Reader: I doubt Stella Cordova gave anyone her original green chile recipe

Categories: Cafe Society

Stella Cordova at the original Original Chubby's.
It's prime green chile season, which means things are smokin' at Chubby's-like outlets all over town. But which Chubby's has founder Stella Cordova's original recipe?

Back in 1967, Stella noticed a "Cook Wanted" sign at the Chubby Burger Drive Inn at 1231 West 38th Avenue. At the age of 59, she got the job and started the next day -- earning 85 cents an hour. Within two years, she'd bought the place -- keeping the name, but changing the menu to include her incredible green chile.

Stella continued working at the original Chubby's until she turned a hundred. She passed away soon after, in June 2009, but her legacy lives on in a host of restaurants that she inspired.

Today her grandson, Danny Cordova, runs the spot on West 38th. Another grandson, Leonard Cordova, founded the Bubba Chino's chain; he owns some of the spots, franchises others. Yet another grandson, Juan Cordova, has a restaurant named the Original Chubby's in Thornton, and is opening a second Original Chubby's at 1385 Santa Fe Drive. And there are still other joints around town that trace their origins to Stella Cordova.

But while their bloodlines might be beyond dispute, some people doubt the authenticity of their green chile. Says NWDen:

I still maintain that none of these descendants have Stella's original recipe. I believe that she took it to her grave.

Chubby Burger Drive-In -- the original Original Chubby's. The other "Original" Chubby's. Bubba Chino's. El Chubby's. Are any of these the real deal? Post your thoughts below.

Location Info


1231 W. 38th Ave., Denver, CO

Category: Restaurant

Original Chubby's

1385 Santa Fe Drive, Denver, CO

Category: Restaurant

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My Voice Nation Help

Their chile has NEVER warranted as much conversation as it has generated.  There are about 40 other restaurants in town peddling a superior version of green chile sauce.  My mom would tell people that if your chile tastes like Chubby's "then you screwed up somewhere along the line".


I personally believe that they use some industrial solvent in their chile, which is responsible for the gut-wrecking, Dante-inspired feeling I get only after eating Chubby's chile.

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