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