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Aug 19, 2010 02:59 PM

Green Chile Kitchen...good New Mexican cuisine. [San Francisco]

Yesterday my wife and I had lunch at the Green Chile Kitchen at McAllister and Baker. (We lived in Santa Fe for 5 years and have been back every year since 1996....we love our chile!!)

We started out with their salsa and chips...we were given small cups of four different salsa...all of them packing plenty of flavor and heat. The blue corn chips were also very goods.

I then had a cup of chicken posole with red chile and lime. Very good.

My wife had the chiles rellenos christmas (christmas = with red and green chile sauce ladled on top). She liked everything, but thought the red chile was not quite the real thing. The secret to making proper New Mexican red chile sauce is to use Chimayo chile powder. No other red chile powder will do. Chimayo red chile powder has a richer and unique flavor distinct from the usual Mexican chile powders. Their hot green chile sauce is the real deal! All in all, 4 stars.

I had the homestyle chicken enchiladas christmas. It was flavorful and very well prepared with authentic NM flavors. It was a tad light on the chile sauce, but that did not detract from the meal at all. the accompanying beans and rice were also very good. I'll give it a 4+.

We were both delighted to finally find a restaurant in the SF Bay Area that does a credible job of serving up genuine New Mexican cuisine. We are also very pleased that they use a lot of organic and high quality ingredients such as Fulton Valley chicken, and Niman ranch beef and pork.

We look forward to going back for dinner so we can have the sopapillas with honey, and then pop on down to Chile Pies & Ice Cream for dessert.

Green Chile Kitchen
1801 McAllister St, San Francisco, CA 94117

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  1. I love New Mexican food. Do they have great sopapillas? These are sorely lacking in the Bay Area.

    3 Replies
    1. re: slipson

      I've not had them yet...they only serve them after 5pm. But they know enough to serve them with honey. My favorite trick is to fill sopapillas with honey and use it to mop up any excess red chile sauce. Nom-nom-nom!!

      Gauging by the rest of their food, I'd bet they do a decent sopapilla....will report back when confirmed.

      1. re: chilihead2006

        Please use your Santa Fe background to encourage them to also serve stuffed (savory, not sweet) sopapillas which are the ones I really liked in New Mexico.

      2. re: slipson

        NOPA usually has sopapillas on their dessert menu, excellent albeit not entirely authentic

      3. I really enjoyed my one meal there, especially the pozole. I was meeting a friend from the neighborhood for lunch and I had suggested we go to Nopalito. He insisted that Green Chili Kitchen was just as careful about sourcing local, fresh, organic ingredients and the food was better and cheaper. Not sure about all that, but my one meal has me wanting more.

        1 Reply
        1. re: BernalKC

          I can vouch for how well they execute on genuine NM cuisine. I'd rate them as better and healthier than your average NM restaurant in NM.

          Now if I can talk them into using Chimayo red chile powder, I might consider moving to the neighborhood. ;)

        2. This is indeed exciting news.

          One small quibble, please: I don't believe Niman Ranch carries the same promise of attention to sustainability or organics it did under Bill Niman, who I was happy to read is now producing under his own label (which I dont' remember--sorry; I think it's initials--someone will help, I'm sure).

          2 Replies
            1. re: Fine

              Niman Ranch was never organic. I don't think the products have changed much. I believe Paul Willis still manages the pork operation.

            2. We drove in from Marin tonight to check out Chile Pies & Ice Cream. The apple & green chile pie with cheddar crust is very good. The apple are sliced thin yet retain a bit of crunch, and is not too sweet. Very well executed. My wife had their mixed berry pie which was also excellent. We'd both rate their fruit pies up there with Crixa Cakes in terms of desirability.

              We walked by Green Chile Kitchen thinking we might stop for some takeaway and maybe some sopapillas, but were too stuffed after the pie.

              Crixa Cakes
              2748 Adeline St, Berkeley, CA 94703

              Green Chile Kitchen
              1801 McAllister St, San Francisco, CA 94117

              1. Oh yeah, we live just a few blocks away. I love the Frito Pie (from the pie/ice cream location down the block). It's actually served in the bag of fritos with Niman chili, lettuces and sour cream.

                The new place has a much better menu than the old location (the pie/ice cream place now). I'm very happy to have it in the neighborhood. Gets pretty crowded on the weekend mornings.

                1 Reply
                1. re: Sebby

                  Oddly enough, I can't recall seeing frito pie served in a restaurant in NM during the 5 years we lived in Santa Fe...and 12 years visiting there after moving. And we ate in a LOT of NM restaurants.

                  I see that it was served at the old Woolworths on the south side of the Plaza...but we never ate there. I wouldn't exactly describe it as a NM speciality.