It is one of the simple pleasures of life, sitting down to a well-constructed cheeseburger, taking a bite, and tasting the green chile, feeling the burn but more than that appreciating the pungent flavor.
There is something going horribly wrong in our nation right now, as restaurants compete to put more and more beef on their burgers. Half pound and three quarter pound burgers are supplanting more rational sizes as the marketing departments of restaurants and fast food chains have decided that More is Better. This is a very American sort of trend, but now we are faced with burgers out of balance. Sure, beef is an important part of the burger, but a carefully crafted hamburger is not only about the beef, it is an ensemble, with each element making a valuable contribution. This is especially true of the green chile cheeseburger.
The pinnacle of humanity’s culinary progress, the properly-constructed green chile cheeseburger is a delicate — and subjective — art form, an organic sculpture that bursts in your mouth with the first bite and lingers long after the final swallow. The chile must be hot and flavorful, and abundant, yet the meat, cheese, and other fixings must not be overpowered. Each ingredient has a role to play, from the crunch of the onions to the smoothness of the cheese.
I just polished off a darn fine green chile cheeseburger here at El Parasol. For those who know the town, it is located where Los Alamos Building and Loan was when I opened my first bank account there a bazillion years ago.
One side effect of not going overboard with the beef: the burgers are cheaper as well. The guy in line in front of me ordered a GCCB, as did the woman behind me. Looking around I see some people with burritos and other New Mexican fare, but the GCCB’s are all around me. And no wonder. Mine was damn yummy.
Perhaps I am being less critical, as it is the first green chile cheeseburger that I’ve had in a long time, but boy did it hit the spot. I wonder what it would take to get them to open one of these in Prague…