Introducing the New Mexico Green Chile Cheeseburger Trail for 2011

You can find your way across this country using burger joints the way a navigator uses stars.
We have munched Bridge burgers in the shadow of the Brooklyn Bridge and Cable burgers hard by the Golden Gate,
Dixie burgers in the sunny South and Yankee Doodle burgers in the North. We had a Capitol Burger — guess where.
And so help us, in the inner courtyard of the Pentagon, a Penta burger
Charles Kuralt, journalist, television host of “On the Road”.”

For more than a quarter century, award-winning journalist Charles Kuralt hit the road on a motor home, crisscrossing the fruited plains where waving fields of wheat passed in review and snow-capped mountains reached for cobalt colored skies. Kuralt loved the cuisine of the Land of Enchantment. In his book America, he declared the Owl Cafe in San Antonio, New Mexico “one of the best food tips” he’d ever gotten.

For years, maybe decades, the Owl Cafe’s green chile cheeseburger was the standard against which all green chile cheeseburgers were measured. Not only did Charles Kuralt rave about it, so did every travel guide published about the Land of Enchantment. Few would dispute that the green chile cheeseburger made tiny San Antonio, New Mexico a popular travel and dining destination. That was validated daily by the many license plates from several states which could be seen at the Owl’s parking lot.

New Mexico Tourism Department Secretary Monique Jacobson introduces the New Mexico Green Chile Cheeseburger Trail for 2011 During a Press Conference on May 26th, 2011

The advent of the information-internet age truly made the world a smaller place and by the close of the 20th century, the Owl Cafe had several contenders for New Mexico’s best green chile cheeseburger–including the Buckhorn Tavern just a few hundred feet away from the Owl Cafe in San Antonio.

An authoritative proclamation (made by New Mexicans who know what they’re talking about, not out-of-staters) certifying New Mexico’s best green chile cheeseburger, however, would not be made until 2009 when in the span of just a few months, two burgers could lay claim to the title of New Mexico’s best. Neither was Kuralt’s beloved Owl Cafe. In May, 2009, the Buckhorn Tavern became world-famous when its gregarious owner Bobby Olguin bested celebrity chef Bobby Flay in a “green chile cheeseburger throwdown.” The judges in the blind taste test were all New Mexicans.

Bobby Olguin, world famous proprietor of the Buckhorn Tavern in San Antonio, New Mexico and Cheryl Jamison, New Mexico Culinary Liaison and Four-Time James Beard Award Winning Author

Capitalizing on the momentum, Governor Richardson called for a statewide green chile cheeseburger challenge to be held at the New Mexico State Fair on September 22nd, 2009. Neither the Owl Cafe nor the Buckhorn Tavern participated, leaving the field wide open for an interloper to lay claim to serving New Mexico’s very best green chile cheeseburger. When the smoke had cleared and the judges’ seared tongues had cooled, Badlands Burgers (now closed) from Grants was announced as the winner of the inaugural Governor’s Challenge, earning acclaim as purveyor of New Mexico’s best green chile cheeseburger.

November, 2009 saw the introduction of the “New Mexico Green Chile Cheeseburger Trail,” a listing of the Land of Enchantment’s most outstanding green chile cheeseburger restaurants, drive-ins, diners, dives, joints, cafes, roadside stands and bowling alleys. The Trail became the indispensable guide to one of New Mexico’s most iconic foods. To paraphrase Charles Kuralt, you can find your way across the Land of Enchantment using the map developed for the New Mexico Green Chile Cheeseburger Trail.

The world famous green chile cheeseburger at the Buckhorn Tavern in San Antonio Restaurant (Courtesy of Sandy Driscoll)

The New Mexico Green Chile Cheeseburger Trail was such a resounding success that it was brought back in 2011. Restaurant owners, staff and patrons nominated nearly 200 purveyors of New Mexico’s iconic green chile cheeseburger for inclusion on the updated Trail. The 30 restaurants receiving the most votes received an automatic bearth on the Trail while a panel of culinary experts added additional choices to ensure recommendations are available to visitors in all corners of the Land of Enchantment.

More than 10,000 votes were cast and when results were tallied, the top five vote-getters were New Mexico’s unique and ubiquitous Lota Burger; the Taco Box, a staple in Clovis and Portales; Bobcat Bite, selected by the editors of Bon Apetit Magazine as America’s best burger in 2007; and the Buckhorn Tavern and the Owl Cafe, the two legendary San Antonio burger establishments probably most responsible for the worldwide fame of the green chile cheeseburger.

New to the New Mexico Green Chile Cheeseburger Trail for 2011: The Blue Ribbon Grille & Bar in Estancia, New Mexico

The updated New Mexico Green Chile Cheeseburger Trail celebrates 66 restaurants, drive-ins, diners, dives, joints, cafes, roadside stands and bowling alleys which serve the best green chile cheeseburgers in the universe. They come from tiny hamlets to burgeoning metropolises and from Abiquiu to Zuni and everywhere in between. One commonality among them all–aside from piquant deliciousness–is the exclusive use of green chile grown and roasted in the Land of Enchantment.

Please click on the image above to launch a larger, more interactive map. By hovering your cursor over each of the numbered burger icons, information about the green chile cheeseburger restaurant represented will display. For much more great information on the New Mexico Green Chile Cheeseburger Trail, please click here. While you’re on the New Mexico Department of Tourism’s Green Chile Cheeseburger Trail page, don’t forget to download a personal map you can take with you throughout your travels in the Land of Enchantment.

Note: I have added a “New Mexico Green Chile Cheeseburger Trail: 2011” category to the menu at right. Every restaurant on the Trail I have reviewed can be found in this category.

51 thoughts on “Introducing the New Mexico Green Chile Cheeseburger Trail for 2011

  1. Anyone getting tired of same old-same old…GCCB with Fries? especially as we go deeper into the darkest (aka dreariest) days of the year, i.e. the next 30 days till the sun changes course to the North and daylight starts getting longer after the 12/21st Solstice? What’s better for Comfort Food during these days than potatoes… let alone Skins? Serendipitously, I just ran across this to just add some Green Chile …possibly in lieu of the Sour Cream….to:

  2. In the greater World of Burgers, I wonder how our Bubble’s GCCB, using The KISS (“Keep It Simple Stupid” as they say in our military) format, fairs. IMHO, the average taste (aka palate) can only appreciate so much diversity. On the other hand, how about opening a joynt that serves all of these as well? There could even be “Flight of Sliders”!!! Whoa!!!! Is there even a burger in there? LOL

    1. “Bubble”??
      What does that mean, please?
      And congrats on a new record for reference sites.
      i must admit that you’ve outdone yourself.
      Does your “joynt” special in reference sites or food, Bubbles?

  3. Thanks TOP3GCCB!
    Will pass JV’s on to my S-i-L who goes up there to fish the Rio Chama as well as for tourists going to take the Train per your recommendation and backed up by others, e.g.
    Will also ramp up using the Laguna Burger for the many Tourists “doing 66” who I divert to Acoma. Lest others forget, Gil has checked out the Laguna GCCB as well
    – Re Bibo…as I reflect on some Gatherings of the FOGs, I do not recall The Jen wearing “Leathers”, but know I wonder Heehola!!! does anyone know what she rides?

  4. My top 3 is a 2 way tie at the top:

    1) Laguna Burger
    1) Bibo Bar and Grill
    3) J.V.s in Chama. If you get a chance try their tacos and chalupa as well!

  5. Alas, FGFABQ, I hear ya, but I must say since my days in the’70s, I’ve ALWAYS seen LotaBurger throw a fresh slab of “beef” on the griddle every time I’ve gone, i.e. never had one that had been just sitting ‘resting’. I will affirm, that IMHO the total taste experience, as said before has changed in 40 years, i.e. is it the bun?, the onions?, or my aging taste buds? Nevertheless, the tang of the chile of late is fine, albeit lyte on flavor. Admittedly, I get one cuz I’m darn right lazy at times and it is just around the corner on El Pueblo which gives me time to just barely keep fries hot and ‘crispy’ to the house! (In the ’70s, I used the one on Menaul & Pennsylvania.)
    – Lest ya didn’t know, you can ask for Mayo if that would help. Yo, answer “Yes” if they quizzically ask if ya still want mustard…LOL
    – But to your major issue: Perhaps we see so many LBs on that list because in many small towns it is the only rodeo in town and is a step above Mickey D’s. On the other hand, I do not know how to get readers to post comments here…to put/keep “better” places in the limelight…while I still haven’t been, but a month ago did direct some Folks going to an indian conference in Laguna to the Pit Stop based on Gil’s and Commenters recommendations.
    – Bottom line: if truth be told, my sense per volunteering and thus interacting with tourists, is that they have little idea about our beloved Green Chile Cheeseburger and thus the free advertising of being 1st place out of 20 nationallly is but one more “amenity/curiosity” that might bring tourists’ dollars to the state in lieu of having an Eiffel Tower/DisneyLand/Times Square/Pier or whatever else brings tourists elsewhere.
    – If anyone else is reading this and FGFABQ, please list your 3 Favs to expand my horizons per not being much of a burger-guy. E.g. I’d go to Papaburgers more if he was more consistent with the luscious char around the edges. I hit up Bob’s Ranchos Supreme for the ‘toppings’ more than the meat. Sorry Holy Cow…Nope, can’t fit you in my ‘big’ mouth!
    – Lastly FGFABQ, and again RE your FOG planning: Let me Razz ya to Dazzle us at your hacienda with your BurgerMeisterGrilling expertise and thrill us with your 1/3# KOBE burgers for which we’ll pay!!!! I’ll be happy to throw in the Chile!

  6. From the looks of the article it should be called the Blakes Lottaburger trail.
    Still have trouble with Blakes being so wildly popular in NM.
    They are like every other fast food hamburger at 12:30PM, plagued by sitting finished on the griddle top waiting to be sold, most likely well, well done.
    I have had every one from Wetson’s to White Castle, to Micky D’s, to Blakes, to Whataburger, to Bob’s Big Boy and none of them come close to the non-chain versions available.
    I just don’t get it………..

  7. Lest some of Y’all wish to encourage your favorite restaurant to enter the Centennial Green Chile Cheeseburger Challenge at the State Fair for Bragging Rights and a listing on the GCCB Trail (plus probable newz coverage):

    This now annual event was inaugurated by what’s his name as part of the State Fair’s Brouhaha/Ballyhoo/Attendance promo after Bobby Flay lost his GCCB’ throwdown’ to the Buckhorn Tavern in Paris’ G-father’s hometown. Anyway, entry deadline line for the 12 spots is Aug. 31,’12 by 5P

  8. OK, after meaning to go for 4 months, finally made my way to Billy’s Long Bar for the wings.

    Firstly, the wings are fried perfectly. They are perfectly crispy and retain their crispiness even after the sauce is applied. They were good sized wings, too. Without a doubt, they are the best wings in ABQ. I would even say that they are fried better than Tickle’s N’ Snook’s, but it has been so long since I had T N’ S that I could just be remembering the disaster that followed T N’ S’s exit.

    Secondly, the sauce(s). Tried the Hot and the Parmesan Garlic. I was somewhat disappointed here. Parmesan Garlic were too weak tasting. They needed more garlic and more parmesan. The Hot was good, but I prefer my Hot Wings just a tad bit more piquant (glad I talked my wife out of ordering the Medium, as she was hesitant). The sauce is good, probably second best in the city, I was just left craving that little bit of endorphin rush.

    All-in-all, I would concur with your assesment of these being the best in the city right now. If I could somehow combine these wings with the Tickle’s N’ Snook’s X-tra Hot Sauce, I think I might just let out a scream of joy.

    Will have to trek out to Nob Hill Bar and Grill and try those. Hopefully, it won’t take me another 4 months!

  9. Thanks for the reply, Ryan. I’ll have to give those a try.

    I also forgot to mention Fox n’ Hound’s Carolina Hots (or something like that). They are pretty good too. Nice and crispy on the outside, and the sauce is good.

  10. Great topic BotVoLR! I’d have to say that if you have to put ketchup, or anything else on a french fry, then it’s only a so-so FF. :-). Of course, that is just my opinion. Just give me salt and maybe black pepper, and I’m good. Although the occasional sprinkling of cayenne gets my mouth watering!

    Favorite fries are easily the regular screwy fries at Lumpy’s (although they have, on occasion, overcooked them to my liking – but more times than not, they have been perfect)! I’m not a sweep potato fan, so I go regular.

    Next is probably the fries at Itsa Italian Ice. Especially with a green chile Philly, or a cheeseburger.

    I’d have to try the papas at Pollito Con Papas again. I remember liking them a lot, but don’t recall they would be at the top of my list. But like I said, I’ve only tried them once – and even from that once they were at least top 5.

    Another topic – Best Hot Wings in ABQ? Used to be Tickles n’ Snooks, but they went downhill fast under new ownership (I made comments as such). I’m always on the lookout for a good hot wing, and have resorted to making my own, so any help on this subject would be greatly appreciated! The chain ones will suffice in a pinch, but I prefer the homemade touch.

    1. Hi Noe

      You’ll be happy to hear that Rusty “Snooks” McConnell, founder and erstwhile co-owner of Tickles & Snooks is exploring the possibility of bottling and selling the wonderful sauces used on Albuquerque’s very best wings. With any luck, we’ll be applying those sauces to our own wings someday soon.

      My friend Ryan Scott certainly knows more about wings than I’ll ever know. If he tells you the wings at the Nob Hill Bar & Grill are the best in the city, you can take it to the bank. He and I recently shared an order of Applewood Smoked Chicken Wings Tossed in Mango Habanero at the Nob Hill bar & Grill and they were indeed fantastic.

      Another restaurant serving great wings is the Greenside Cafe in Cedar Crest. The spicy mango sauce is terrific.


  11. There are the fries and there are Nathan’s Famous Fries.
    Yes, the Nathan’s Famous Tube Steak, the first great hot dog also has the BFF I have ever had.
    They are crisp on the outside and perfectly soft on the inside.
    And they may well be the only fries that are steeped in mystery.
    It was once said that there sheer perfection is the result of being brined on “soapy” water!!!
    Whatever the secret is, Long Live Nathan’s Famous fries, the perfect accompaniment to the world’s best Hot Dog.
    I like my fries with a bit of salt. Ketchup is optional but not required.
    Oh, and to get the full effect you have to go to Coney Island, Brooklyn.
    Ride the Cyclone, take in a Brooklyn Cyclones baseball game, ride the bumper cars and dine at the Mecca of red hots and fries.
    It doesn’t get any better than that!
    Strange (for me) toppings on my fries are like pineapple topped pizza, I don’t get it.
    As an aside, on a trip west to visit out daughter 4 of us had lunch at a burger joint in Manhattan Beach, CA and on their menu was a Hatch Chile Cheeseburger.
    The only difference between Manhattan Beach and Albuquerque was the check…….. 4 burgers, 2 sides and 4 drinks……..$73.00 plus tip. And the chile was way too mild.

  12. JM: Mayo & Cayenne: sounds opulently wicked! I see no reason that we shouldn’t be able to make our fetish-like dining ‘accouterments’ to bring ’em in a ramekin (readily available at Crate n Barrel, Wallymart, covered ones at Blain’s Farm & Fleet, etc.) to a restaurant! Hopefully your frankness will bring forth other “dressings” for the slinky spuds!!!
    Ah yes Curly Fries…a favorite at (Central or Uptown) Ned’s of yore? Wonder if Arby’s, Twisters still have ’em.
    And Geckos…Yes, I should get back to give their Reuben a second shot…

  13. Mr Bob, I am happy to reveal my prejudges on fries. They are in general not my favorite food but occasionally somebody makes some I love.
    Staying local my favorites are of the very unFrench variety crispy curly fries at Gecko’s on Academy. The best more traditional no longer exist. They were the blue/black variety occasionally at Cafe Miche, cut the way I do it as thick radial cuts, about 8 to a potato. I don’t know if the blue was the potato variety or the cooking. I also often loved the truffle fries at la Provence but they changed every time they changed chefs and therefor often disappointed. I haven’t tried them since Clause took over.
    I never really cred for ketchup though I often use it. I prefer malt vinegar over ketchup but at home my very strong weird preference is for mayonnaise with cayenne mixed in. I have only gotten one restaurant, a very mediocre place in San Diego to cooperate with my request.

  14. – Given the GCCBs are typically accompanied by and/or are almost synonymous with French (aka Patriot) Fries, thought I’d query if Folks’ have a BFF (no, not Best Friends Forever, but Best French Fries) here or elsewhere. Certainly it goes without saying, I’m sure we all can commiserate with the Foodie who finds the Best GCCB at one place and BFF at another! Oh, while we’re at it, I prefer Hunt’s at the least and never Heinz; also, never got into the vinegar ‘fad’.
    – IMHO, I always thought my BFF were at now retired “Pop n Taco”‘s (Central & Edith) the best, given their enchanting aerated inside of their crispy exterior.
    – With vacation travel season acomin, might want check these Best in America if nearby to these places:

    1. Unfortunately most restaurants don’t have the time or inclination to peel and cut fresh potatoes and rely instead on frozen French fries out of a bag. Unless they’re ameliorated with special seasonings or served with a distinctive dipping sauce, there’s not much to distinguish one restaurant’s fries from another’s. Some of my favorite, all of which have personality, are:
      (1) the papas at (what else) Pollito con Papas,
      (2) the cubed papitas at Sadie’s Dining Room,
      (3) the sweet potato “skrewy” fries at Lumpy’s Burgers,
      (4) the hand-cut fries at Itsa Italian Ice,
      (5) the Truffled Bleu Cheese Fries (hand-cut fries tossed with truffle oil, bleu cheese crumbles, applewood bacon and scallions) at the Chama River Brewing Co,
      (6) the fries which top the Travis at the K&I Diner , but only when they’re smothered with burrito and chile, and
      (7) the shoestring fries at Sophia’s Place with red chile.
      Like Jim Millington, I prefer malt vinegar with my fries and lately have been craving fries with the creamy green sauce at Pollito con Papas. Pomme frites with cayenne and mayo sound absolutely delightful (thanks, Jim).

  15. I’m visiting Albuquerque and doing a New Mexico road trip next month. While I’ve explored Santa Fe quite a bit I was at a loss as to where to eat in ABQ and beyond. So happy I’ve found your site! This will be very helpful

  16. I have to admit that I have a deep affection for the green chile cheeseburgers from the Owl Café in San Antonio (especially) and ABQ, and for Lotaburgers, in general. I’ve been eating and enjoying them for about half-a-century. When I lived in California and drove back to New Mexico, my first NM meal was almost always a Lotaburger GCCB in Gallup. So … I fully understand voting for Lotaburger, and the originator of the GCCB, the Owl Café, which in my judgment remains a superior burger.

    Next time the voting comes around, however, I will add my vote for several northern New Mexico restaurants that serve great GCCBs, but are not on the GCCB Trail. They have what are for me the necessities for an outstanding GCCB: high quality and fresh beef, a generous helping of roasted green chile of noticeable piquancy, enough cheese to taste and a substantial and fresh or house-made bun. In my view they are all equal to or superior to the green chile cheeseburgers, for example, at El Parasol, Atrisco, La Plazuela or Real Food Nation in the Santa Fe area; and Lucky Boy, El Bruno, Bob’s Burgers and Lumpy’s in Albuquerque.

    Among my favorites not on the GCCB Trail are: Sugar Nymphs Bistro in Penasco; Harry’s Roadhouse, the San Francisco Street Bar & Grill and El Milagro in Santa Fe and Monroe’s in Albuquerque. The GCCBs from these establishments are all delicious. Also, most of them have the condiments on the plate or on the table which should satisfy the GCCB purists. If the Lamy Station Cafe is still open, it has a very good GCCB, as well. Though its very good green chile lacks piquancy, they have the best hamburger bun I’ve tasted in New Mexico.

  17. OMG….A sad day in Adobeville or the Land of Adobes!!!…..Alas and coincidentally, someone Missed The Conestoga!!! I just espied this today and we didn’t make the Top Bunch of Best Burger Cities!!!! Some of you “experienced burger palates” may need to consider giving up your day job to keep on top of things!!!!

    (Also for Bruce re peanut butter: there needs be a textural (peanut) crunch that be there as well and without a sticking to the roof of your mouth after glow!!!)

  18. Ah, the peanuts, of course.
    Would a better peanut butter stay on the bun better.
    A better butter?

  19. I’d be honored to be munching a BMHB by the sandy NY Schor, but only if you do not forget a sprinkling of peanuts which are somewhere between minced and diced!

  20. I think that the Lotaburger is good for what it is, fast food. If you get to your favorite Blake’s at 12 noon chances are you’re not going to get a medium rare burger or anything close to it. It is almost impossible.
    Being the best of the fast food burgers is like winning the baseball MVP award in the California Penal League.
    I have always believed that consistency at my favorite restaurants is what sets them apart, they are almost always good.
    I can’t see any consistency at Blake’s, or Burger King or McDonalds. All meals at those restaurants are strictly in the moment, hit or miss.
    But the people have spoken, even if it’s in tongues that I don’t understand.
    And Bob, that cheeseburger with a schmear and some Cuban mojo might just work, I’ll report back when I’ve perfected it.
    I’ll call it, in honor of you Bob, the Bobo Mojo Hobo Burger ala Fidel.

  21. I’ve had the Buckhorn and The Owl, but so far, my favorite is Bobcat Bite! Every time I travel to NM (from my home in LA) dining is at the top of my list! But then, Gil, you know that! Thanks for having introduced me to some wonderful NM food!

  22. Bob of the Village People, The Gospel according to Gil cites at least two claimants (a Gil word) to the original green chile cheeseburger: the Owl Cafe in San Antonio and Bert’s Burger Bowl in Santa Fe. Compadre Gil also explains on his review of Lota Burger why New Mexican’s love it so; to wit (a Gilism): “The restaurant’s motto, “If you are what you eat, you are awesome” may describe in part why New Mexicans are fiercely loyal to Lotaburger. It’s a restaurant we proudly call our own; you can’t find them even in bordering states (pity them).” Regarding the quality, his review also addresses this: “As is often the case with multi-store chain restaurants, not all links in the chain are equally strong. All too frequently, we have visited Lotaburger restaurants throughout the state in which service is spotty and the burgers don’t quite meet the high preparation standards for which Lotaburger has been known.” If you want to raise Gil’s blood pressure, point out a cook who’s mashing the burger out of its juices. He mentions that some Lota Burger cooks do this (no doubt while swearing under his breath).

  23. Now Bruce…re “a schmear of cream cheese and some Cuban mojo” to be added to my GCCB: Alas I feel That would detract from my creation’s purity sorta speak. LOL

    Eh, but its a thought that ‘cream cheese con mojo’ alone might make its own unique burger! I mean how many years did it take for places to get over their reaction of “What? Green Chili(sic) on our burgers?!?”

    Anyone know When, Where, Who did the first GCCB?

  24. I am as surprised at the Lotaburger being ranked number one as I was when Fudruckers was named best burger in one of our local papers, perhaps the Alibi.
    I am also surprised at some of the other “Best” choices and the only explanation I can come up with is a lack of exposure for some of these places relative to a chain like Blake’s Lota.
    My guess is for every Sparky’s consumed there are 1000 Lotaburgers shoved down pie holes.
    When folks can go down the road 5 minutes for a Blake’s they’re just not motivated to drive 2 1/2 hrs for what they perceive is essentially the same thing. Yes, we know better but they are obviously content.
    And Bob, the only two items you left off your burger are a schmear of cream cheese and some Cuban mojo.

  25. Whoa…while disclaiming to be a GCCB connoisseur, let alone a gastronomist of same by any means, I’m gonna have to wholeheartedly agree with The Larry! As I’ve said way before herein, The Lota, while good, has lost something…The Bun? The Onions? The Chili(sic)? A Secret X?

    Per convenience to me as a daily eating-out eater, I do have a Lota about once/twice a month. If I’d not be a sloth, I’d open me own place to put me own porta-grilled-on-the-patio Cheese Burger ala my recently found Lemitar chili(sic) on a lightly toasted bun con a whisper of 1,000 Island over lettuce/tomaahtoe/onions along with…and are ya ready?…. a dollop of crushed peanuts! out there for a challenge!!!

    Alas, this, some might say despicable, outcome is just further proof/reason why we must get the Legislature to pass a (Driver License) Photo-ID, based on hard as… credentials for ANY kind of voting…, my humble opinion!!!!!

  26. I cannot believe that Sparky’s is not in the top five. I think that you and I agree that their GCCB is the best in the world.

    Moreover, some of the joints on my personal Top Ten GCCB List are conspicuously absent.

    And having Blake’s top the list is, well, simply ludicrous. I make better GCCBs in my backyard than Blake’s does. So do all my friends.

    But, the list is quite useful to travelers passing through New Mexico. For this reason, it is a job well done. Thanks, crew.

    I live here. I know better.

  27. Great deal on the laguna burger only $3.99. And that 1/2 pounder starts off fresh. That they prep. every day.

  28. laguna burgers are the best. Always made to order best g.c. 1/2 pd. burger,fresh veggies not mention red onion.

  29. My vote is for Circle T burgers in Belen. I think you reviewed them sometime last year. GREAT PLACE!!

    1. pretty good GCC if you can afford the price. A double meat GCC will run you about 9.50 Burger only, no drink, fries nothing else. not that great!!!

  30. Um…Albuquerque is not well represented here–Nob Hill Bar and Grill has the best Green Chile Cheeseburger with caramelized onions (or whatever other option you choose) to boot!

    1. Through various sources (including this blog), the New Mexico Tourism Department provided a venue by which anyone could nominate their favorite purveyor of green chile cheeseburgers. More than 200 nominations were received including a good number of Albuquerque contenders. The number of restaurants, drive-ins, diners, dives, joints, cafes, roadside stands, bowling alleys and cafeterias in New Mexico offering green chile cheeseburgers probably numbers well over a thousand. Not all can be represented on the Trail, but the list of nominees is bound to include at least a few of your favorites. Make sure your voice is heard and your burger is listed among the select burgers on the Trail everyone should follow.

    1. You can certainly trust the judges. They are Cheryl Jamison, a four-time award-winning James Beard author who heads the New Mexico Tourism Department’s culinary trails initiatives; Kate Manchester, the publisher of Edible Santa Fe; Martin Leger, the advertising manager for the New Mexico Department of Tourism and some guy named Gil Garduno. The last one is the only one I’d be dubious about:)

      The top 30 vote-getters will automatically be included in the updated New Mexico Green Chile Cheeseburger Trail. The panel of culinary professionals will review the remaining nominations, taking into account various factors (recommendations, awards input from area convention and visitors’ bureaus, geography and other factors). We will also will consider locations that the average visitor can be encouraged reasonably to seek out and the stated purpose of the Trail.

  31. Lest anyone here has experienced (and can otherwise attest to) Woody’s Smorgasburgers of Southern Cal of the ‘60s, I’ll offer this to the TrailMakers herein to explore for next year’s competition to bring you mega-bucks by separating Y’all from the herd!

    Your basic, grilled Smorgasburger with cheese (Swiss or Cheddar) (of which I had the honor, if not the pleasure, to sear “several” of them) was served on a split-toasted Kaiser Roll! After getting a “salad” (I preferred the Chilled Macaronis) and sliding your tray past the burger-grilling-splatter glass to get your burger/drink and paying, you then went to the Condiment Bar to add your lettuce/tomato/onions if need be. NOW, instead of ketchup/mustard/and/or mayo, you slathered (or drizzled on as the case may be) some…yes!…Thousand Island dressing. You then, surreptitiously if an ice cream cup was not in evidence, walked your tray over to the Do-It-Yourself IceCream Sundae bar and sprinkled on…the Best of All…The Epitome of Burger Seasoning….some chopped/diced peanuts!!!! Whoa CowBirl…now to be able to add, in this day and age, some Green Chili (sic) to this….they’ll be out your door/around the block/ n breaking it down to get in. Eh….don’t be intimidated….it doesn’t matter that only those Aficionados of the Palate herein will be able to tease out ALL the “nuances” of this Offering for the Everyday-Man (or The Every-Day Man‘s Offering!!)….you’re cash register will speak volumes!!!

    (PS…if you want some Chili (sic) que golpea con el pie mucho (with a lot of kick) next Aug/Sept, try some of the ‘hot’ at the roadside stand on 4th NW just south of Los Ranchos Rd, from Lemitar, NM…Es caliente Y sabroso!

  32. There are so many nominations, which is great, but three suggestions would make it more interesting:
    1) Divide them into regional areas to start – then have a cook-off between the regional winners.
    2) Institute a ranked election, so that multiple places could be chosen – maybe 1st place gets 5 points, 2nd place gets 3, and 3 rd place gets 1 point. Then highest points wins.
    3) Since GCCB’s are pretty easy to add to a menu, and pretty trendy now, institute a classics division versus a newcomer division – for example, the winner of the GCCB competition last year at the State Fair was a restaurant that had been in existence for less than a year, but had a novel idea for the chile topping.
    4) Okay, one more idea – divide this into price divisions – maybe $8 – the more expensive places are going to have better ingredients, but fewer customers.
    There ya go…. (PS – my vote went to Sparky’s! – but, unless you venture to Hatch, you’d never try them…)

  33. I would have loved to vote but my personal favorite place for GCCs wasn’t on the list.
    I have not had GCCs in all that many places in my limited time living in New Mexico but I know what I like and the GCC at Blade’s Bistro in Placitas is absolutely list worthy and the best I’ve had.
    There is a dedication to consistency at Blade’s and medium rare is always just that and the fries are always done to perfection too.
    The NM Tourism web site should have had a write in section.
    I’ve been to Bobcat Bite (I’ll reserve judgement until a second visit) and will get to the Buckhorn eventually.
    For now though I’ll vote for Blade’s Green Chile Cheeseburger.

  34. Hurrah for the Green Chile Cheeseburger Trail. But the NM Tourism website says that nominations end on the last day of February, not March 1.

    1. Hello Jean

      Cheryl Jamison, the New Mexico Tourism Department’s Culinary Liaison, sent me the following explanation: “Nominations do indeed conclude at end of day Feb. 28. Voting begins on March 1 and concludes March 31, one vote per IP address per day. It was determined that those dates made it easier for people to remember. However, nothing is ever easier.” She apologized for any misunderstanding.


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