Cafe Society

Green with Gluttony: The Original Chubby's

Can you digest a steel-belted radial? Are you goiter-popping iodine-deficient? If so, has Chubby's got the lard-laced saltastic green chile you've been looking for!

I understand why people don't love this place. The north Denver landmark can put a hurtin' on anyone's bowels. Even those who were raised at the teet of Grandma Stella's fat factory at 38th Avenue and Lipan have been betrayed by this, their childhood love. Even those who swear the kind of allegiance to Chubby's that makes the French Foreign Legion oath of honor look like a kindergarten pinky swear have stumbled in here hungry at mid-day or mid-night, only to later be roused from deep sleep with the kind of gut-wrenching regret that usually pangs only those who have committed violent crimes of passion, or paid to see Gigli.

Though eleven out of ten doctors will tell you that there is no way to make Chubby's part of a healthy, balanced meal, those of us who are addicted and dedicated to Chubby's as comfort food will always keep coming back. Fuck doctor's orders, bring on the heart failure and the diabetes. I'm having chile cheese fries and a beef and been special for dinner.

Chubby's offers a unique take on traditional Colorado green chile. Owing to, presumably, the high lard content, even at high temperatures the consistency of Chubby's green chile is colloidal at its runniest. Cool it down and you've got mayonnaise. Its limited vegetable content is there for heat only, and that heat varies from batch to batch. I've left this stuff in a container overnight, tried to put it on some eggs in the morning and found to my surprise that, like Bo Derek, it just gets hotter with age. You won't often find huge chunks of soft, marinated pork in this gravy, but it really isn't meant to be put in a bowl and served on its own.

This is pure food lube, and you could probably put it your car if you needed to. But it's really, really good. So good that I feel personally offended if a friend of mine doesn't like it when I try to initiate them. Quite simply, Chubby's green chili is home. And, judging by the lines you'll meet there at 2 a.m. on a Thursday, I'm not the only one who thinks so.

Heat: Depending on the batch and how long you let a pint of it sit in your fridge, somewhere between pre-Scientology Katie Holmes and Dante. Vegetable Content: *chuckles quietly to self* Meat Quotient: Never had a batch last long enough in front of me to find out. Immediate Satisfaction to Eventual Regret Ratio: Shut up and eat, lima bean. -- Sean Cronin

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Sean Cronin