Some people will see this picture and instantly know what I am going to talk about; whereas, others will look at it as some kind of Mexican food that they are not yet familiar with. Of those people who recognize this dish, not all are from Colorado, and it is true that this type of burrito is not only in Colorado and can be found everywhere in the Southwest. It is also a very popular dish in New Mexico, and Arizona, and has even found its way into some of the western parts of Texas. But this particular burrito comes from a great Colorado chain, Santiagos. So for today, I am going to claim that it is a Colorado thing.
What makes this burrito different from other burritos that you can find is that it is smothered in green chili. Now many people will automatically think of the can of Hatch green chilis that you can find in your local supermarket, and yes this is used to make green chili, it is not the same thing. It is really hard to describe what green chili is to somebody who has never has it. The best way I have found to do it is to describe it like a red chili you would normally associate with a chili cook off, except it is made with pork, spicy peppers including green chilis, and does not have any beans in it. Some call it a stew; others call it a soup; and still others call it a condiment. None are exactly right, and yet in some way, they all are correct. Either way, when ever you get an opportunity to put it in a bowl, on a burrito, on a plate of french fries, or a piece of fry bread, you do it because what you will get is one of the best meals you have ever had in your life.
Now many places in the Southwest make their own version of this delicacy, but I find the one at Santiagos to be the best. I am sure I am going to have a list of other places that make a better green chili in the comment section below, but I still find this one hard to beat. It goes great with the breakfast burrito that they serve there, but if you put it on any of their items, you won’t be disappointed. You can even get big bowls of it to take home which is just as good as eating it at any of its many establishments throughout Denver.
Green chili is one of the things that I look forward to every time I am back at home, and I am confused a little bit by the way it has never moved beyond the borders of this part of the world. I don’t understand why something so delicious can only be found in this part of the world. I plan to bring it to Thailand when I go out there. I am even plan on growing green chilis so I can have this dish any time I want and share it with my new friends out there. But the next time you find yourself in the Southwest, seek out this dish. You will understand what I mean after you have tried it once. It will become one of your favorite dishes too.