April 13, 2010

Pueblo's Green-Chile "Slopper" Rivalry

The Travel Channel's "Food Wars" crew came to Pueblo to film the green-chile "slopper" rivalry between Coors Tavern (no connection to the brewery up in Golden) and the Sunset Inn, its rival, which touts its own green-chile recipe.

Green chile is what makes Pueblo’s slopper unique. Pouring traditional red chili con carne over an open-faced hamburger and bun dates back at least as far as the 1920s when “Ptomaine” Tommy DeForrest introduced his Los Angeles customers to the dish that eventually became the “chili size” because they always demanded he use the bigger of two ladles to dish it out.
"Red or green?" may be the unofficial state question of New Mexico, but Puebloans have long answered with the latter. A visiting friend from the Four Corners was once unpleasantly surprised to learn that the Pantry Cafe, for example, served breakfast burritos with green chile only.


LabRat said...

To be fair, down here the red chili con carne burger largely doesn't exist and the green chile cheeseburger is king. Stingray was full of rage when he visited me down in Phoenix and his "chili burger" was the former kind rather than the latter, having had no idea such abominations existed. There may be places you can order red chile on your burger, but I've never been in one.

But green chile ONLY on a breakfast burrito? That's just sick.

Chas S. Clifton said...

I like a red sauce if I can feel the grittiness of the ground-up peppers in it.

But I also like living where no one is surprised if you request a cup of green chile as a side dish.

LabRat said...

Once upon a time we had a visiting friend from Texas, who felt he knew food and did not suffer from any confidence problems. We took him out to our favorite local joint, whereupon he ordered, off-menu, "chili con queso". The waitress gave him a confused look for awhile, whereupon he reinstated the request. She shrugged and went off to fetch our food.

After a somewhat longer than normal delay, she returned with a bowl of green chile stew with a healthy portion of cheese stirred in. The nonverbal exchange of looks was priceless.

Mark Churchill said...

Green, please.

And you gotta love a restauranteur named Ptomaine Tommy...

mdmnm said...

The "Jemez Burger" ("A Jell of a Jamburger") at the Los Ojos Bar in Jemez Springs is served open faced, surrounded by fries, and covered with green chile. It's been around for thirty years or so that I'm aware of, but is now called "The Los Ojos special". Of course, someone has probably served pretty much any given menu item ahogados in green chile at some point wherever that latter item is part of the culinary scene.

Labrat- I once ordered "chile" (yes, spelled with an "e") on eggs when too far east and was appalled to get Wolf Brand or the like. It was early, I hadn't metabolized my coffee and wasn't thinking clearly. The lesson was sufficiently grim I don't think I'll make it again.

Chas S. Clifton said...

That "jamburger" sounds a lot like a slopper to me.

For the real taste of Pueblo, put green chile on your kielbasa and have pizelles for dessert.

It is a civic identity thing.

MW3 said...

When done right - green chile makes everything better.