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May 7, 2012 08:06 PM

Colorado-style green chile/chili

If you've ever ordered a smothered burrito in Colorado, you'll know the sort of chile/chili I'm talking about. It's the same chile that smothers Denver-based Chubby's' Mexican Hamburger, which was chosen by Gustavo Arellano, (of "Ask a Mexican!" fame) in his recently released "Taco USA: How Mexican Food Conquered America" as the greatest Mexican meal in the U.S. A burrito just isn't worth eating without it, IMO, and if I can't find at least one restaurant in L.A. that serves it before we retire there in two years, I may very well show up with a tricked-out truck and start hawking my own.

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  1. You might give the wet chile verde burrito at Tacos Por Favor (two locations - Santa Monica and West L.A.) a try and see what you think: with pork cooked with special green tomatillo sauce, rice & beans all for $6.35.

    1. The original comment has been removed
      1. Did you end up finding a place in Los Angeles? My son and I are from the Denver area and LOVED those Chubby's and Santiago's smothered burritos and have had no luck finding that here in Los Angeles. I'd be very interested to know if you found something similar....I'm so craving that right NOW! Or did you start a Colorado green chile food truck? If so, I AM SO THERE!

        12 Replies
        1. re: jilliand

          No, I sure didn't, Jillian. I even asked Gustavo Arellano and he replied that "some regional traditions are too site-specific to ever travel...," which I really don't understand. I mean, good food is good food, right? And it's not like Californians don't have access to the ingredients. I did read somewhere that Hatch chiles aren't readily available there, but I can't imagine there aren't reasonable substitutes.

          If I do end up getting myself a food truck when we move there in the spring of 2014, I'll let you know! :)

          1. re: DebBho

            Definitely. I have a pretty decent Denver green chile recipe with me here in L.A. so I may have to bite the bullet and make it myself.

              1. re: Servorg

                That could work. I will try that place next time I'm in that area. The chili doesn't look it spicy? The Colorado chile has a lot of spice and is smothered in melted cheese as well which this picture doesn't have any of....but it could be promising depending on the taste. Thanks for sharing that.

                1. re: jilliand

                  I like the level of spice that TPF uses in their chile. But it's such a personal preference, depending on ones own sensitivity to "chile" heat that I'll leave it up to you to decide after you try it. You can always spice it up and if you want them to smother it in cheese they will do so.

                  1. re: Servorg

                    Oh ok. I'll definitely give it a try....thanks for the reference. :)

                2. re: Servorg

                  I'm definitely going to try Tacos Por Favor when I'm back in L.A. in September, Servorg, but the color of the green chile in this photo makes me think it's not going to be what I'm looking for. Colorado green chile is typically orange in color and rarely includes tomatillos.

                  The photo is of the aforementioned Chubby's Mexican Hamburger, swiped from Gustavo Arellano's Pinterest board.

                  1. re: DebBho

                    Yep that's it there. And the Chubby's smothered fries have melted cheese on them. I miss Chubby's.....

              2. re: DebBho

                Hi DebBho - you can get Hatch chiles at a school in the San Gabriel valley (I think it is in Puente Hills) once a year. Someone will post when that takes place. They will roast them for you but you have to buy a lot. You pre-order. We got some 2 or 3 years ago and a friend and I shared them - we plan on getting more this year. Directly from New Mexico. Also, you will see posts here indicating when people start seeing them at Albertson's (a grocery chain here). You just can't get them year-round.

                1. re: WildSwede

                  Good to know, WildSwede - thanks! That's the way I buy them here - two bushels every fall, roasted at a roadside stand. :)

                  1. re: DebBho

                    DebBho and Wild Swede, El Rey Farms trucks in Hatch Chilis several times (mid-August - mid-September) during Hatch Chili season to La Puente High School. For more info, go to El Rey Farms' web site:



                    El Rey Frams' web site says they start taking orders July 15:


                    Also, some of the LA area supermarkets have Hatch Chili Roasts. I have also bought fresh Hatch Chilis at Culver City Albertsons (Washington Blvd and Lincoln Blvd) in season.

                2. re: DebBho

                  We do get Hatch chilies here, but they are seasonal. I remember seeing them at the Westwood Whole Foods. I'm sure most WFs have them when they're in season, and most likely so do other high end grocers.

                  I can't remember when I saw them though. I think (about 70% sure) it was in the fall, like October-ish.