Okay, so I know my output has been pretty sporadic the last year or so. It was starting to feel a little like work, and then I had a rather discouraging stint as a freelance journalist that kind of killed my interest in writing at all for some time. And beyond that, there just aren’t enough hours in the day. However, just because I’ve been sucking at posting regularly, it doesn’t mean that I don’t still go out to eat, or that I haven’t been trying new places. But without the time or motivation to write regularly, I’ve been visiting places multiple times and spending more time revisiting old favorites.
Recently, someone dropped me an e-mail and advised that I really needed to check out The Green Chile. Ashamed, I had to admit to him that I’ve actually been there more than half a dozen times and I’ve just been too lazy to write it up. I think it’s time to rectify that.
This is going to be kind of an unusual review for me, being that I’m coming at it from the perspective of a regular customer and not as a first (or second, or third) time explorer. In fact, all I really remember about the first trip is that it was me and and my roommate’s five year-old daughter. She got a kid’s taco meal, and I got a grilled burrito.
|Beef Taco Kid’s Meal|
Seeing this picture reminds me that, for some reason, I have yet to try the tacos at this place. I need to remedy that, because I’ve never seen anyone else do a taco shell like that and I’m very curious about it. The kid really dug it, though she wasn’t quite as fond of the beans and rice (both have since grown on her, especially the beans).
The grilled burrito, pork in this case, is served on a bed of lettuce. It is accompanied, as are most of the entrées here, by rice, beans and sautéed veggies (mostly just a pile of zucchini, peppers and onions, but freaking delicious). Another thing that most of the entrées at The Green Chile have in common is a limited but very important choice of sauce(s).
|Red chile gravy and green chili|
As I’m sure you’ve guessed, green chiles play a big part in the menu here. Specifically Hatch green chiles from New Mexico. You have the option of their signature green chili made from these peppers, or a red chile gravy either on top of or served alongside the majority of the menu items. Or, you can order it “Christmas style”, incorporating both, as I did here. But instead of having my burrito doused with the sauces, I chose to have them on the side so I could really examine each on its own merits. I wish I could say more, I really do, but I barely remember the burrito or much else about that first experience specifically. The important thing is that I was impressed enough to return, and this time brought the roommate and her other kid. And this, my friends, is where the trouble started. You see, the roommate and I eat together a lot, and she tends to fixate on places. While I’m always trying to drag her somewhere new, she finds a place she loves and has to keep going there over and over until she burns herself out on it. The Green Chile is her current obsession.
|Texas Burrito, Christmas style|
And that is the dish that keeps bringing her back. A beast of a menu item, it is filled with rice, beans, sour cream, cheese, and choice of protein (hers is ALWAYS chicken). The only thing she doesn’t like about it is that the awesome sautéed veggies don’t come with it, so now she orders this…
|Light Texas Burrito with green chili|
…with a side of the veggies. This is something important to note: a lot of the larger menu items come in both regular and light portion sizes, so if you’re one of those people who doesn’t take home leftovers, you have a good option here. For those who care, they can make this or any other item from their “favorites” section as a vegetarian dish. Yours truly doesn’t much care for that though, so I’ve been plowing my way through the rest of the menu.
|Enchiladas, Christmas Style|
|Large combo with Chimichanga, Chile Relleno and Enchilada, Christmas style|
|Chile Rellenos with green chili|
The children tried a few different things as well, some not as successful as others. The Bean & Cheese Burrito, usually a favorite for both at most places, didn’t go over well with either of them. Same with the Cheese Quesadilla. It was after the second or third try that the older child stopped bothering, usually requesting that we pick up something from Taco Bell for her on the way home. The mind boggles.
|Hamburger and fries. Yes, it belongs here.|
The younger child actually ordered a hamburger one night and enjoyed it, but she has now followed in her mother’s footsteps and found her own favorite dish that she’ll probably never deviate from.
|Kid’s Taco meal, pork substituted for the beef.|
Yeah, the little one’s got a taste for pig, and I’m probably more responsible for it than anyone. Regardless, she loves this, she has developed a taste for the beans, and she’s always all over the complimentary chips and salsa. As for me, I’ve loved everything I’ve had at the place (though I’ve mostly abandoned the red chili gravy), but if I had to choose a favorite at this particular moment…well, speaking of burgers…
|Green Chili Burger|
Now this is a fun dish. A half pound burger is served open-faced with Jack cheese, sour cream, tomatoes, jalapeños, and of course a liberal coating of the green chili sauce. Oh, and fries, which are great for mopping up any chili that tries to get away.
|Complimentary sopapilla, available with caramel or honey.|
What else do I need to say here? Obviously I love the place or I wouldn’t keep returning. I just can’t get enough of that green sauce, and my roommate STILL hasn’t burned herself out on it yet. I will touch on one other thing, which is that if you happen to go when a young man named Joe is working, you’re in very good hands. The man is seriously one of my favorite waiters in town, always helpful and genuinely friendly. He’d only waited on us twice before memorizing our typical drink orders, and even went so far as to tell the other waiter one time when we were sat in a different section. Seriously, I can’t recommend the place enough.
Food: Strictly Southwestern. If you like the style, you’ll probably be happy here. A
Value: Watch the daily deal sites, these guys tend to pop up there. A
Service: It depends on who’s working. B+
Atmosphere: A little cheesy, but appropriate. A-
Final Grade: A