Leonard Cordova inherited many things from Stella Cordova, his grandmother who cooked at the legendary Chubby's for more than forty years. Most important, he got her green chile recipe. And although he lost the right to use the Chubby's name after a cousin registered the trademark, when he changed the name of his first restaurant on Federal Boulevard to Bubba Chinos, he didn't give up hawking the green chile he makes off her legendary formula. He pours that gravy-thick sauce over almost everything on a menu of what he describes as "authentic Chicano cuisine": burritos with refried beans, chile-cheese fries with Velveeta-like processed dairy, the Mexican hamburger that seems to be native to Denver. Non-smothered items are available, too, wrapped in foil for to-go patrons -- but even when you eat in, your food arrives in a square Styrofoam box. And even without the Chubby's name, Leonard has had no problem building his own following: His spot on Federal is almost always full of people sitting in the bright-yellow dining room covered with sports paraphernalia and graffiti tags, socializing with each other, buying pirated DVDs, occasionally even eating. Leonard's following is so strong, in fact, that there are now a handful of Bubba Chinos around town, with more opening all the time.
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