Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Green Chile Cheeseburger #2: Shake Foundation

So I'm taking a pottery class (isn't that what everyone is supposed to do when they're unexpectedly unemployed in Santa Fe?), and after introducing myself on the first day to a fellow student, she asks, is Banu your given name, or your yoga name?

Fittingly, I did go to yoga last week, but as Naranka, not Banu. And afterward, I treated myself to my second green chile cheeseburger from Shake Foundation, the new endeavor of former Aqua Santa chef and owner Brian Knox.

The burger here is all gooey goodness: the single, a slim three ounces, is snack-sized perfect, and covered in Hatch green chiles and Monterey Jack cheese; tomato, raw or cooked onion, lettuce, and mustard sauce are listed as optional add-ons. The meat is juicy, hormone and antibiotic free, and topped with a soft, and slightly sweet, buttered bun. I craved a bit more salt in the burger patty, but the chiles provided good heat, and toward the end, when the salty cheese and smoky chiles had melted onto my hands and into the paper wrapping, I wanted to engulf my entire head in that paper to rescue those last tasty bits.

But one of the chefs emerged from the kitchen and said, oh you’re back, and I remembered my manners. What’d you get? The green chile cheeseburger, of course, and the fried oyster sandwich with red chile mayo, which is amazing. I wanted to say baddass baddass baddass oyster sandwich, but I don’t know that guy. Noticing two sandwiches in my basket, the chef said, whoa, you’re hungry! Nah, they’re small, whaddaya mean? 

Monday, January 20, 2014

Green Chile Cheeseburger #1: El Farolito

My new idea began with dessert. A green chile cheeseburger for dessert, to be precise. My dining partner ordered cherry pie, and when the waitress looked at me, and registered my request, yeah, a green chile cheeseburger, uh huh, with everything, she said I like your style.

And so it begins.

I had planned to write about the fantastic green chile cornbread I made last week, my first week in New Mexico with my ideal new job.  I was going to describe the heirloom cornmeal I used, and the farmers I met at the market who grew it. I hoped to evoke the smoky flavor and satisfyingly chewy texture of the dried corn kernels, or chicos, that I rehydrated for the dish, and the ever-present, and unique to New Mexico, sometimes spicy, sometimes milder, green chiles that accorded this dish most-decadent-cornbread-in-life status. I would include the recipe, as I have habitually done on my blog, and discuss the beauties and challenges (altitude baking, among them), of a new life in New Mexico after 23 years in New York City. 

 And then I lost my job. And in two short weeks, things changed.

Now what?


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