Readers: Beer and green chile smothered Den-Mex -- our claims to fame!

beertoday.jpg
Chicago has deep-dish pizza. San Francisco has sourdough bread. What does Denver have? What are this city's must-have dishes? That's the question one reader posed yesterday. The answers? Beer, beer and more craft-beer. And green chile, of course.

See also: What are the Denver must-have dishes?

Says the Jeff:

I think the green chile smothered Den-Mex cuisine as defined by Gustavo Arellano in Tacos U.S.A. is our claim to fame. Denver's large percentage of Mexican-American families have created this cuisine over the past two or three generations and it has evolved as separate and unique from other Mexican-American foods. The green chile in Denver is unlike that of New Mexican cuisine, and while some in the comments to follow are sure to write it off as "slop," it's OUR slop, and I wouldn't be without it. When it's done well -- with fresh, piquant chiles, hearty chunks of braised pork shoulder, long-simmered stock that's been slightly thickened with roux, and very little else, it's a thing of beauty.

If the tourists want to think that Colorado cuisine is bull's balls and elk steaks, that's okay by me. More green chile for me!

How do you feel about green chile being Denver's trademark dish? Post your thoughts below. And read many more comments -- including DenverDave's assessment of the overall dining scene -- on the original post.


My Voice Nation Help
30 comments
Beth Harris
Beth Harris

Until I moved here last October, I had never associated Denver with green chile. I had heard of the beer association, of course, but I hadn't heard of any specific food association, except maybe steak, since this area has an association with cattle drives.

Shane Kennedy
Shane Kennedy

Ummmm denver omelet...rocky mountain oysters....god I hate the westword now.

Eric Smiles
Eric Smiles

No way. Tired of food being Mexicanized.

Luke Nelson
Luke Nelson

Love Denver, but our culinary options are weak..

Mantonat
Mantonat topcommenter

Good Colorado green chile is thickened with flour or corn starch (I prefer the texture of flour-thickened), but all the other processed ingredients like cream of chicken soup (?!), tomatillo salsa, etc. are just home-kitchen, crockpot shortcuts and are not needed for either flavor or texture. Fresh tomatillos are readily available in almost every Denver grocery store and I don't even know what's in cream of chicken soup that could make a stew of fresh ingredients better.

And for those of you from the Land of Enchantment, please note that nobody said Colorado green chile is better than New Mexico green chile, it's just different. Good and bad examples of each can be found. I'm sure there are lazy cooks in New Mexico who throw in canned Hatch chiles, but that doesn't mean all NM green chile sucks.

Rob Karnisky
Rob Karnisky

Every place has beer: Chicago drinks Old Style and S.F. has Anchor Steam. Ever been to Milwaukee? And as far as food is concerned, what about the breakfast burrito? I see long lines every Sunday at every place that sells 'em.

Clayton Capra
Clayton Capra

Denver's really not known for it's food and if it is it's how lack luster it is. Much work to be done.

Steve Holmberg
Steve Holmberg

Not one of my MANY traditional NM cookbooks calls for flour in any green chile recipe. And these cookbooks go WAY back. You are clearly confused, Mr. LeForce! Chicken stock, yes, cream of chicken, no!

Steven M Palmer
Steven M Palmer

By the way - Maria Elena's at 10th and Wads has some rockin' fresh Mexican food including GC!!

Steven M Palmer
Steven M Palmer

I live in MI now but whenever I stop into an "authentic" Mexican place, complete with Spanish speaking cooks in the back, and ask if they have green chile I usually just get a dumbfounded look...

Daniel J. King IV
Daniel J. King IV

Not anymore, as Denver's NOW known for 'Stoners & Fairies' !!!

Aaron LeForce
Aaron LeForce

are you high? both styles have chicken stock, only traditional new mexico recipes call for flour...which is why i prefer Colorado green chile. Plus the tomatillo salsa and pork stew give the Colorado green chile a better taste.

Don Tacho
Don Tacho

May be not green chile, but Mexican Hamburgers. That's a Denver's thing

Noah Yetter
Noah Yetter

Absolutely. Our green chile is completely distinct from what they call green chile in NM.

Steve Holmberg
Steve Holmberg

Colorado green chile sucks compared to New Mexico! No comparison! What dumb ass decided flour should be added to green chile, and cream of chicken soup? Please! Should be beer and lamb when rating Colorado quality.

GiGi La Luz Ramone
GiGi La Luz Ramone

i would agree with the steaks, meat, choices. green chile? no, not so much. especially when you have had green chile in new mexico.

Kara Mason
Kara Mason

Beer, yes. You might have to travel a little further south for the good green ;)

David Schultz
David Schultz

Yup. Although, I kind of wish we had a signature dish to showcase our great Colorado Lamb.

Mary Manning Schumacher
Mary Manning Schumacher

New Mexico might give you an argument about the green chili but the beer is indisputable.

Mantonat
Mantonat topcommenter

@Eric Smiles And the Mexicans are tired of your whining.

Mantonat
Mantonat topcommenter

@Luke Nelson You need to get out more.

Mantonat
Mantonat topcommenter

@Rob Karnisky Every place has food too, so why even have this conversation? The point is that Denver, unlike Chicago or Milwaukee, is actually known for good beer.

Now Trending

From the Vault

 

Loading...