Best all-purpose chile, ristra and piñon stand - 2000
Hatch New Mexico Chile
When harvest season hits and you start craving roasted pine nuts, Hatch extra-hot chile and abuse from the vendors along Federal Boulevard, head straight for the tent of Roger Sanchez. From August through October, this prince of pods has one thing in mind: "Move it out." And move it he does. With daily price specials, free bottles of Mexican soda pop and the guarantee "If you don't like it, bring it back," Sanchez moves truckload after truckload of chile from his stand labeled "Hatch New Mexico Chile." And to prove you're getting the real thing, he provides packing slips straight from the Land of Enchantment. If it's Pueblo chile that lights your fire, he's got that, too, along with beans, red-chile ristras and kitchen supplies from south of the border. But once his roasters start rumbling, you'd better hurry. Some days the only chitchat the surly Sanchez has time for is: "Next!"