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Normally, finishing a few chili peppers would be no problem, but the eating challenge at this annual festival of tacos and tequila consists of seven rounds of increasingly hot peppers — the last of which is the dreaded ghost chili, a pepper so hot that the Indian military recently approved its use in hand grenades. If mind-numbing oral pain and the loss of control of all facial functions sound fun to you, go for it. Finish each pepper within the three-minute time limit and you win a sizable cash prize, the respect of the crowd, and an almost certain case of the lava shits. Hooray?
Four years ago, Phoenix's dining scene joined the ranks of those in San Francisco, Manhattan, and Chicago with an annual week of three-course dining specials at participating upscale eateries around the Valley. It was so popular that, this year, a new spring version popped up, giving us a double dose of meal deals at favorite Valley hotspots including Beckett's Table, Citizen Public House, and Noca. Thirty to 40 bucks per person might not seem like a huge deal if you're used to chain fare, but then again, we're not talking 49-cent tacos or Big Macs here. We love that a dozen or so of the menus included wine pairings this time around, and that there was no shortage of gluten-free or vegetarian dishes for our picky friends. Not that we need an excuse to hit up Beckett's or Cowboy Ciao, but having twice the opportunity to get a top-notch meal on the cheap makes us — and our wallets — extra happy.
Taco Migo
Tedd Roundy
Just opened in July, Taco Migo is more than just another taquería in the Valley. So, what sets it apart, you ask? Its hours of operation — as in, it's always operating. Yes, this place is open 24-7, meaning you can set down a base before going out for a night of drinking or settle in for a much-needed burrito, tacos, chips and salsa, or Sonoran hot dog after you've closed down your favorite bar. And if you feel you just haven't pumped quite enough booze in your veins (and you're not the designated driver, of course), you can keep drinking here, because Taco Migo serves beer and margaritas, too. Conveniently located in the shadow of Interstate 10 on Baseline Road, Taco Migo is just the sort of place that Tempe partiers and night owls were born to frequent. After last call, Taco Migo beckons.

Editor's note: As of late October 2011, Taco Migo is no longer open 24 hours a day.

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