No. 59-60: Sloppers at Diego's and Gray's Coors Tavern
Pueblo has several culinary claims to fame (including the Super Pass Key sausage sandwich), but none bigger than the slopper, which landed on the foodie map after a story on the Travel Channel in 2010 that featured Gray's Coors Tavern, a classic Pueblo watering hole credited with inventing the dish. This spot has had only two owners since it became Johnny's Coors Tavern in 1934 (and it had been a railroad bar — and allegedly a place of ill repute — before that); by the time it became Gray's Coors Tavern in 1983, the kitchen had already made its greatest contribution to Colorado's culinary scene: the slopper, which the bar started serving in the '50s.
The recipe is simple: two grilled burger patties, with American cheese, served open-faced on a bun in a bowl — then smothered with either housemade green chile or red (more of a con carne than a New Mexican red) or both for an early Christmas, with the option of onions and even French fries on top.
But you don't have to travel to Pueblo to get a decent slopper. Tony Terrone's family opened its first restaurant in Pueblo in 1959, and today it's an institution in that city. But there's also an offshoot of Diego's Mexican Food and Cantina at 1600 Champa Street, an underground eatery that's a pleasant surprise off the 16th Street Mall. So is the slopper, which is a particularly hot commodity at this time of year, when a fresh crop of Pueblo chiles give extra power to that mean green.
Get it while it's hot.
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Hungry for more? All the dishes in our 2016 countdown are linked below.
No. 100: Masala Beef at Biju's Little Curry Shop
No. 99: Bacon Shrimp and Grits at Bacon Social House
No. 98: Porchetta and Kimchi Sandwich at Brider
No. 97: Squab-and-Sunchoke Tortellini at Abejas
No. 96: Housemade Burrata at Viand
No. 95: Schweinshaxe at Rhein Haus
No. 94 Kimchi Jeon at Seoul BBQ
No. 93: Zuppa Pomodoro at Parisi Italian Market & Deli
No. 92: The Ocean Salad at Sushi-Rama
No. 91: The Signature Bowl from Churn & Burn
No. 90: Green Chorizo at Los Compadres
No. 89: The Diavola Calzone at Pino's Neighborhood Pizzeria
No. 88: Biscuits and Green Chile at the Noshery
No. 87: Chirashi at Izu Sushi
No. 86: Brisket and Ribs at GQue Championship BBQ
No. 85: The Tornado at the Chowder Room
No. 84: Korean Fried Chicken Wings at Yong Gung
No. 83: A Meatball Hero at Lil' Ricci's New York Pizzeria
No. 82: Shakshuka at Stowaway Coffee + Kitchen
No. 81: Late-Night Ramen at Brazen
No. 80: Potato Tacos at El Tejado
No. 79: Corned Beef Heart at theWay Back
No. 78: The Fried Bologna Sandwich at Snarfburger
No. 77: Sweet Corn Mezzaluna at Bar Dough
No. 76: Duck Confit at Table 6
No. 75: Croque Monsieur at Fire
No. 74: Tahini Cookies at the Preservery
No. 73: The Alferd Packer Salad at MAD Greens
No. 72: The Tuna Poke Bowl at Ohana Island Kitchen
No. 71: Mini Chile Rellenos at La Loma
No. 70: The Combination Banh Mi at Vinh Xuong Bakery
No. 69: The Falafel Waffle at Moxie Eatery
No. 68: Korean Fried Duck Wings at Chow Urban Grill
No. 67: Spaghetti Alla Carbonara at Spatola
No. 66: The Classic Burger from Skirted Heifer
No. 65: The Chicken Salad Stuffed Avocado at Poppies
No. 64: Super Pass Key Special at Pass Key
No. 63: How the West Was Won, or Biscuits and Gravy at Dozens Restaurant
No 62: P & S Snack Mix From the Pig & the Sprout
No. 61: Manzo and Polenta at Spuntino