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Down the Hatch

by Steven Lindsey   photos by Rod Orta

Next to Christmas, opening day of the State Fair, and that new-car smell, one of my favorite things in the world is Hatch Green Chile Season. It’s a brief time of year when one of the best food-enhancers in the world reaches its peak. From local grocery stores roasting the fiery suckers to restaurants creating hot new menu creations, Hatch Chiles are a thing of culinary beauty.

And Jorge’s in One arts Plaza is keeping things fresh and simple with two new menu items highlighting the pureness that is Hatch. What I wasn’t expecting was a cavalcade of cocktails courtesy of Nacho, the creative genius behind a new era of creativity behind the Jorge’s bar. The drinks just kept coming. And coming. And coming. 

But in my defense, these were some seriously spicy dishes. And Daddy was thirsty. (Thankfully, my photographer, Rod, was there by my side with a straw in his mouth.)

Starting things off for the limited-time menu is Jorge’s famous chile con queso—with a twist. Chopped up in dime-size chunks, the freshly roasted pieces of green chile have a nice bit of heat with just the right amount of crunch to remind you that just a few weeks ago, these were still soaking up the sun in Hatch, New Mexico. The chile is the perfect enhancement to one of my favorite quesos in the city.

For main courses, get out your calculator for tons of possible chile relleno combinations. Made with Hatch, natch, instead of the traditional poblano, this longer, thinner chile still has plenty of room for filling that packs plenty of flavor. Choose from cheese, brisket, or chicken, then top with chile con queso, spicy guajillo chile, or three-green chile sauce. Finally, choose whether you want the relleno naked (no batter), or lightly fried with a crunchy batter made specially to balance out the unique flavor of the Hatch chile. No matter what you choose you can’t go wrong, but at a restaurant where I always opt for the naked version of their relleno, I found myself picking each relleno clean down to the stem thanks to the crispy, non-greasy coating.

These Hatch creations are only available until August 31 (and note, Jorge’s is closed for a private party this Monday), so if you want a great Hatch creation with a West Texas twist, get into Jorge’s ASAP.

Thankfully, Nacho’s amazing cocktail creations aren’t going anywhere anytime soon. Over the course of about 90 minutes, Rod and I were served an 80-calorie Flaca (skinny) margarita, a rose-water white sangria, a pomegranate frozen margarita, a blood orange rocks margarita, a Michelada made with Victoria beer, two shots of Mount Gay reserve rum, an organic rocks margarita, a frozen kiwi margarita, a mimosa, and finally Nacho’s signature “drinkable dessert”: a shot of coffee-flavored Patron XO Café followed by a shot mixture of 1921 Tequila Cream with Godiva White Chocolate.

But remember, we were thirsty. Very, very thirsty.


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