Gustavo Arellano in The Great American Chile Highway


I ended up eating “chile” 38 different ways — and I could’ve done more. But caution to the curious: Take the trip in doses, not in one fell swoop like me. Like Icarus, I flew — or rather, ate — too close to the heat. At times, I felt like the trip might actually turn me into a living Human Torch. But like the Phoenix, I rose from the proverbial ashes, spitting nothing but fire.

A green chile Philly cheesesteak at Johnny B’s in the town of Truth or Consequences, New Mexico, that I dunked into their sturdy cup of red to create a New Mexican French dip. A Frito pie, a glorious mess of crunch, cheese, and Socorro-style red chile sharper and smokier than Hatch, at the 24-hour El Camino Restaurant , whose wooden booths, kachina figures, and dive-y bar make it look unchanged since its 1963 debut.


Wonderful share, @zippo1. As a chilehead, I feel that I must experience this someday. At my house we like to joke about a mythic “fried clam superhighway” in Essex, Massachusetts where The Clam Box, Woodmans, and Farmham’s are in close proximity.

This chile roadtrip is on another scale altogether.

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