100 Favorite Dishes: Green chile cheeseburger from Cherry Cricket

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As a countdown to the Best of Denver 2010, coming April 1, Cafe Society is serving up a hundred of our favorite dishes in Denver. Send your own nominations to cafe@westword.com.

Number 79: Green chile cheeseburger from Cherry Cricket

The green chile cheeseburger is, to put it simply, one of the single greatest inventions mankind has ever...invented. Originally conceived of for mass consumption during the heady days of the Manhattan Project out in the already post-apocalyptic wastelands of southern New Mexico, it developed an appropriately cultish following among nerdy scientists, atomic cowboys and cheeseburger aficionados.

The green chile cheeseburger remained a predominantly regional specialty for decades, confined to the chile-growing environs of the American Southwest and Southern California. But slowly, the green chile cheeseburger spread. Virtually all versions of it done outside of the small town of San Antonio, New Mexico sucked ass, but regardless, the GCCB was on the move.

In Colorado, there are innumerable iterations of this genius combination. Almost all of them are inedible. Any that use Colorado-style verde--that pork-shot stew of chopped chiles and cornstarch--are simply wrong. Any that use chiles from a can are shameful. Any that try to gussy up the presentation with anything other than a bit of cheese and maybe some mustard and lettuce are doomed to ignominy. But the green chile cheeseburger at the Cherry Cricket is a purist's GCCB, made with whole slabs of roasted green chiles, laid across the meat and cheese like the crown on the head of a deserving monarch. It is a beauty of a burger, improved only by the liberal application of cold Mexican beer and shots of whiskey taken each in turn, and possibly by a side of fries.

Hungry for more? The dishes in our countdown thus far are linked below:

No. 100 Chicken-fried steak from Lola No. 99 Alaskan reindeer sausage from Biker Jim's Gourmet Dogs No. 98 Mac-and-cheese fries from Jonesy's EatBar No. 97 Soft egg ravioli from Prima No. 96 Pho - any pho -- from Pho 95 No. 95 Assiette de charcuterie maison from Z Cuisine À Côté No. 94: Cheeseburger from Larkburger No. 93: BBQ Masher from Cabin Creek Smokehouse No. 92: Apple pancake from the Original Pancake House No. 91: Burrata from Osteria Marco No. 90: Eggs Benedict from Devil's Food Bakery No. 89: Chile Relleno from La Fiesta No. 88: Deviled eggs from Steuben's No. 87: Corn-in-a-cup from Jack-n- Grill No. 86: Enchiladas from Taco House No. 85: Pupusas from Pupusas Sabor Hispano No. 84: Baklava from Ali Baba Grill No. 83: Masa-fried oyster shooters from Deluxe No. 82: Tacos al pastor from Los Carboncitos No. 81: Salsa bar from Tacos Y Salsas No. 80: Dim Sum from Star Kitchen

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