New Mexico: Green Chile Cheeseburgers!

December 17, 2012


New Mexico has spoiled me. I can hardly think of a cheeseburger now without wondering what it would taste like with heaps of freshly roasted green chile on top. Now, sans chile, a cheeseburger just seems naked.¬†Plus, living in France isn’t exactly the cheeseburger capitale, so I usually don’t bother ordering any sort of burger, unless the meat happens to be Charolais, still a distant second to my beloved Angus.

So when the Fort Worth Star-Telegram me to write about new high-end restaurants in Santa Fe, I immediately thought, Road trip! And green chile cheeseburgers along the way.

Not high-end at all. Which I totally love.


Here’s “The Flip,” a part quesadilla, part cheeseburger from Danny’s Place in Carlsbad, New Mexico, a popular spot with locals (there wasn’t a parking spot to be had, and lots of people parked on the street), most of whom seemed to be either eating this or a heaping plate of the pork ribs, smoked on site.

Served with a side of Pace Picante-like salsa in a plastic cup, I thought the Flip was pretty fun, and seemed more like an appetizer than a real burger…especially when I sampled the big, greasy (and I mean that in a good way) burger at Sparky’s in Hatch the next day.


I don’t know how world famous Sparky’s really is, but the burgers are certainly worthy of a detour. I’d skip the fries, coated with I don’t know what (and frankly, not worth the calories). I’d be much more tempted to try one of the green chile vanilla milkshakes instead, as weird as that sounds.

I happily ate my green chile cheeseburger with its fluffy white bun with a plastic knife and fork, which garnered a few stares from the other diners. Sometimes I forget which side of the Atlantic I’m on, but right now I’m happy to be on this one, eating one green chile cheeseburger at a time.




Danny’s Place

902 South Canal St.

Carlsbad, NM



115 Franklin St.

Hatch, NM


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{ 7 comments… read them below or add one }

Julie December 18, 2012 at 11:49 AM

Sounds like a fun road trip! I love hatch chiles so much.

I have had one great cheeseburger in Paris, and I don’t remember the name of the place, unfortunately. But it was this little bistro type place right off the Pere Lachaise; if you are standing on the street looking at the cemetery, it’s on the right hand side, right off a large driveway leading up to the entrance to the cemetery. While it wasn’t the absolute best cheeseburger I’ve ever had in my life, it was extremely good and I would highly recommend it.

As an aside, I received your cookbook as a Christmas present! It’s such a great book, and I can’t wait to dive in!

Cowgirl Chef December 18, 2012 at 11:55 AM

I know the area well near the cemetery; I’m frequently in that neighborhood for Vietnamese food at Little Hanoi. I’ll check out the burger bistro next time I’m there. And please let me know how you like the book — and Merry Christmas!

Tari Salotti Black December 18, 2012 at 8:16 PM

yum and yum!

June Lovell December 19, 2012 at 1:21 PM

omg, you didn’t get to DON DIEGO’S in Gallup, girl…parkinglot full of pickups and restaurant full of locals. i can’t remember the name of it but similar to the ‘flip’ you pictured except bigger and some great sides. there are some really fine ‘joints’ all over new mexico, very important to stay away from the designer high styled spots that have been ‘fusioned’. thanks for your very enjoyable posts about my old stomping grounds in cali, nmex, tex, etc.

Cowgirl Chef December 29, 2012 at 7:52 PM

Sparky’s burgers are just killer, aren’t they? So glad you like the book, June! Keep me posted as to what you make first!

Cowgirl Chef December 29, 2012 at 7:53 PM

June, I am putting Don Diego’s OTL (on the list)! Thanks so much for telling me about it. So true about the designer spots. Should definitely be avoided…there are too many great local places to try.

Iris June 3, 2013 at 5:48 PM

Have you ever had green chile [french] fries?? I have and now I make them at home and feed them to all my fellow green chile crazy friends.

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