A plaque remaining from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem.

Above, a 1934 plaque from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem. Discarded as trash in 2006.

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Entry from February 20, 2008
Green Chile Burger/Green Chile Cheeseburger (Green Chili Burger/Green Chili Cheeseburger)

New Mexico is known for topping its hamburgers with green chili. The green chile burger (less often spelled as “green chili burger") and green chile cheeseburger (green chili cheeseburger) is a specialty of the Owl Cafe & Bar of San Antonio, New Mexico (NOT San Antonio, TX), a restaurant over 60 years old.

“Green chili-burger” is first cited in print from a 1958 Santa Fe, NM newspaper.


Gil’s Thrilling Web Site
The Owl Cafe & Bar
San Antonio, NM
835-9946
(...)
Rowena Baca, a descendent of the Owl Cafe’s founder and current proprietor of the Owl Cafe, holds on to tradition, preparing the world-famous green chile cheeseburger in much the same way as her grandfather did. 

The meat is ground on the premises, patties are hand-formed and the ingredients (mayo, lettuce, tomato, pickles, onion cheese and green chile) are unfailingly fresh. 

On a double meat burger, the succulent meat and melted cheese bulge out beyond the buns.  The meat positively breaks apart (the consequences of not using filler) and its juices make consuming one a lip-smacking, multi-napkin affair. 

The green chile is as near to green chile nirvana as you’ll find on any burger in New Mexico.  Non-natives might find it a bit hot, but locals think it’s just right.  Ironically, it’s not green chile grown within easy walking distance in San Antonio’s famous Sichler Farms, but a special blend of chile from the Albuquerque Tortilla Company.  The reason given is that the Albuquerque Tortilla Company’s Chile is already roasted, peeled, chopped and sealed for freshness.  Somehow it makes sense. 

Roadfood
Owl Bar - San Antonio, NM
77 Highway 380
San Antonio, NM
505-835-9946
“The quality of chile makes all the difference in a green chile cheeseburger. The Owl uses full-flavored, hot green chile atop a hand-formed patty of crusty-fried beef. The chile’s heat is complemented by the beef and balanced by the layer of creamy cheese on top. This one is fully dressed with all available condiments—the only way to go.”
- Michael Stern

Food Network
Green Chile Cheeseburgers
Recipe courtesy Bobby Flay
Show:  Food Network Specials
Episode:  All-Star BBQ

2 pounds ground chuck, 80 percent to 85 percent lean
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
8 thin slices Chihuahua or provolone
4 good-quality hamburger buns, toasted
Green Chili Sauce, recipe follows
Romaine lettuce leaves, optional
4 thick slices beefsteak tomatoes, optional
Pickled jalapenos, optional

Heat grill to high. Form meat into 4 (8-ounce) burgers and season each burger on both sides with 1/4 teaspoon of salt and a 1/4 teaspoon of pepper. Grill until charred on both sides and cooked to desired doneness.
Place 2 slices of the cheese on each burger, close the lid or tent with foil, and cook until the cheese has just melted, about 1 minute. Place burgers on buns and top with a few tablespoons of Green Chile Sauce and lettuce, tomato, and pickled jalapeno, if desired.

Green Chile Sauce:
2 poblano chiles, grilled, peeled, seeded, and chopped
1 medium white onion, grilled and chopped
1 to 2 cloves garlic, chopped
2 tablespoons chopped fresh epazote, or fresh oregano leaves
1/4 cup cold water
1 tablespoon honey
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Place all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. 

About.com: Southern Food
Green Chile Burgers
from Diana Rattray
Burgers are cooked with cheese and topped with green chile peppers, tomatoes, and onion. Scroll down to see more burger recipes.
INGREDIENTS:
1 1/4 pounds ground beef
1 clove garlic crushed and finely minced
1/8 teaspoon ground black or seasoned pepper
1 teaspoon ground chile mild
1/2 teaspoon salt
4 slices Monterey Jack cheese or 1/2 cup shredded Mexican blend of cheeses
4 hamburger buns, split and toasted
1 can (4 ounces) chopped mild green chili peppers, drained
4 large slices sweet onion
1 medium tomato, sliced
4 leaves lettuce, romaine or your favorite
chunky salsa, fresh or good purchased salsa (...)

19 November 1958, New Mexican (Santa Fe, NM), pg. 6, col. 8 ad:
BURGER INN
Features
NATIVE GREEN
CHILI-BURGERS

3 April 1968, Hobbs (NM) Daily News-Sun, pg. 3, col. 4 ad:
GREEN CHILI BURGERS 50c
(Tastee-Freez Drive-In—ed.)

19 September 1969, New Mexican, (Santa Fe, NM), pg. 20, col. 4 ad:
Green Chili Burger 32c
Green Chili Cheeseburger 39c
(Henry’s Drive-In—ed.)

21 November 1969, Albuquerque (NM) Journal, pg. F11, col. 7 ad:
FEATURING OUR FAMOUS 1/4 LB. GREEN CHILI BURGER and OUR TACO BURGER
(Bob’s Burger No. 2—ed.)

19 March 1971, Silver City (NM) Daily Press, section 2, pg. 6, col. 4 ad:
Red Chili Burgers 2 for 69c
Green Chili Burgers 2 for 69c
(Ranch Burger—ed.)

3 September 1971, Albuquerque (NM) Tribune, school lunch menus, pg. 4, col. 3:
Green chili burgers on bun.

15 November 1972, Albuquerque (NM) Tribune, pg. A2, col. 1:
Lunch features special—such as beef stroganoff...or green chili cheeseburgers...or burgundy beef tips on rice...or stuffed pork chops.

16 May 1975, Albuquerque (NM) Tribune, pg. A3, col. 6 ad:
BOB’S BURGERS
Featuring our famous
GREEN CHILE BURGER

26 October 1975, New Mexican (Santa Fe, NM), pg. A11, col. 2:
2 GREEN CHILI CHEESEBURGERS 95c
(Henry’s of Santa Fe—ed.)

9 August 1979, New Mexican (Santa Fe, NM), pg. D2, col. 3:
Green chili cheeseburgers and limeades are popular lunch orders.

5 February 1984, New Mexican,(Santa Fe, NM), school lunch menus, pg. D4, col. 3:
Green chili burgers.

18 July 1986, New Mexican (Santa Fe, NM), On the Town section, pg. 18, col. 2 ad:
Green Chile Cheeseburgers
(Jackalope Cafe—ed.)

18 October 1990, The Advocate (Baton Rouge, LA):
The Owl Bar and Cafe in San Antonio, NM, is famous for its green chile burgers, a hamburger served with diced chile astride the patty.

Google Groups: rec.humor
Newsgroups: rec.humor, alt.folklore.urban
From: (Duke McMullan n5gax)
Date: 20 Jun 91 17:08:15 GMT
Local: Thurs, Jun 20 1991 12:08 pm
Subject: Re: American food, etc.

The Green Chili Cheeseburgers at the Awl (the Albuquerque Owl) are not, repeat, NOT as good as the ones from the Oowl (the Original Owl B&G) in San Antonio.

They’re not bad, though.  A wee bit more expensive than the Booger King, how- someever.  Also, there’s a BK less than a mile from my house.  The Awl is over four miles from here.

The Owl’s burger rep has calmed down these days to something reasonable.  Back in the late `70’s, I recall friends of mine driving from ABQ to San Antonio (that’s San Antonio, NEW MEXICO, folks) two or even three times a week for a cultburger.  Eighty-seven miles for a burger, however good, struck me as a bit less than reasonable.  Still, you know how college students are....

Google Groups: rec.food.restaurants
Newsgroups: rec.food.restaurants
From: (LKR)
Date: 1996/09/17
Subject: Re: Santa Fe Restaurant Recommendations

For fast food, Berts Burger Bowl has the best green chile burgers.

Google Groups: rec.aviation.piloting
Newsgroups: rec.aviation.piloting
From: Gene Seibel
Date: 2000/09/25
Subject: Re: $100 Green Chili Cheeseburger In Southern NM

The Lota Burgers in Albuquerque used to have decent green chili burgers. I know they were pretty well spread across northern NM, but might be in the south as well.

Google Groups: nm.general
Newsgroups: nm.general
From: Pat O’Connell Date: Tue, 24 Apr 2001 20:49:41 -0600
Local: Tues, Apr 24 2001 9:49 pm
Subject: Re: The Green Chile Phenomenon

YM New Mexican, I think. Personal favorites are Ron’s in Abq. or Dollie’s in Espanola for carne adovada (red, not green), and the Frontier in Abq. for green chile stew. The Owl Bar in San Antonio, NM
for green chile cheeseburgers.

WVIT (Hartford, CT)
Labor Day Latin Spiced Green Chili Cheeseburgers
By Chef Jamie Roraback
POSTED: 8:41 am EDT September 6, 2004
Serves Four:
1 pound ground beef, 85 percent lean
2 goya sazon packets, preferably the coriander and annatto flavor
Ground black pepper, to taste
Vegetable oil, as needed
4 yellow American or cheddar cheese slices
1 poblano chili pepper, fire roasted, peeled, seeded, and cut into strips
As needed: lettuce, tomato slices, and thinly sliced red onion
4 Portuguese rolls or sesame seed buns, toasted

Heat grill on high heat.
Place ground beef in a bowl and season with the sazon packets and black pepper.
Form into four patties, about ½ inch thick.
Lightly coat each patty with vegetable oil on both sides.
Place patties on the grill and cook for about 5 minutes on each side, until the internal temperature reaches 155 degrees.
Top each with the sliced cheese, and let melt briefly.
Serve on rolls and garnish with the roasted green chile pepper strips, lettuce, tomato and onions. 

11 April 2007, Daily News (Fort Walton Beach, FL), pg. D2, col. 6:
Green Chile Burgers
1 1/4 pounds ground beef
1 clove garlic crushed and finely minced
1/8 teaspoon ground black or seasoned pepper
1 teaspoon ground chile mild
1/2 teaspoon salt
4 slices Monterey Jack cheese or 1/2 cup shredded Mexican blend of cheeses
4 hamburger buns, split and toasted
1 can (4 ounces) chopped mild green chile peppers, drained
4 large slices sweet onion
1 medium tomato, sliced
4 leaves lettuce, romaine or your favorite
Chunky salsa, fresh or good purchased salsa

Mix lean ground beef with garlic, pepper, ground chile and salt in a large bowl. Shape into 4 flat patties. Preheat grill, then cook burgers, turning when halfway done.

Cook until very little or no pink remains. Just before serving, place a slice of cheese or grated cheese on each burger. Top each bun with a hamburger patty and cheese, green chile peppers, an onion slice, tomato slice, and lettuce leaf. Serve burgers with a dish of salsa on the side.

Google Groups: The Smoke Ring BBQ List
From: “Garry Howard”
Date: Wed, 29 Aug 2007 22:10:24 -0400
Local: Wed, Aug 29 2007 9:10 pm
Subject: RE: [BBQ] Re: Hi from New Mexico

Hope you find the time to get over to the Bob Cat Cafe when you’re in Santa Fe.  They’re renowned for their Green Chile Burgers. 

Posted by Barry Popik
Texas (Lone Star State Dictionary) • (0) Comments • Wednesday, February 20, 2008 • Permalink