Like Smack

Green Chile Cheeseburger Smackdown makes its triumphant annual return

There are few dishes more representative of New Mexico than the green chile cheeseburger. It, like the Land of Enchantment, is a glorious collaboration of cultures, working together to create a spicy but flavorful sandwich of which there is no equal. Celebrating this rich culinary heritage is the annual Green Chile Cheeseburger Smackdown, during which finalist chefs representing restaurants from all across New Mexico compete for two prestigious awards: People's Choice and the Reigning Chomp. The attendees (vis-à-vis, you), who are allowed to sample each of these tasty, tasty burgers, have a say in the People's Choice, whereas a panel of highly trained judges use their acute taste buds to declare the Reigning Chomp.

"It is a blast. It is a great opportunity to sample New Mexico's quintessential food, the green chile cheeseburger, from some truly stellar chefs," says Stephanie Cameron from Edible Santa Fe, Albuquerque, Taos, magazine and curators of some of the finest foods in New Mexico, who are responsible for the event.

One of these competitors is chef Milton Villarrubia III, representing Second Street Brewery and the winner of People's Choice in 2016.

"What's more New Mexican than a green chile cheeseburger?" he queries. "It's a great way to celebrate the community."

Second Street Brewery's entry is an all-natural patty topped with green chile, American cheese and two organic blue corn enchiladas. What made this mad chef top a green chili cheeseburger with enchiladas, you ask?

"I thought about what made Northern New Mexico Northern New Mexico. I thought about the enchilada," he says. "I'm from New Orleans, and we like our food messy. 'El Patron' is continuing that tradition of messy-delicious all up in your face."

This burger is but one of the many burgers available, and others include Albuquerque's Más Tapas y Vino's Green Chile Honey Bomb, which lays the green chile on top of brisket, short rib and honey-glazed bacon, and El Farol's Hamburguesa Santa Fe with bacon and avocado.

The Green Chile Cheeseburger Smackdown is destined to be one of the biggest, most delicious food events of the season. This is one of the few chances you get to explore the varying tastes and textures of a local dish without spending copious amounts of time and money.

Green Chile Cheeseburger Smackdown: 
2-5 pm Saturday Sept. 8. $10-$35.
The Bridge at Santa Fe Brewing Company,
37 Fire Place,

White People be Disappearin’

Public Domain

As James Baldwin famously said, "American history is longer, larger, more various, more beautiful, and more terrible than anything anyone has ever said about it." The larger story of colonialism in America is indeed well known, particularly in this part of the country, but its smaller mysteries continue to baffle and intrigue scores of historians. One of which is the story of dozens of settlers who, in the late 1500s, established a colony off the coast of Virginia and then disappeared without a trace—except for a single word, CROATOAN, carved into a tree. Author Andrew Lawler explores this word, as well as what the enduring stories of colonists still mean to Americans' perceptions of gender, race, and "outsiders." (Charlotte Jusinski)

Andrew Lawler: The Secret Token: Myth, Obsession, and the Search for the Lost Colony of Roanoke:
6:30 pm Thursday Sept. 6. Free.
Collected Works Bookstore and Coffee House,
202 Galisteo St.,


Courtesy the Artist

They don't hand out New Mexico Music Awards to just anyone, but Ron Crowder—who took home the title of Best Song 2018 with the song "Liberty" from his new self-produced EP of the same name—isn't just anyone. A bit of a session guy, Crowder's played with some of our local greats, but now he's struck out on his own with a nifty mix of rock and soul, and things are looking bright. Crowder's even reintroduced the smokin' rock 'n' roll sax to the world and has been playing live a whole hell of a lot in support of his new tunes, but he's finally releasing the new EP. Catch him live this week at Tumbleroot and pick up Liberty. You're also bound to catch feelings. (Alex De Vore)

Ron Crowder CD Release Party: 
8 pm Friday Sept. 7. Free.
Tumbleroot Brewery and Distillery,
2791 Agua Fría St.

Cosmic Things


Oh, The B-52s have had a celebrated career, from the early dulcet tones of "Rock Lobster" to the brilliant layering melodies of "June Bug" and their last studio album, 2008's sincerely excellent Funplex—don't forget the slew of live albums released and to come. But they're humanitarians, too, as everybody's favorite art house pop group proves at the Santa Fe Opera come Monday. Catch the hits and lesser-known gems from Fred Schneider and company while proceeds from ticket sales go to help out nonprofit Kitchen Angels, an org that gets food to Santa Fe's hungry homebound folks. Go tell that like it T-I-IS, suckers. (ADV)

The B-52s: 
7:30 pm Monday Sept. 10. $65-$120.
Santa Fe Opera,
301 Opera Drive,