I stuck with the safety of the half-and-half combo at Sam's for a while, until I agreed to share a bowl of green chile at La Fogata in DTC with a co-worker. It was mildly spicy and served with a big chunk of tender roasted pork in the middle of the bowl. The meat was, without a shred of doubt, the star in this version of the dish. At Santigo's, that mouth-scorching heat returned as soon as I bit into the breakfast burrito, but I ate the whole thing anyway. And when we stopped at a farm on the Eastern Plains, and I smelled fresh green chiles roasting as they turned over and over in a big metal drum, I inhaled deeply and instantly regretted all that time I spent resisting these little charred wonders.
Today, I'll take green chile any way I can get it. I still love the version at Sam's No. 3, especially when it's poured all over a big plate of fries. At El Taco De Mexico I slurp their simple but addictive version out of a bowl so I can get those big pieces of pork that aren't scooped up when you get it over your burrito. At North County, I order it alongside the carne asada fries (so worth the up-charge). It doesn't matter if it's Colorado- or New Mexican-style; mild or make-you-sweat spicy; made with or without tomatoes; thick as a stew, or thinner and more sauce-like. Whether it's green, tan, brown, or even red-hued, it's all good with me (as long as it's, you know, actually good).
Colorado, please accept my apology. I’m sorry my young, naive self ever doubted you. My stubborn pickiness almost kept me away from what's now one of my favorite comfort foods. Consider this a wake-up call to anyone resisting the pull of this Mile High favorite. This is not a suspension of disbelief. Green chile is one of Denver’s best dishes for a reason. It's not weird, it's simply fucking delicious.
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