Reader: Green chile is not inspiring, interesting or satisfying

Categories: Cafe Society

We asked several of Westword's previous restaurant reviewers to offer advice for Gretchen Kurtz, our new Cafe critic, whose first review will be published next week. Laura Shunk, who left the job for a move to New York in June, came up with ten tips, including this one:

9. If you don't have an opinion on green chile, get one. Fast. Or take mine: All roads lead to Chubby's.

It's impossible to talk about the Denver dining scene without mentioning green chile, a homegrown dish. But that doesn't mean everyone likes it:

Says incredulous:

Enjoyed this post, especially observation #9 - have an opinion on green chile. Why is Colorado so obsessed with green chile? I've never found green chile that was in any way inspiring, complex, interesting, or satisfying. the whole subject is annoying but if you live here you are apparently required to have an opinion. My opinion - skip it and find something more interesting on the menu.

For another opinion, come back to Cafe Society this morning, for Jenn Wohletz's list of the five top qualities of green chile stew.

Sponsor Content

My Voice Nation Help

i think green chile is central to the culinary culture of Denver.


 In 1980, my mom got the idea to roast her own chiles. We dug pits in our Bryant Street backyard and had the "Hatches" sent up from New Mexico. We cut open the burlap bags and laid the chiles down on the smoldering coals. The air was rich and  smoky and i remember a person or two peeking over the fence to remark on the beautiful smell. Later that day, we peeled and canned hundreds of chiles, marking each jar with "mild" "medium"  "hot" and "oh my god." Later we went up and down the block passing out jars of green chiles to all the neighbors. Everyone  was delighted and exuberantly shared how they would use them. Some said burgers, others said pork green chile, and many said huevos rancheros and posole. Though magician Joseph Dunninger was talking about his craft, i think his quote could be applied to green chile: "For those who believe, no explanation is nesessary. For those who do not, no explanation will suffice."


I'm a believer, are you?


 @dishpublicity Roasted hatch chiles, roasted poblanos, roasted anaheim chiles - all are a wonderfully complex flavor addition to dishes. The smell of roasted chiles should define the late summer/early fall in Colorado just as the smell of burning leaves do in New England. But "green chile", the ambiguously defined concoction that appears on every menu in Colorado - well, I guess I'm not a believer. Blasphemy maybe but I can live without it. 

Now Trending

From the Vault