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Tsampa (Zanba)

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The main ingredient of tsampa is barley flour. When eating, add a small amount of buttered tea, milk dregs, and sugar into the barley flour and mix them evenly, then knead it into a ball by hand. It... Read more

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Green chile burger

Green chile burger from Cherry Cricket in Denver.

What: Another nod to Southwestern cuisine and its green-chile obsession, green chile cheeseburgers are common in Denver—not as common as in New Mexico, where this tasty burger riff became famous, but it’s certainly ubiquitous (and delicious) enough in its various forms to warrant inclusion here. Some places in Denver will dump green chili the dish—pork and all—on top of a burger, while others involve the subtler New Mexico-inspired addition of an actual green chile.

Where: They get a lot of hype, but we have to agree the burgers at the always divey, always popular Cherry Cricket (2641 E. 2nd Ave., map) are indeed all that, and the green chile version is no exception.

When: Daily, 11am-2am

Order: Burgers are a la carte here, served with a side of lettuce, tomato, and pickle to start. To build a green chile cheeseburger, order a half-pound Cricket Burger ($7.50 before toppings) or a quarter-pound “Little Cricket Burger” ($6.50 before toppings), cooked to your preference with a cheese of your choice ($1)—including but not limited to white cheddar, Swiss, smoked cheddar, hot Jack, American, cream cheese—and strips of green chile ($1), which are actually poblano peppers here.  

Now, that is only the beginning, should you wish (and you should): The menu has a long list of a la carte burger toppings, promising, “If we have it in our kitchen, we can put it on your Cricket Burger!” To our smoked cheddar and green chile burger, we added grilled onions (50 cents), bacon ($1.50), and a fried egg (50 cents), thereby creating a delicious mess of a burger we couldn’t get enough of (though we do wish the green chile was spicier; most poblanos don’t pack much heat). We also loved a second popular creation recommended by our server: a burger topped with a block of cream cheese, bacon, and chopped jalapeño. Denver seems to have a thing for combining cooked meats with cream cheese, and we’re not complaining! ’Twas a spicy, creamy party in our mouths.

Alternatively: You can find similar green chile cheeseburgers at Steuben’s Food Service (523 E. 17th St., map), where the chiles are chopped, as well as at Jack-n-Grill (2524 N. Federal Blvd., map), where fresh—as opposed to canned—green chiles from New Mexico are used in a variety of burgers (that restaurant is run by New Mexicans, incidentally). As stated earlier, plenty of places in Denver also offer green chile cheeseburgers that involve the porky green chili dumped on top—including Blake Street Vault (1526 Blake St., map), where the burger in question combines pork chili with cream cheese, naturally.

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