Menus at Denver restaurants aren’t complete without this local favorite.
No matter what breakfast restaurant you go to anywhere in America, there are some dishes that will undoubtedly appear on every single menu. Pancakes, French toast, waffles, and omelettes, to name just a few. But every breakfast restaurant is bound to have a few signature dishes that are local or regional specialties. If you dine out at Denver restaurants, you know that you will find green chile on a lot of menus. Green chile (or chili) is a specialty of New Mexico, and by proximity, the Rocky Mountain region. No menu at Denver restaurants is complete without at least one item featuring this delicious, spicy concoction. If you order huevos rancheros in Denver, you can bet the eggs will be smothered in green chile. As will your breakfast burrito. When you come to The Original Pancake House, you’ll find it on top of the Green Chile Eggs Benedict, along with tomato, avocado, chorizo sausage and pepper jack cheese.
Chile peppers, both red and green, are a staple of New Mexican cuisine. While red chile in its sauce form is generally used for covering enchiladas, burritos and more, green chile is hearty and often doubles as both sauce and as a soup or stew. Chile peppers, which are technically a fruit, have been around for thousands of years. They were used by the Inca, Mayan and Aztec civilizations in both culinary and medicinal applications. It is generally believed that Columbus first encountered chiles in the Caribbean and the curious spicy pepper was brought back to Spain by the ships doctor Diego Alvarez Chanco, who first wrote of their medicinal properties in 1494.
Today chile peppers are a major industry in New Mexico and the Hatch Valley is renowned for its production of the Hatch chile, a hybrid of the Chile Negro, Chile Colorado and Chile Pasilla. It was created by horticulturist Fabian Garcia after 10 years of experimenting to find the perfect chile and was originally known as New Mexico Chile No. 9. Chile-heads around the globe owe Mr. Garcia a great deal of thanks, as do patrons of Denver restaurants when they dig into a bowl of green chile, or enjoy something smothered with the iconic sauce.