Yesterday M took me to my follow-up appointment with my Opthamologist at Johns Hopkins regarding the ongoing double vision problems I’ve been having. When the appointment was over and M deduced that my greatest fear was completely unwarranted (I’m not going to need a glass eye) he talked about it being lunch time and that he was starving. We decided that we should go out to eat before he returned to work. After we got back to the parking garage and paid, he got out the Garmin and started fiddling around with it. He got a huge grin on his face and announced that we were going to the Golden West Cafe. We’ve discussed going to the Golden West Cafe for quite some time now, after finding out that it’s the only place in Baltimore where you can get authentic New Mexico green chile. (Not the canned crap, or the hybrid tomatillo “green sauce” that so many places try to pass off as the real thing) M, hailing from southern New Mexico, has sorely missed green chile and so this was a dream come true for him. So we programmed in the address and off we went.
We only had to wait a few minutes to get a table, but the place was packed full of people. The waiting area is cute– with thrift store chairs and sofas, toys for the kids to play with, and lots of reading material for grownups. I managed to pocket a free copy of Edible Chesapeake which has lots of local food-related stories and great looking recipes.
After we were seated we checked out the menu. We didn’t order any appetizers or desserts this time (we were dealing with a limited amount of time and stomach space) but decided on the Green Chile cheeseburgers. M ordered his without the cheese, and I ordered a black bean patty instead of the beef. We both ordered the garlic fries.
When the burgers came out a short while later, we were really impressed with how tasty and fresh everything looked. My black bean patty was cooked perfectly- not dried out in the least as some places are want to do. M reported that his beef patty was moist and tender, with an excellent flavor, and the exact doneness. The cheese on my burger was well-melted and both of our burgers were coated with a thick blanket of green chile sauce. The chile was fairly mild, but still had that fantastic green chile flavor that all New Mexicans (whether born n’ raised or transplants) know and love. The thick slice of tomato and pile of fresh organic salad greens added to the wonderful fresh flavor.
Now on to the garlic fries- they were superb! They came out golden and crispy, and in abundance. The amount of garlic flavor in the fries was perfect- strong enough so that you knew exactly what it was, but not so overpowering that you felt like you were eating raw garlic. I couldn’t finish all of mine but was so tempted to anyway because they were so delicious!
One thing I really liked about the place is that they are all about the organic foodstuffs! The beef is free range/organically raised and purchased from a local farm in Maryland. Even the ketchup was organic. (And still Heinz, which is the only ketchup worth eating, in my opinion.) The decor, as well as the rest of the menu was quite eclectic. Done not in a way that was seemed to be planned out, but rather a collection of things that were acquired over time simply because they were enjoyable. Some of the other offerings on the menu were great looking southwestern breakfasts like Huevos Rancheros and Huevos Montuleños (both with natural eggs), asian inspired plates like fried tofu, peanut noodles and Thai salads, and a hodgepodge of sandwiches. The whole experience could best be described as (Far) East meets (South) West.
M and I will definitely be going back not only because of the fun atmosphere and great food, but also because the service we received there was down-to-earth. All of the staff were friendly and unimposing and genuinely excited when they found out that we moved to Maryland from New Mexico and this was our first time enjoying authentic green chile in almost three years.