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Chubby's, Denver. Stoner Food?

Chubby's, Denver. Stoner Food?
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  • Chubby's, Denver. Stoner Food?

    Post #1 - March 12th, 2021, 6:49 pm
    Post #1 - March 12th, 2021, 6:49 pm Post #1 - March 12th, 2021, 6:49 pm
    Last autumn, we drove out to Denver, stopping along the way to sample Nebraskan specialties like Cheese Frenchees, Runzas, and Cream Cheese Pizza. Once in Denver, we sought out Denver-specific regional foods, like Den Mex, Mexican-style dishes prepared in the Colorado capitol which bear some resemblance to Tex Mex (lots of cheese and many burritos).

    We’ve talked about Den Mex food on this board, and it may deserve a thread of its own.

    The first place we hit on our first night in Denver was Chubby’s. There are several Chubby’s locations in Denver, and we went to “The only true Original Chubby’s.”

    My order: Double Mexican Hamburger Burrito Deluxe, composed of two commodity beef patties enfolded in a flour tortilla, with cheese (likely American), beans, lettuce, tomato and the most aggressive hot sauce (likely Habanero, though perhaps a high-voltage version of Hatch) that has ever been served to me this side of the Rio Grande. The burrito was very large, maybe 1.5 to 2 pounds of soft, easy-to-eat mush (hallmarks of foods that appeal the high-minded?). The bean slurry into which the hamburger almost dissolved became as one with the soft white tortilla, merging into one smooth texture, with flashes of chili heat. It was all drenched in what is called “green sauce” but is quite clearly orange in color. I liked it well enough (I was road hungry), though I’d bet no one is going to argue that this is wonderful food: it’s filling and tasty enough, but no new gastronomic horizons were opened and my life, alas, did not change.

    Andrew Zimmern has proclaimed that “Chubby’s is definitely stoner food,” As I dug into my Double Mexican Hamburger Burrito Deluxe, I tried to figure out what exactly “stoner food” might mean. Is there such a thing as stoner food – and if so, what are its essential characteristics? I’m going to hazard that stoner food, in addition to homogeneity, is usually served in abundance (“cuz I’m hungry, man”), and that it’s fairly simple to prepare and eat. Color also helps, as bright color attracts red eyes. Notice I didn’t say the food is characterized by “finesse” or “brilliant execution.” This is pretty basic stuff for pretty basic urges, like deep, gnawing hunger.

    I’m guessing “stoner food” refers to the psychological condition of both chef and diners, and neither one of those groups wants too much work to go into the preparation or consumption of the chow. There is also the implicit assumption that whatever is served to the “appropriately prepared” diner, it will likely be judged the Most Awesome Bite on the Planet. Dude.

    With increasingly relaxed cannabis laws in Illinois and elsewhere, it seems only a matter of time before we have cannabis in the food served at local restaurants. Such restaurants are starting to appear (legally and otherwise) in Denver.

    Would I go to Chubby’s again? Maybe. I dunno. It was okay. My interest in the place was maybe more anthropological than gustatory. For Denver dining choices, my preference would be for the most excellent El Taco de Mexico, where I had several very good tacos for breakfast. I intend to do more exploring next month, when we’re heading back to Denver (I will be looking for the fried taco). We’ll be staying briefly in Evergreen, up the mountains, but making daily forays down to the Mile High City (the motto fits), then on to several weeks in Utah’s National Parks. Utah, of course, has its own distinctive regional cuisine, including Utah scones, pastrami burgers, and green Jell-o. Utah is not 420-friendly (thanks, followers of Joseph Smith!), but it obviously doesn’t require cannabis to make weird chow…or to enjoy it (to whatever extent that’s possible).
    "Don't you ever underestimate the power of a female." Bootsy Collins
  • Post #2 - March 12th, 2021, 7:46 pm
    Post #2 - March 12th, 2021, 7:46 pm Post #2 - March 12th, 2021, 7:46 pm
    I lived in Denver for two years. The only thing I REALLY miss is Chubby's breakfast burritos. Green.
    We cannot be friends if you do not know the difference between Mayo and Miracle Whip.
  • Post #3 - March 15th, 2021, 8:55 am
    Post #3 - March 15th, 2021, 8:55 am Post #3 - March 15th, 2021, 8:55 am
    seebee wrote:I lived in Denver for two years. The only thing I REALLY miss is Chubby's breakfast burritos. Green.


    Yes, I had half of my Double Mexican Hamburger Burrito Deluxe for dinner and the other half for breakfast the following morning. I intend to repeat that routine during our Denver visit next month. The burrito is a very versatile food.
    "Don't you ever underestimate the power of a female." Bootsy Collins
  • Post #4 - March 19th, 2021, 1:32 pm
    Post #4 - March 19th, 2021, 1:32 pm Post #4 - March 19th, 2021, 1:32 pm
    David Hammond wrote: Andrew Zimmern has proclaimed that “Chubby’s is definitely stoner food,” As I dug into my Double Mexican Hamburger Burrito Deluxe, I tried to figure out what exactly “stoner food” might mean. Is there such a thing as stoner food – and if so, what are its essential characteristics? I’m going to hazard that stoner food, in addition to homogeneity, is usually served in abundance (“cuz I’m hungry, man”), and that it’s fairly simple to prepare and eat. Color also helps, as bright color attracts red eyes. Notice I didn’t say the food is characterized by “finesse” or “brilliant execution.” This is pretty basic stuff for pretty basic urges, like deep, gnawing hunger.

    I’m guessing “stoner food” refers to the psychological condition of both chef and diners, and neither one of those groups wants too much work to go into the preparation or consumption of the chow. There is also the implicit assumption that whatever is served to the “appropriately prepared” diner, it will likely be judged the Most Awesome Bite on the Planet. Dude.


    I always took it to mean "food you wouldn't order or make if you were sober," whether because of flavor combinations, nutritional value (lack thereof, mostly), and/or plain absurdity. For instance, take the "sushi bake": it's really just a casserole of imitation crab and mayo, with a taste on par with what you'd get an AYCE sushi place. But it's warm and creamy, and functions like a dip more than a dish--it hits all the dopamine receptors, even if the whole thing is a house of cards built on some cheap (food) tricks. I can't imagine ever ordering it again, but if I were in front of me while I was in an other state of mind I can imagine totally crushing one.

    See also: this micro-trend of putting Flamin' Hot Cheetos on everything.
  • Post #5 - March 19th, 2021, 1:56 pm
    Post #5 - March 19th, 2021, 1:56 pm Post #5 - March 19th, 2021, 1:56 pm
    chezbrad wrote:...See also: this micro-trend of putting Flamin' Hot Cheetos on everything.


    I've been threatening to do Takis Fuego coated Cornish Hens as soon as I can find the little birdies on sale.

    My wife came home with a Flamin Hot Cheeto covered "Sushi Burrito" from some joint on Milwaukee last year. It was vile (but we ate the shit out of it.) Layers from outside to innards:
    Flamin Hot Cheeto Dust
    Sushi rice
    Salmon, tobiko, spicy mayo, cuke, avocado.
    All rolled up into a 2 handed sized burrito.
    I'll never get another one. It was pretty gross after a few bites. Big globs of rice and wobbly fish. As an inside out cut maki? I think it would work out much better.
    We cannot be friends if you do not know the difference between Mayo and Miracle Whip.
  • Post #6 - March 19th, 2021, 8:44 pm
    Post #6 - March 19th, 2021, 8:44 pm Post #6 - March 19th, 2021, 8:44 pm
    chezbrad wrote:I always took it to mean "food you wouldn't order or make if you were sober," whether because of flavor combinations, nutritional value (lack thereof, mostly), and/or plain absurdity.


    Reminds me of a tale retold by Bill Buford in "Heat," in which the stoned and not-yet-damned Mario Batali cooked up a feast for his fellow California surfer dudes: foie gras in a Starburst reduction. Or maybe it was Pop Rocks. You get the idea.
    "Don't you ever underestimate the power of a female." Bootsy Collins
  • Post #7 - March 21st, 2021, 7:09 am
    Post #7 - March 21st, 2021, 7:09 am Post #7 - March 21st, 2021, 7:09 am
    David Hammond wrote:For Denver dining choices, my preference would be for the most excellent El Taco de Mexico, where I had several very good tacos for breakfast. I intend to do more exploring next month, when we’re heading back to Denver (I will be looking for the fried taco).


    Don’t forget Denver Style Chile Rellenos! Probably my favorite of the Den-Mex regional oddities. It’s a green chile stuffed with cheese and stuffed into a wonton wrapper and fried. Smother with green chile. We did a Denver roadtrip too last summer. Knocked a few bucketlist spots off the radar including Mexican hamburgers at Chubby’s. Got Damn that sauce is serious. Hot as hell. I think Den-Mex is probably closer to New Mexico cuisine than Tex-Mex but I love them all. Any plans to visit Pueblo? We didn’t make it down there so no Sloppers in their natural habitat but I did find a kid from out that way running a food truck serving dishes made with Pueblo green chiles. Yes def seek out some Denver style fried tacos. Link below.

    http://chibbqking.blogspot.com/2020/11/ ... enver.html
  • Post #8 - March 21st, 2021, 8:28 am
    Post #8 - March 21st, 2021, 8:28 am Post #8 - March 21st, 2021, 8:28 am
    Da Beef wrote:
    David Hammond wrote:For Denver dining choices, my preference would be for the most excellent El Taco de Mexico, where I had several very good tacos for breakfast. I intend to do more exploring next month, when we’re heading back to Denver (I will be looking for the fried taco).


    Don’t forget Denver Style Chile Rellenos! Probably my favorite of the Den-Mex regional oddities. It’s a green chile stuffed with cheese and stuffed into a wonton wrapper and fried. Smother with green chile. We did a Denver roadtrip too last summer. Knocked a few bucketlist spots off the radar including Mexican hamburgers at Chubby’s. Got Damn that sauce is serious. Hot as hell. I think Den-Mex is probably closer to New Mexico cuisine than Tex-Mex but I love them all. Any plans to visit Pueblo? We didn’t make it down there so no Sloppers in their natural habitat but I did find a kid from out that way running a food truck serving dishes made with Pueblo green chiles. Yes def seek out some Denver style fried tacos. Link below.

    http://chibbqking.blogspot.com/2020/11/ ... enver.html


    Thanks for posting the link Titus (pretty sure I read it last year after I got back from Denver and thought, "Damn, wish I had this before I went!").

    Next time through Denver (next month), and based on your recs, I'm planning stops at La Fiesta (Denver-style chiles rellenos), Swift’s Breakfast House (Toro pot burrito) and
    El Toro (Denver-style fried tacos).

    Many Den-Mex dishes seem to be composed of four basic ingredients: tortilla, beef, cheese (usually American), and salsa, and (based on my recent attempt to define "stoner food"), they're marked by simplicity (variation on the four common ingredients) homogeneity (relatively consistent flavor and texture all the way through), abundance (big portions), and colorfulness (like the "green salsa" that's sometimes orange).

    Seems like the "fried tacos" can be either griddled or deep-fried, right?
    "Don't you ever underestimate the power of a female." Bootsy Collins
  • Post #9 - March 21st, 2021, 10:28 pm
    Post #9 - March 21st, 2021, 10:28 pm Post #9 - March 21st, 2021, 10:28 pm
    seebee wrote:I've been threatening to do Takis Fuego coated Cornish Hens as soon as I can find the little birdies on sale.

    This is the time. And this is the record of the time. (ok, way off topic and not stoned at all) Butera/Piggly Wiggly have oddly small fryers on sale for .49/lb. I snagged 3 sub-$1 ones today. Will either stuff or rotisserie or both. No Takis, though.
  • Post #10 - March 22nd, 2021, 7:29 am
    Post #10 - March 22nd, 2021, 7:29 am Post #10 - March 22nd, 2021, 7:29 am
    Trust, if I had a Butera near me, I'd be all over that.
    We cannot be friends if you do not know the difference between Mayo and Miracle Whip.
  • Post #11 - April 15th, 2021, 2:13 pm
    Post #11 - April 15th, 2021, 2:13 pm Post #11 - April 15th, 2021, 2:13 pm
    Is there any difference between stoner food and drunk food? Not much IMO. Both states of mind require cheap greasy salty food, in mass quantities, and fast...

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