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Sunday, 03 August 2008

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Comments

mike

I love green chile - especially as a wet burrito topping. My favorite so far is at Sam's #3 in Denver, but I had a pretty good one at Frontier in Albuquerque Recently. I'll have to try one of the Yuma versions the next time I pass through.

koko

Ed, didn't you give Pepe a try? Las Manjares.(dang, the spelling always gets me)
I'm hoping to make it to Yuma sometime this mo. Hope you will be available for a meal.

ed (from Yuma)

We have many variations to try, mike. Note that these are all old-school places, not necessarily the best, but representing a unique set of traditions.

Oh, yeh, koko, I love Los Manjares. I did a long post on the place a while back. It's the best single Mexican restaurant in town. Please don't think that the 4 places mentioned here are my favorites - they are just interesting.

janfrederick

Interresting timing on this post. My wife and I just celebrated our anniversary yesterday. For 9our honeymoon, we went on a road trip around the four corners region (and even buzzed through Yuma on our way back).

In Socorro New Mexico, we went to a diner by our motel and ordered Chile Verde. What was served did not resemble the stuff I grew up on in Southern California. I'm pretty sure there weren't tomatillos, but it was plenty green from Hatch Chillies (Anaheim, but more flavorful). The consistency was more of a stew than thick chilli. Nevertheless, it was very good. In fact, I made a pot this weekend in honor of our anniversary.

After learning about the local Hatch Chillies, we noticed a lot of small markets with large lottery style drums that were spinning fresh chillies over flames. The skin would blister and fly off and fall from the sky like snow. The smell was incredible!

Every once in a while (late August), our local stores will get Hatch Chillies. They look just like Anaheims. If you see them, buy them and use in any recipe that shows off green chillies. Just my two cents. :)

janfrederick

By the way, sorry. I can never get the spelling right: chili, chile, chilli, chillie, chill ... ;)

ed (from Yuma)

Jan - yeh, I'm never sure about spelling. I tend to use chile as a singular and chilies as plural, but that ain't good English.
I love Hatch chilies. It's about time for them to show up here too. You can also buy tubs of New Mex chilies roasted and frozen at a lot of supermarkets(at least in Yuma). But most of these green chilies are much milder.

Omar

Hi Ed,

Thanks for posting about green chile.

I lived outside Santa Fe, New Mexico for a couple of years, and became addicted to chile, whether sauced, chunked, stuffed or stewed. Each autumn, I'd savor the smell of chile being roasted outdoors (I've seen a man at the Hillcrest Farmer's Market doing the same thing; San Diego locals should go take a sniff).

In Santa Fe, you can spend a lot of money on fancy chile dishes, but the high-priced places don't use enough lard, I guess, 'cause the flavors are never "homey" enough. In Santa Fe, I prefer enchiladas or tamales at either of the Posa family restaurants, green chile stew at PC's Restaurant & Lounge, or anything topped with chile at La Choza. These are locals spots, miles from Santa Fe's fru-fru art houses, with nary a bandana-wearing coyote in sight.

Also good, if you're passing through Albuquerque, is El Patio, up by UNM. Be ready to wait for table at what looks like someone's uncle's house, then be ready for one great meal.

I make some green chile dishes here at the house, but it's not the same as finding chile on *every* menu in town. You may leave Yuma one day, Ed; take an expat's word for this: eat everything you like, while you still can.

Best regards,
Omar

Roasting Chile at the Santa Fe Farmer's Market:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=38ExItfy9qs

Hillcrest Farmer's Market
3960 Normal St
San Diego, CA 92103
619-237-1632

Posa's El Merendero
1514 Rodeo Rd.
Santa Fe, New Mexico 87505
505-820-7672

Posa's El Merendero
3538 Zafarano Dr.
Santa Fe, New Mexico 87507
505-473-3454

PC's Restaurant & Lounge
4220 Airport Road
Santa Fe, NM 87507
(505) 473-7164

El Patio
142 Harvard St. NE
Albuquerque, NM, 87106
505-268-4245

Omar

Ed,

Sorry, I forgot this address:

La Choza
905 Alarid St
Santa Fe, NM 87505
505-982-0909

Regards,

janfrederick

Wow, I haven't been to the Hillcrest market in a while. I'll need to return this fall!

foodhoe

omg what am I doing reading this when I'm hungry?!! Yummy yuman burritos and those pictures of both the insides and the outsides really gave me a craving to get in the saddle for a burrito...

Cathy

I haven't looked at the blog in a few days ed...and just know how much I appreciate this informative post. I know what I am wanting for my next meal. Thanks.

ed (from Yuma)

Omar - thanks for the real informative comment. Great addition to the post. I think you'd find most of the green chilies in Yuma too mild by NMex standards. I do appreciate the food in Yuma. Not a great place for fine dining or unusual cuisines, but we do have a lot of good and interesting Mexican food.

Cathy, fh, thanks for the comments. This was a fun post to put together because I have been a green chile fancier/student for quite some time now - and I'm always amazed at its incredible variety. Remember, this post only looks at this dish from 4 of the old time places in Yuma. Many other versions/variations abound.

Omar

Hi Ed,

Thanks for your notes, and as Cathy said, for a great post. You made me miss the old days, ordering meal after meal covered "Christmas"-style (that's red and green chile, side by side).

I'm surprised to read that the chile may be different from that served in NM. I figured: same sun, same dirt, same (or similar) chiles. Is the Hatch chile, for instance, different from what you get there?

Also, and finally, do vendors roast the chile in public spaces in Yuma? That smell... makes me think that God eats Mexican food, and buys his green chile from a guy in an Albertson's parking lot.

Reverentially,

ed (from Yuma)

Chilies are not much grown around Yuma. Mostly lettuce & broccoli in the winter and cotton and wheat for pasta in summer.

Usually Hatch chilies are available here around harvest. One or two places will roast outside (Albertsons on B usually every year). I still remember buying 30 lbs one year and spending an entire day cleaning and freezing them while making a green chile that turned out to be too picante to eat (well after tripling the amount of pork and tomatillos, it was pretty good, but that was another day of cooking).

Few inhabitants here have NMex roots (in fact, none that I have met). Most of the Mexican influence in Yuma is Sonoran, Jaliscan, Sinaloan, and Chicalian (from Mexicali). The places whose green chilies I reported about in this post are all old line Yuman families, having local roots much deeper than almost anyone else in town. After all, Yuma has mushroomed in the last 40-50 years, attracting both more Anglos (like me) and more folks from across the border. So the green chile here, even when made with NMex chilies, is never as fiery as what I believe occurs in NMex dishes. A very different culinary tradition.

Omar

Ed,

Thanks for the info. It's interesting to me to see how cuisines vary from place to place; besides chile, for instance, barbeque is a subject of endless fascination for me.

Anyway, your writeups give my wife and me one more reason to make the trip to Yuma, the others being a) our semi-annual purchase of Powerball tickets and b) lunch at Cracker Barrel, one of my guilty pleasure places.

Best,

Chris

MMM can't wait for my trip to Yuma to try me some green chili burritos!

Gary Cobb

im in nw arkansas. raised in yuma and return every year at least once to el charro for green chile enchilada dinner. gotta plan a trip soon after looking at these pics

ed (from Yuma)

Nice to hear from you Gary. Yuma sure must be different than it was. Maybe I need to try the green chile enchiladas next time at El Charros.

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