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Little Anita's chile no longer vegetarian -- for now?

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After a reader tipped us off that the much-loved vegetarian chile at Little Anita's is no longer vegetarian, we contacted Giselda Lopez, the store manager at the location at 6830 South Yosemite Street in Centennial, to get the scoop.

"We just changed it not too long ago," she said. The green and red chile at all five of the Little Anita's locations in the metro area were previously made with water, she explained. but the kitchens recently replaced that with a beef base to help thicken the chile. Still, she assured us that Little Anita's would soon be offering a meat-free chile. "And we're going to have a specific menu that's only vegetarian," she added.

That was such interesting news that we contacted the corporate headquarters of Little Anita's, which is based in Albuquerque, to find out more. We've left messages for Mr. Big at Little Anita's for a week now and have yet to get an official response. Unofficially, an employee there confirmed that both the red chile and green chile contain beef stock, but said the store at 1550 South Colorado Boulevard would soon introduce (or is that reintroduce?) a vegetarian green chile.

Which came as news to a staffer at that location when we stopped by. Sure, the green chile was vegetarian, she told us -- if you didn't count the meat in the stock.

Vegetarians, beware.

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