Over four decades ago, Stella Cordova took over the Chubby Burger Drive-In from its owner, and she soon turned Chubby's into a Colorado icon, renowned for serving the gravy-like green chile she'd learned to make while growing up in Pueblo.
Stella passed away in 2009 at the age of 100, and today her children and dozens of grandchildren are reaping the benefits of her hard work, using that recipe at a number of different dining concepts across the metro area.
One of those beneficiaries was grandson Leonard Cordova, who owns the expanding Bubba Chinos empire, and uses that old green chile recipe to smother a board of burritos, Mexican hamburgers and cheese fries.
I already knew I loved Stella's original recipe, but for this week's review, I headed down to the original Bubba Chinos on Federal Boulevard to see what Leonard had done with the sauce. And as I ate my way through his menu, which encompasses plenty of items you can't get at the original Chubby's, I also heard the complicated story of the Cordova clan, and Leonard's explanation of why he couldn't just open a chain called something like Chubby's. Read that story, as well as an assessment of how the Bubba Chinos chile measures up to the original, when the review is posted here tomorrow.
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