193 Paseo De Peralta, Santa Fe NM 87501 (map); 505-983-7401; atriscocafe.com
Cooking Method: Grilled
Short Order: The local, grass fed beef ensures great flavor, but the patty could have been juicier.
Want Fries with That? Fries comes with the cheeseburger—thick-cut with the skin on. Not crispy enough.
I've always been a green-chili-burrito-kind of gal, but when Robyn asked me if I'd be amenable to eating some green chili burgers on my visit back home, I gladly accepted the challenge. Atrisco Café, ranked 3rd by cookbook authors and long-time New Mexican residents Bill and Cheryl Jamison, was my first stop on the list of the top 5 green chile burgers in Santa Fe.
Atrisco Café is a fairly new addition to the DeVargas Mall. Hanging bouquets of dried red chili and traditional murals adorn the restaurant, yet the menu reflects both past and present. Traditional dishes are executed with locally sourced ingredients; the cooking style caters to a cleaner, less lard-laden palate.
Atrisco's green chile cheeseburger is made with local, grass-fed beef. The burger comes with lettuce, onion, and tomato on the side. I ordered mine with swiss cheese, which came in a generous cut. Underneath the cheese, there was plenty of juicy, mild green chile.
I ordered my burger medium rare; it came out more on the medium side. While the meat was appropriately beefy and the surface had a bit of a char, I would have liked a thicker, juicier patty with a bit more pink in the middle. The sesame seed bun seemed to be partly wheat, which contributed to a more crumbly, less chewy texture. The juices of the patty didn't make the bun soggy, but the bread was a bit too dry. The burger came with house fries, which were thick-cut with skins on. The fries weren't crispy, but they weren't greasy either.
All in all, I probably wouldn't go back to Atrisco just for the green chile burger, since the restaurant offers many other tempting, traditional New Mexican options on its menu. Then again, the patty was beefy and not overcooked, by default making the burger palatable.
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