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Green Chile Kitchen Western AdditionOMR: 7.53
1801 McAllister
cross street: Baker
ph. 415/440-9411
Map Visits: 5
The folks behind this sunny and relaxed corner spot — which relocated one block north to larger digs in 2009 — are fervent about bringing sloppy-delicious hunks of New Mexico cuisine to the Western Addition. We’re fans of this singular restaurant’s Land of Enchantment-inspired look and feel, and anyway, it’s fun to eat off a handsome square plate; it’s also fun to drink out of a canning jar. By all means, request a foil wrap! Beer, wine, excellent breakfast, highly respected rotisserie chickens, and curbside take-out all available. And let’s not overlook the high-grade napkins and rad, violet-hued chips. Outdoor dining available. Credit cards accepted.

Will My Health Be Violated?

04/10/11Super Steak$9.007.67 Mustaches
Swish: temperature (10); tortilla (9); cheese (9); burstage abatement (9); beans (8)
Shrug: size (7); vegetables (7); sauciness (7); spiciness (7); meat (6); rice (6)
Clang: ingredient mix (5)
Intangibility bonus: 2 (of 2)

Comically squat — seriously, it was like Danny DeVito turned into a burrito for us — our foiled dinner at Green Chile Kitchen suffered from a handful of kitchen errors, all of which resulted in a middling overall rating. The most glaring issue of all had to be the rice-grain-to-meat-chunk ratio (roughly 93,000:1)...yeah, there was an awful lot of rice to contend with here. The terrific refried beans were almost as under-represented as the steak, and continuing our trend of grousing about imbalanced portions, spice remained peripheral until the latest stages. But given its intangible cred, near-scalding temperature, megamelted cheese blend, and extra-grilled tortilla, this one was still more charming than most other 7.67-mustache meals on record here at Burritoeater Towers. Maybe it was the square plate.

06/22/08Super Roasted Chicken$7.957.25 Mustaches
Swish: cheese (9); temperature (9); size (8); tortilla (8)
Shrug: meat (7); vegetables (7); spiciness (7); ingredient mix (7); rice (6); beans (6); sauciness (6)
Clang: burstage abatement (5)
Intangibility bonus: 2 (of 2)

Irrefutably delicious, yet as poorly executed as an inmate on the business end of a firing line armed only with Velcro balls, this girthy ‘n’ stumpy burrito’s ineffective burstage abatement had us reaching for a small sequoia’s worth of napkins by slab’s end. Glad we asked for a foil wrap, as a naked burrito would have certainly spelled curtains early on. Was the burden of error on our panel for requesting Christmas (red and green sauce), thus making our Sunday dinner that much more prone to fatal squishiness? As easily guilted as we can sometimes be, the answer’s a flat uh-uh – this one’s on Green Chile Kitchen's kitchen. Other elements we struggled with: surprisingly dull rice, and an ingredient mix that didn’t work it in with everything else; also, a set of thin refried beans that only increased the need to slurp, and that's never a good look at the burrito shop. As for the vaunted chicken, it was facelessly effective at best, effectively faceless at worst. The mega-grilled tortilla suffered the indignity of a saucy soak-through, but still had enough flaky credibility to warrant eight mustaches. And we were totally into the big (melted) cheese factor. Through it all, gritty intangibility soldiered on through the saucy bog, ensuring respect despite all the questionable construction.

11/14/07Super Pork$6.958.83 Mustaches
Swish: tortilla (10); cheese (10); spiciness (10); temperature (10); beans (9); vegetables (9); ingredient mix (9); burstage abatement (9); rice (8)
Shrug: size (7); sauciness (7); meat (6)
Clang: no elements clanged
Intangibility bonus: 2 (of 2)

When it comes to burrito sizing, we’re convinced that girth and heft are more important factors than length. Witness!: this stubby, stocky, and completely ace foiled effort from yet another Western Addition heavy hitter. The crosswise bites kept on coming, even if the vertical ones didn’t accumulate in any great numbers. But who cares which direction your burrito’s heading when the whole thing’s been lovingly tossed upon the grill post-construction? The absolutely perfect tortilla cradled a seamless mix of top-shelf ingredients, including killer-thick guacamole, exceptional refrieds, and enough melted cheddar to add cheesy goo to every bite. The level of spice couldn’t have been more ideal, and other than some unfortunate ingrown moments with the tortilla, construction problems were non-existent. Sadly, the tasty pork was severely underrepresented, and as a result, unable to make much of an impact other than adding a bit of shading to the burrito’s overall artistic statement. Meanwhile, we found the unimpeded run of hot bites uplifting. It lifted us up. Up right off the ground.

12/02/06Breakfast (Bacon)$8.758.64 Mustaches
Swish: tortilla (10); cheese (10); sauciness (10); spiciness (10); temperature (10); ingredient mix (9); burstage abatement (9)
Shrug: eggs (7); size (6); meat (6); vegetables (6)
Clang: no elements clanged
Intangibility bonus: 2 (of 2)

It seems like such a no-brainer for any taqueria’s kitchen. Build a fine enough burrito. Shut it tightly. But before reaching for the foil, toss the whole affair onto the hot grill. Leave it there for a few seconds. Might as well give it a few flips. Then foil it. Boom! 14-mustache tortilla. The savvy staff at Green Chile is proudly on the cutting edge of such tortilla dynamics, and it certainly made our panel real happy late one Saturday morning. Amazingly, this burrito managed to sidestep some shrug-worthy ratings for crucial ingredients (slightly runny scrambled eggs; bacon that should have been cooked a bit longer; and a more powerful veggie group wouldn’t have hurt) by sledgehammering us with a near-perfect slab-foundation. We already spent too much word-space on the rad tortilla, but how about the massive salvos of melted cheddar? Or the colorful fusion of red and green chile salsas (Green Chile management calls it “Christmas”) that was not only bitchin-delicious, but the bringer of hell-raising spice backbite as well. Meanwhile, that post-construction stint on the grill ensured a clean sweep of hot bites, and the densely flavorful pico de gallo and small chunks of grilled potato also deserve shout-outs. A few harmless sauce bleeds on each end, along with perpetual overflow concerns due to the big sauce contingent and less-than-pliant nature of the practically toasted tortilla, knocked the burstage abatement rating down a mustache. All told, a big step in the right direction after our first visit.

02/09/06Super Beef$6.956.83 Mustaches
It’s a well-meaning staff behind Green Chile’s counter, but on this first visit of ours, they seemed more confident in their rotisserie chickens and vaunted green chile stew than their stunted burritowork. Once we convinced them they wouldn’t lose their food-service license by foil-wrapping our burrito, it was an uphill battle to find laudable points within this undersized slab. The sticky, far-too-steamed tortilla? The low-impact and guac-less veggie additives? How about the slightly stiff, overabundant grains of Spanish rice? Less than impressive, each of them. At no point did this burrito cause misery in the mouth – this was no Tango 20!-style train wreck – but it was a telling sign that the only elements worthy of at least eight mustaches here were the nicely pasty pinto beans, smart ingredient mix, and mostly infallible construction. We always appreciate juicy Niman Ranch beef in any setting...but it’s a shame it was so buried in all that rice. And though the green chile sauce was indeed a tasty heartbreaker, there just wasn’t enough of it applied. Even with the heat-preserving foil wrap, overall slabular temperature was lukewarm; meanwhile, spice danced on the outskirts of respectability, never breaking through. File under: punchless.