As I've been mentioning all week, a few weeks ago I spent the better part of a week in Colorado on vacation. While dining at a few choice spots I was introduced to a side dish that I wasn't familiar with.

Green Chili.

I'd like to think I'm pretty open-minded when it comes to trying new foods, but it seemed like the majority of joints we checked out in the Mile High City all featured this side dish. I had been to Colorado in years past, but I don't remember this being such a big deal until I arrived a few weeks ago.

Green chili is a staple dish of U.S. Southwestern cuisine, so I'm not sure why it's so big in the Rocky Mountains. It's a spicy stew-like mix of green chilies and usually pork, jalapenos, onions, tomatoes and various seasonings.

The first place I encountered the dish was a place featured on Guy Fieri's "Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives." Sam's No. 3 is a pretty awesome diner that was established in 1927.

Sams No. 3 Diner in Denver

They have a great variety of dishes with ample portions and the majority of their entrees come smothered in their signature Pork Green Chili. (You can see my burrito in the picture at the top.) It wasn't too spicy and tasted awesome.

A few days later we stopped by another great spot in Englewood, Colorado, called The Breakfast Queen.

The Breakfast Queen in Englewood, Colorado

It's another spot that specializes in big, delicious breakfasts. This time I tried the Breakfast Quesadilla... which came with... you guessed it... green chili!

Breakfast Quesadilla from The Breakfast Queen in Colorado

Now don't get me wrong! I'm not complaining at all. In fact, by this point in our trip I was starting to really enjoy my green chili.

I asked a few waitresses where this big obsession came from. Most of them shrugged and said something to the effect of "we've always had it."

I don't know. Maybe I missed the boat on green chili but I had honestly never heard of it before visiting Colorado.

Have you ever had it? If you get the chance I would definitely recommend it.

Now... if I could just find it somewhere in the Tristates!

~Chris Farber

 

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