Taqueria del Sol's Green Chile Festival 2011
Taqueria del Sol Green Chile FestivalSeptember 11th marked the second
Green Chile Festival at Taqueria del Sol in Atlanta. The festive
crowd gathered in two seatings (I chose 5:00 PM) to celebrate
the arrival of gorgeous green chiles from Deming, New Mexico.
This year’s crop was hotter than last year’s, yielding tasty
dishes with a real kick to them. The pods were also Sandias, not
the typical Big Jim variety.
This year, I did not have the pleasure
palling around with my friend Deborah and her friend Charlotte.
I went solo, and the good thing about a festival like this, is
that the conversation is easy, and the tables are for sharing. I
met a couple that had been there last year as well. Their
consensus was that the peppers were way hotter than last year,
not to their liking. The wife has undergone chemotherapy fairly
recently, and so her taste buds magnify the heat, making spicy
foods uncomfortable. We talked all things chile, and started
talking about composting, which, apparently is something both of
us do. The husband is an avid fisherman, so he divulged the
secret to growing fatter worms for fishing. Bread in the
compost; who would have thunk?!
The first dish I tried was a hot dog with
green chile relish, kind of a Southwestern Chow-Chow, if you
The relish consisted of roasted green chiles,
chopped pickles, and onions. It was a great accompaniment to the hot
dog. That said, I’m not the world’s biggest hot dog fan. Later on, I
got a hint that the relish was really good on the next dish, RIBS!
The ribs were initially served with a Green
Chile BBQ Sauce, which was a Texas-style, vinegary sauce. They were
phenomenal. The rub on the ribs was simple, with the sauce providing
the oomph. Later on though, after running into owner Eddie
Hernandez, I took his suggestion and put the hot dog relish on the
ribs instead of the BBQ sauce. The ribs took on a whole other
dimension, with the sweet tang of the pickle relish, and the
smokiness of the ribs.
The next dish was a Green Chile Chicken Stew,
which is, plain and simple comfort food at its best. Had it been
laced with hominy, it would have been a great posole. Served over
steamed white rice, the stew had chicken, green chile, tomatoes,
garlic, and a little salt and pepper. Very simple and very
Next, I had a very traditional Chile Relleno
with a tasty medium-hot red chile sauce. Stuffed with cheese and
fried, this traditional dish isn’t diet fare, but worth pretty much
every calorie. The relleno contains an entire green chile, and you
get to experience it in a different way from it being served either
chopped or pulverized. The gooey cheese and sauce make this dish.
The final main dish of the evening was Beef
Tacos. Simple enough. A plain tortilla with some beef seasoned with
salt and pepper, and a smear of roasted green chile. At first, this
left a little to be desired. It was simply too bland. So, I went
back and got another and walked over to the Relleno table. The
addition of the red sauce made the dish. If you order food in New
Mexico and you want to experience both red and green chile, you ask
for “Christmas.” Christmas in September works for me.
Last year, a small wedding party showed up. It
seems that there’s always a story going on beyond the food itself at
events like these. Though another bride and groom didn’t
materialize, I was involved in a funny story. This venue isn’t
large, and the festival spills out into the parking lot. I got my
wristband, and heard someone behind me saying, “Oh that looks like
my friend Carla….” I don’t tend to think I look a lot like lots of
other people, but okay, everyone has a doppelganger. Each time I
went out to the parking lot to get the next dish, this woman screams
out, “That looks like my friend Carla….” Bless her heart, after
about four times of screaming at me, she finally comes out to the
parking lot and says, “ Are you Carla...?” I looked at her and said,
“Um, NO.” If it were your friend Carla, would she have not heard you
and said something? And, don’t you know what your friends look like?
Dessert took on a different dimension this year
with the addition of the truck from
in the parking lot. Wes and Jackson were on hand to scoop small
dishes of a delicious Chile Bourbon Dulce de Leche Gelato with
Roasted Pecans. My only quibble was that in the freezing process,
the Green Chile became icy because it wasn’t chopped finely enough.
It was otherwise perfect. The flavors all melded together and there
are few times that gelato/ice cream has a kick.
Green Chile Brownies capped off the feast. The
green chile makes the brownie nice and moist, a welcome finale to
of Atlanta, Tina Brickley Engberg, is an avid lover of all things
related to food, cooking and nutrition. A former professional
candy-maker, professed grocery store junkie, and organic gardener,
she is willing to take almost any recipe out for a spin. She
graduated from Bates College in Lewiston, Maine many moons ago.