What: Chile Verde's Green Chile Stew ($5)
Why: Old tradition, New Mexican style
Chile verde is a beloved Mexican pork dish swamped in a mean green tomatillo-based sauce. But Chile Verde is also a beloved casual Columbus restaurant neither Mex nor Tex-Mex, but rather New Mex. As in Santa Fe style. And the most popular dish at this local, independently owned Chile Verde is its Green Chile Stew. Only it's not green, but kind of tawny. Or maybe a sort of ruddy reddish brown. But definitely not green. Confused?
Well, don't go blue in the face fretting over it, because all you need know is that Chile Verde's lip-searing "Green" Chile Stew rocks. Served in a huge Southwest-colored Fiestaware bowl and filled with beef cubes, carrots, skin-on spuds, jalapenos and green chilis (hence the name, I suppose), it packs a serious knocks-you-in-the-chops tangy hot burn that is definitely not for sissies. But it sure is for me.