Cafe Society

Rest of the Best: Not Easy Being Green

While most of the Best of Denver 2008 fallout has been outside the office, there's been plenty of talk here at Bite Me World HQ regarding my Best Green Chile award for Jack-n-Grill. Backbeat editor Dave Herrera takes it very personally when I say things about Colorado-style verde being just an insignificant knockoff of the New Mexican original, and often threatens to punch me for my out-of-towner’s perspective and obvious bias toward the Land of Enchantment.

A few months ago, we came to a sort of chile detente when we agreed that Denver’s absolute best green chile does not even exist on its own, but can only be created by mixing two of the city’s best-known also-rans. You need to get a pint of green from Santiago’s (the outlet on Leetsdale is my favorite) and a pint of green from Chubby’s (the original, at 38th and Lipan), then mix them together in roughly equal portions. The combination of Santiago’s sweetness and Chubby’s napalm heat is just unbelievable — an unbeatable combination that we discovered in the middle of an editorial meeting when we really should have been paying attention to other things.

Dave and I don’t agree on much. He can’t believe that I eat raw fish on a regular basis, and I can’t believe he won’t admit that the Wall of Voodoo song “Mexican Radio” is the greatest musical accomplishment of all time. But our chile concoction? There’s no debate. -- Jason Sheehan

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Patricia Calhoun co-founded Westword in 1977; she’s been the editor ever since. She’s a regular on the weekly CPT12 roundtable Colorado Inside Out, played a real journalist in John Sayles’s Silver City, once interviewed President Bill Clinton while wearing flip-flops, and has been honored with numerous national awards for her columns and feature-writing.
Contact: Patricia Calhoun