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Chug's Will Host a Pastelito-Eating Contest for Michael Beltran's Birthday

How many pastelitos can you chow down on?
How many pastelitos can you chow down on? Ariete
Birthdays are usually a cause for celebration. Most people are content to enjoy a cake with friends, but Michael Beltran of Chug's wanted to throw a bash that was a little more Miami. So he'll host a party complete with a pastelito-eating contest at his Coconut Grove diner. 

Thursday, August 15, get ready to do some competitive eating with two divisions of pastelito chowing. Each showdown will see which contestant can eat ten pastelitos — five sweet and five savory — first. If no one can accomplish the task, the winner is the last person standing in each category.

There are two divisions: The "junior" league will be tasked with eating five banana and five picadillo pastelitos each. The "pros" will be faced with downing five peanut butter and jelly and five Buffalo chicken varieties. Casey Swanson, assistant manager at Chug's, explains the difference between the contests. "One is for novice food eaters, and the other is for more adventurous foodies." Swanson notes the pastelitos in the pro category might prove to be more of a challenge to devour. "The PB&J pastelito is stickier, and the Buffalo chicken ones are spicier."

All of the pastries will be made by Pastelito Papi's Giovanni Fesser, so these are full-size, high-quality treats. "They're not those party size ones," Swanson warns. Contestants will also receive a Terrapin beer to wash all that food down with, and the winner in each division will get swag bags from Terrapin Beer Co.,  Pastelito Papi, and Chug’s. The junior league competition will begin at 8 p.m., and the entry fee is $20. The pro league contest will happen at 9 p.m., and the entry fee is $25.

Swanson says nearly a dozen people have already entered. If you want to get in on the action, email [email protected] by this Thursday, August 8.

If competitive eating isn't your thing, food and drink specials will also celebrate Chef Beltran's birthday. Terrapin Beer Co. will offer a "Cuban happy meal" ($7) — a frita and a Terrapin beer. In addition, a special luau frita, made with Taylor ham, pineapple, kimchee ketchup, and papitas, will be available. Terrapin will also pour complimentary beer samples from its Krunkles line. Purchase a Terrapin beer and receive a free koozie.

The evening will include a special beach-themed playlist, cornhole, dominoes, and the main event: the pastelito-eating contests. Even if you're not a participant, enjoy witnessing some brave individuals test their fortitude by eating ten pastelitos in one sitting. Swanson says fun is the point of the entire evening. "We found the idea of watching people eat pastelitos hilarious."

Pastelito-Eating Contest. 8 to 11 p.m. Thursday, August 15, at Chug's, 3444 Main Hwy., Coconut Grove; 786-534-8722;
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Laine Doss is the food and spirits editor for Miami New Times. She has been featured on Cooking Channel's Eat Street and Food Network's Great Food Truck Race. She won an Alternative Weekly award for her feature about what it's like to wait tables.
Contact: Laine Doss