Chile Verde Cafe – Revamped, Revisited….Refreshing
Posted by cmh gourmand on May 11, 2009
Monday – Thursday: 11 a.m. – 9 p.m.
Friday: 11 a.m. – 10 p.m.
Saturday: 11 a.m. – 10 p.m.
Closed on Sunday (this may change…)
During my formative dining days in the early 1990’s, Chile Verde was a standard destination. Over time as my options grew my visits decreased. Not much has changed in nineteen years of business at this location and that is a very good thing. Chile Verde has always been known for good, personable service; good margaritas and signature Southwestern entrees.
So what has changed? Chile Verde knocked down the walls next door and doubled their floor space – adding a lot of room to their former snug layout. This past Sunday the doors were open – another first. The owners decided to offer their fare from 11 am to 8 pm for Mother’s Day (as part of a week celebrating their newly expanded space and continuing their Cinco de Mayo momentum). The result was an incredible turnout. Of course, giving a $10 gift certificate to every mom in attendance helped. Rumor is (based on the response and several customer requests), Chile Verde may be open for brunch/lunch for future Sundays. This would be a welcome addition if they continue Sunday servings of Huevos Rancheros – a dish that is rarely executed to my satisfaction in Columbus.
I took CMH GourMOM to Chile Verde on Mother’s Day and she was pleased. The Mother’s Day trip was inspired by my visit the week before right after the status post remodeling reopening. Both visits included good service and good margaritas with fresh chips and flavorful salsa.
Chile Verde is not a Mexican restaurant as many internet reviews have suggested. It is Southwestern eclectic, in particular, New Mexico inspired cuisine strong on chiles and marinated meats (up to 48 hours).
The Green Chile Stew (which I wrote about on CMH G in February 2007) is still a favorite. It features a fiesty array of flavors: slow-cooked beef, carrots and potatoes with roasted jalapeños and green chilies.
A notable entree which has been on the menu since day one are the Blue Corn Enchiladas. This (exotic in the day) dish used to draw in diners and still does. One to three enchiladas come with this dish (which can feature one meat for each enchilada if you ask nicely). I have always enjoyed the sidedish offerings here, especially the vegetarian friendly Peppered Pinto Beans and Chile Verde (smashed) Potatoes. You can mix and match the sides with no hassle.
Newcomers – with a little prompting to your server – can get a complimentary Chile Verde sampling tray with small tastes of the three signature house sauces, a few meats and other items – this a great way for greenhorns to guide their menu selection.
I can be a little peevish about Restaurant web sites (food and the webernet are my passions). The Chile Verde web page is worth taking a glance at. There are some financial incentives to do so – a free appetizer and a good gift certificate bonus. What I like the most about the site is a brief bio of each employee which adds a simple, personal touch to the web site and the restaurant.
A final note – take a look at the Mucha Luncha artwork on the walls by server Rob Jones.