Mayor Michael Hancock's Super Bowl wager of green chile includes a New Mexico infiltrator...

Categories: The Dish

littleanita.png
Little Anita's specializes in New Mexican Mexican.
If you were going to bet the mayor of Seattle on the outcome of Sunday's big game, what would you make part of the wager?

Denver mayor Michael Hancock and Seattle mayor Ed Murray settled the terms of their bet in a conference call on Monday. Should the Broncos win, Murray will be sending Hancock salmon and Dungeness crab, among other things. Should the Broncos lose, Hancock's shipment to Murray will include a "sampling of Denver's fabulous green chile (it's good luck!)." Hancock's choice of green chile has some New Mexicans in a tizzy: they think they have a franchise on the stuff. "If Denver wants to send them something, why not send them snow?" one New Mexican told a local TV station. "They got plenty of that."

But the funny thing is, one of the chiles Hancock wagered is from New Mexico.


See also: Little Anita's vegetarian chile no longer vegetarian...for now?

New Mexican green chile is very different from the version that evolved in Colorado, and Hancock chose some classic examples of Colorado green.

The selection comes from some of "Denver's most venerated Mexican food restaurants," according to the mayor's office: Jack-n-Grill, La Casita, Original Chubby's (we can only hope it's the actual original, on West 38th Avenue, not the knockoff Original Chubby's) El Taco de Mexico, Brewery Bar. Those are some of our favorite spots around town, too, but where's La Fiesta? That joint is a Denver institution and will mark its fiftieth birthday this year. And there's no mention of Santiago's, a homegrown chain that is growing so fast it could soon stretch all the way to Seattle.

And Hancock's wager also includes green chile from Little Anita's -- which is not a Denver outfit at all: It got its start in New Mexico; while there are four locations in metro Denver, its home base is still in Albuquerque; and its green is definitely New Mexico-style.

But at least Hancock didn't go with Matador, a "Mexican" restaurant that opened in Highland late last year that's really an offshoot of an operation out of Seattle.

Then again, if the Broncos lose, maybe that would serve Seattle right...



Location Info

Jack-n-Grill

2524 Federal Blvd., Denver, CO

Category: Restaurant

Tamales by La Casita

3561 Tejon St., Denver, CO

Category: Restaurant

Chubby's

1231 W. 38th Ave., Denver, CO

Category: Restaurant

El Taco De Mexico

714 Santa Fe Drive, Denver, CO

Category: Restaurant

Little Anitas New Mexican Cafe

1550 S. Colorado Blvd., Denver, CO

Category: Restaurant

Little Anitas New Mexican Cafe

1550 S. Colorado Blvd., Denver, CO

Category: Restaurant

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41 comments
ErinMonroy
ErinMonroy

Jack n Grill is absolutely NOT good.  Their food quality has declined greatly.  I don't even know what kind of meat is in their green chili, seems like it's from a can or something.  Embarrassing to list them as having the best green chili... 
PUEBLO green chiles all the way, better than Hatch!!  My favorite green chili made with Pueblo green chiles is at Diego's, corner of 16th & Champa downstairs.  There are so many better places to get green chili in Denver than the ones Mayor Hancock listed!

John Paul Rojas
John Paul Rojas

Plus most of it is thick and full of basic ingredients. Don't forget a good mole. Now that's good and their are hundreds of versions. From easy to complex. Menudo is so hard to find here but Los Gallitos on Alameda is the best. They don't speak English white people but don't let that stop you.

John Paul Rojas
John Paul Rojas

They both suck. Texas Red Chili is the only chili. Sorry. Too many people here brag how GOOD their " green chili " is. That's like saying you Make the best spaghetti. It's BS.

Jacob Edward
Jacob Edward

The mayor should offer up more than green chile, where's the CO lamb or bison? As a CO native, I must admit that the majority of Mexican food in the Denver area is absolutely dreadful. FYI, New Mexican food is a separate cuisine from traditional Mexican food, as is Tex-Mex, Cali-Mex and Sonoran style. Nothing irritates me more than Californians who poo poo any Mexican that differs from what they're accustomed to. News flash Californians, French fries in a burrito is not authentically Mexican! Hell, burritos aren't even authentically Mexican. The best Mexican food I have ever had has been while living in the Milwaukee-Chicago region. These are the two most segregated cities in the country, so when a Mexican immigrant opens a Mexican restaurant in a Mexican neighborhood, they make food for the palates of other Mexican immigrants and give little to no consideration for the sensitive palates of gringos. No cheddar cheese, black olives or sour cream found in these places.

Stan Salazar
Stan Salazar

Green Chili can suck it. It's all about the red.

Christof Brownell
Christof Brownell

It's not so much the green or red chili itself, it's how it's prepared. Most of the people making green or red chili in Colorado don't even know about New Mexico style chili. Leave the tomatoes and tomatillos out and use some more chilis for goodness sake!

Shauntel Willie
Shauntel Willie

New Mexico Green Chili hands down way better than Colorado. I miss getting Red and Green at the same time.

Hope Kennedy
Hope Kennedy

Nothing is better than Hatch NM green yummies. It took me years to finally go to a Mexican restaurant after moving to Denver from Albuquerque &even still I have to be in the mood the stomach the crappy Mexican food that's here. After 16 yrs I'm still looking for a decent Mexican joint. Clint Carpenter, one of my favorites is Los Cuates but nothing will ever beat Mom's cooking.

Kat Nordin
Kat Nordin

They attempted to make green chili here at On the Border and it tastes like cack........

Bob Diccicco
Bob Diccicco

The best green chile in Denver was at Betty's Takeout. Circa 1973. On Park ave I think. She also made the best fresh flour tortilla's. It was the perfect place to take the guy who is always saying, " they don't make it hot enough for me. "

Clint Carpenter
Clint Carpenter

I'm sure everyone here has their fav NM spot but if you have been to any of these you know exactly what I'm talking about... http://www.frontierrestaurant.com/ http://www.yelp.com/biz/barelas-coffee-house-albuquerque http://www.durancentralpharmacy.com/ https://plus.google.com/106400920026665272495/about?gl=us&hl=en http://www.yelp.com/biz/m-and-j-sanitary-tortilla-factory-albuquerque http://www.sfshed.com/lunch.html dang---now I'm craving it! Please share some of your own favorites from NM---always looking for something good

Ledy Garcia-Eckstein
Ledy Garcia-Eckstein

Could you enlighten this Cuban? If all the green chile I eat is made by Denver's NM transplants, then is that NMn chile or Colorado's?

Chad Kreutzer
Chad Kreutzer

Little Anita's is good, but you're right that we'd need real Colorado green Chile.

Marcelino Casias
Marcelino Casias

Wtf?! Someone said yuck? I feel sorry for that dude. And would you all please stop saying that NM green chile is better. It's good but you need to quit the homer shit.

Clint Carpenter
Clint Carpenter

And just because you are from the burque, it doesn't mean you have stayed true to great high quality chile - Twisters owners have a store in the burque but I don't think anyone here would rave about their shit food

BertaRudy Martinez
BertaRudy Martinez

New Mexico has the best green chile, hands down! The mayor ought to go with La Casita. They have the best New Mexican food in town!

Clint Carpenter
Clint Carpenter

If it's not from NM, it's not green chile - Little Anita's and Jack-n-Grill do not represent quality NM green chile, they r both an ok place to eat when you are really really really desperate for NM style food, and I mean desperate. Every single CO place doing green chile f's it up by over doing it, watering it down, and over blending it into a watery pulp with crap you don't need in you chile.

Arthur Martinez
Arthur Martinez

michael hancock needs to smoke some green chile why does he want to use green chile from new mexico when the best chile is grown in or own state.brighton.but hes not from here what the fuck does he know.he never inhaled!!!!

Debbie Atkinson
Debbie Atkinson

Little A's is the best NM food for us transients who moved here from NM. We are so glad we have a taste of home compared to the "wanna bes" in Denver.

WhiŦney Bennefield
WhiŦney Bennefield

Check yo facts....jack-n-grill is owned and run by burquenos, that's nm chile too.

Kevin476
Kevin476

Well Hancock is smart, he recognizes the majority of Denver green chili is awful.  He is offering up New Mexican green chile from both Little Anita's and Jack-N-Grill.  If you visit New Mexico you will quickly realize that chile from both of those places is mediocre at best....

bondadprevalece
bondadprevalece

Oh my god, will the bitching about green chile/chili ever end?

patronusa
patronusa

Whatever dude.  That's a different take on "chili" altogether.  Take your sorry ass back to Texas along with your chili con carne because nobody gives a rat's ass about a dish that can be found in any can at the super market.

Mantonat
Mantonat topcommenter

Thanks for the education, Jacob. Gustavo Arellano, in his book Taco USA, points out that Den-Mex is also its own thing, and he loves it. Denver has plenty of great examples of both Den-Mex and traditional Mexican eateries. Maybe you're just looking in the wrong places if you think most of it is "dreadful."

planetfirkins
planetfirkins

Yet is recognized as the best chile in the world??

Have you ever been to the Chile fields there?

Have you ever had fresh hatch chile?



patronusa
patronusa

You must be living in some crappy suburb here in Denver.  Maybe you should move back to Rio Rancho so you can be around your so called superior "New Mexican" food all the time.

planetfirkins
planetfirkins

Taqueria Mexico on lomas near Edith! small place but kick ass food!

Mantonat
Mantonat topcommenter

The truth is that people are just crazy and can't handle minor differences in recipes, even though there's no consistent recipe or method for making green chile, even in New Mexico. People say Colorado green chile has tomato or tomatillo or corn starch or flour and that those ingredients ruin it, but there are plenty of folks in New Mexico who make their green chile with all of those. Restaurant green chile in Denver (when not influenced by New Mexico) tends to be quite a bit thicker, with the extreme being Chubby's. I've also had versions (at El Rancherito, for example) that seem to have been pureed in a blender. The flavors are all there, but the sauce is smooth.


For me? The best is just whatever's well made, whether thickened or not, but generally the hotter, the better. There are plenty of examples in Denver that are heavy on the green chiles and the color is pretty green, like Boone's (last year's winner). There are some that are heavy on the pork chunks (like Brewery Bar II). And there are some that are so gloppy and thick, they look almost more like queso sauce (Bubba Chinos). 


But from the NM versions I've tried down there, and from photos from NM restaurants and cooks, versions range from brownish, to very green, to pale green and thick. 



planetfirkins
planetfirkins

@patronusa  it is superior HAVE YOU EVER BEEN TO PADILLAS?? or the FRONTIER?  your little Annitas is mega shitty compared to anything else in New Mexico.   You have never felt the wonder feeling of a runny nose while knee deep in christmas enchiladas with pintos from a local kick ass restaurant.  go peel with out gloves!  

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