Mike and I went on a little road trip this summer and while seeing the National Parks was inspiring and all, the real reason we hit the road was: green chile cheeseburgers. Have you heard of them?! Maybe not because they’re a New Mexico thing, through and through. Think: regular cheeseburgers but with smoky, slightly spicy, roasted green chile on top. Green chile is the ultimate burger topping that you never knew you were missing out on.
They’re a Southwest invention and in New Mexico, they’re a source of state pride. Green chile cheeseburgers are practically a state symbol and now, when I see the New Mexico flag, a red sun symbol in a field of yellow, I imagine the yellow as cheese and picture the red sun as a green chile. I’m officially obsessed.
Green chile cheeseburgers are such a big deal that the New Mexico tourism board created a green chile cheeseburger trail. That’s right, you can road trip up and down the state and eat your fill of green chile cheeseburgers. Mike was the one who came up with the idea of traveling the green chile cheeseburger trail and I have to admit, at first, I was like, okay but not especially enthused. Mike has been talking about green chile cheeseburgers for years now but they never really hooked me. Until this trip, that is.
Now, we’ve eaten 15 plus GCCs (what I’m calling green chile cheeseburgers from now on) and we can’t stop, won’t stop. Actually, we have stopped to eat chile rellenos, carne adobada, breakfast burritos, and sopapillas, but my heart keeps returning to GCCs.
In the world of GCCs, it seems like there are two camps: the green chili cheeseburger with veggies or without veggies. Generally they also do veggies on the side, so you can add them or not, but the main difference I feel is a smothered style, a la an enchilada or burrito and a regular cheeseburger style. Really though, Mike and I agree, the smothered style GCC isn’t really a GCC at all. After all, of you can’t pick it up with your hands, is it really a cheeseburger?
Now that we’ve eaten our way through New Mexico, I think we can both definitively say that we’re somewhat versed in what makes a great GCC. We rated all the burgers we ate on a five point scale: green chile, patty, cheese, bun, and vegetables. And because I will forever love food graphs and things a little bit nerdy, Mike and I came up with these spider charts of the results. Read on to find out which green chile cheeseburger reigns supreme. And let us know if we missed anything essential – we’re definitely heading back to NM, I’m so addicted to green chile, it’s not even funny.
Side note: green chile cheeseburgers are not the prettiest burgers on the block. To be honest, we had trouble photographing them, that’s why we don’t have clear photos of each burger >__<
This was the order we ate the burgers in: