Mexican Hamburger - Gastro Obscura

Prepared Foods

Mexican Hamburger

This Denver specialty, a hybrid of Mexican and American cuisine, is peak comfort food.

Food critics and Denver locals count the Mexican hamburger among the best Mexican-American dishes, and this original “Den-Mex” creation is an icon of gastronomic mestizaje. A hamburger patty, grilled to perfection, is nestled with refried beans inside a freshly rolled flour tortilla. The whole thing is bathed in green chile, topped with grated cheese, and warmed until the cheese melts. Lettuce and tomato optional.

Gustavo Arellano, the author of Taco USA: How Mexican Food Conquered America, called the Mexican hamburger “a dish as Mexican as the Templo Mayor, as American as the Washington Monument, as Chicano as George Lopez.” Denver legend identifies local joint Joe’s Buffet as the birthplace of the burger. When Joe’s shut down, another restaurant, Chubby’s, took its place, and the Mexican hamburger remains the crowning glory of that establishment’s menu today. This culturally hybrid food, almost unknown outside of Colorado, may well be the state’s best-kept secret.

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Written By
Rohini Chaki Rohini Chaki