Thursday, October 11, 2012

New Mexico's Green Chile Cheeseburger Trail-- Part 2: The Owl and the Hatch

About 90 miles south of Albuquerque is the town of San Antonio, as mentioned in the previous post.  This was the childhood home of hotel magnate Conrad Hilton, whose father ran the A.H. Hilton Mercantile, a combination tavern and general store in the early 1900s.

When fire destroyed the store in 1945, all that could be saved was the 25-foot long mahogany bar which now is in the Owl Bar and Cafe.  Come in and you can get chili on pretty much anything.  (I'm not quite sure of the difference between Chile and Chili here unless the former refers to the pepper itself.)

Then about 90 miles from the Mexico border is the pinnacle of all things chile (or is it chili?)  It is the town of Hatch which calls itself the "Chili Capital of the World" and its locally-grown produce called "Hatch Chilies."  Hey, another chili spelling.

Every Labor Day weekend, Hatch's population swells from 1,670 to 15,000 or more for the annual chili festival that coincides with the harvesting of the green chilies.

In case anybody ever asks you, chili peppers are members of the tomato family and worldwide, there are about 800 varieties, including about 40 grown in the Hatch Valley.

And Then, there's That mean Old "Ghost Pepper."  Maybe You Ought to Have That On Your Cheeseboiger.  --RoadDog

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