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N.M. cafe seeks record for green chile cheeseburger

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. -- The Guinness Book of World Records already has a largest hamburger designation on the books, but a southern New Mexico cafe is going for a spicier title: world's largest green chile cheeseburger.

The burger, crafted by Peppers Cafe in Mesilla, features a 10-inch diameter, 1-pound burger, a half-pound of cheese and three green chiles all between two specially made buns, said restaurant owner C.W. "Buddy" Ritter.

"We sold 20 of them yesterday, and we're very surprised they're selling like they are," Ritter said.

He said the cafe, which operates in the Double Eagle restaurant, sent an application to Guinness to make the burger the largest commercially available green chile cheeseburger in the world.

The $18.25 burger is made of aged beef, shredded Monterey Jack and cheddar cheese, Hatch-grown green chiles, pico de gallo and mayonnaise spread over toasted buns. Lettuce, tomato and onion accompany the burger.

Ritter said he and cafe manager Jerry Harrell came up with the idea for the burger while discussing improving menu items.

"It's so good we didn't know how to improve it, so the only thing I knew to do was make it bigger," Ritter said.

Chile cheeseburgers have a following in New Mexico and are served at many hamburger joints in the Southwest.

"It's a part of life here and if a burger place doesn't serve green chile cheeseburgers they are going to be swamped for requests for it until they do," said Jerry Wright, New Mexico Restaurant Association president and Albuquerque restaurant owner.

The Owl Cafe in San Antonio, N.M. has been serving their famous green chile cheeseburgers since 1945 and manager Cathy Soto said she doesn't think she'll have competition from the large burger.

"Everybody has a choice and everybody has their own customers. We're famous for our green chile cheeseburger from all over the world, so there's nothing we have to be worried about," Soto said.

New Mexico's Mesilla Valley is home to two other Guinness world records involving chile. The NuMex Big Jim, developed in Las Cruces, holds the record for longest chile pepper and Las Cruces restaurant owner Roberto Estrada created the biggest red chile enchilada.


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