Monday, September 15, 2014

Santa Fe Announces 2014 Green Chile Cheeseburger Winners

When you visit New Mexico, having a green chile cheeseburger is a must-do. And if you really serious about these lucious delights, check out the Green Chile Cheeseburger Trail.

But for the latest in Green Chile Cheeseburgers, you have to see the list of winners of this year's Green Chile Cheeseburger Smackdown.

Two innovative iterations of green chile cheeseburger took home top honors at Santa Fe’s 2014 Green Chile Cheeseburger Smackdown this weekend at the Santa Fe Farmers’ Market Pavilion.  

Five noted food critics from across the region selected Second Street Brewery’s Alien Burger as the event’s Reigning Chomp.  The five-critic panel, comprised of The OC Weekly’s editor Gustavo Arellano, Colorado Springs Gazette food editor Teresa Farney, New Mexico Magazine culinary editor Cheryl Jamison, Sunset magazine associate editor Elaine Johnson, and Texas Monthly food critic Patricia Sharpe gave high praise to the Alien Burger, featuring a blue-corn chile relleno, bacon, fried onions, and three types of cheeses. The burger is the brainchild of sous chef Shawn Perry, who created the burger as a Sunday special that soon gained a popular following at the restaurant. 

A sellout crowd of 500 voted The Mine Shaft Tavern in Madrid as the 2014 People’s Choice winner.  Mine Shaft’s Lori Lindsey and Melinda Bonewell created the burger using a half-pound of black angus chuck, a fried green chile, complimented with aged cheddar and chipotle dijonnaise served on a brioche bun. 

The community event showcased Santa Fe as the Capital of the Green Chile Cheeseburger by featuring some of Santa Fe’s finest chefs grilling their own variations of the burger. Six restaurants advanced to the finals after a month-long vote on Santafe.org. The Mine Shaft Tavern, along with Fuego at La Posada, completed the field last month when 93.3 KOB-FM’s radio personality Carlos D selected both restaurants during a radio-broadcasted burger crawl. The competition was open to any Santa Fe county restaurant featuring a green chile cheeseburger on its menu through the end of the year. 

The Santa Fe Farmers Market Institute and TOURISM Santa Fe hosted the Smackdown, with all proceeds benefitting the institute. Participating restaurants donated all food and manpower—enough to make 500 burgers—in support of local farmers.

2014 Green Chile Cheeseburger Entrants (*denotes finalists)
Agave at the Eldorado
Amaya at Hotel Santa Fe, Hacienda and Spa*
Anasazi Restaurant at Rosewood Inn of the Anasazi*
Blue Corn Brewery
Body Café
Caffe Greco
La Casa Sena
Cowgirl BBQ*
Del Charro
Fuego at La Posada*
Las Fuentes at Bishop’s Lodge
Luminaria at Inn and Spa at Loretto*
The Mine Shaft Tavern*
Rio Chama
Second Street Brewery at the Railyard*
Terra Restaurant at Four Seasons Rancho Encantado*

My favorite? Runner-up Luminaria at the Inn and Spa at Loretto. And for another take on the event, and those wonderful cheeseburgers read what my friends from The Santa Fe Travelers have to say about the event.