big bite. My brain now screamed at me loudly as I tried to force my jaw muscles to chew this hellish concoction. My body shook from head to toe as I swallowed another bite, again razorblades burning down my throat. Oh no… My stomach was now talking back and threatening to expel if I tried to force any more down. I dropped my half eaten taco and managed to mumble semi-coherently, “I think, I’m done.” Across from me, through his sweaty pink face, I could see his look of disappointment. I picked up my half eaten taco of the damned and took another bite. My stomach lurched again; I was finished. I looked at my plate and even though I was halfway there, this glass was half empty; my plate still looked very much full of hot magma. It was time to fight the fire and ask for the milk. So with seven minutes left and one and a half tacos to go, I waived the white flag (my napkin really) and drank some refreshing milk. My partner in crime made it through the challenge and honestly didn’t really look worse for ware (I wonder how his insides are feeling?). 

After we were done, it was picture time: for him the Wall of Fame and for me the Wall of Posers. I can honestly say, unless you feel like being a Poser too, do your homework. You’re going up against three tacos made with a hot sauce containing Habaneros, Ghost Peppers, and liquid and powered Capsaicin. If you read that last sentence and think, hell that sounds delicious… Then be my guest, but be forewarned it’s not called the El Diablo Challenge for nothing. This meal would make Satan sweat. Good Luck and 
Via Con Diablo…