Some folks know what a good green chile is and crave it constantly. Being from Colorado, I am one of those people. Verde is where I go when I am craving authentic New Mexican food. It’s a little different because their food has a healthy twist, sophisticated touches and a sprinkle of Hawaiian flavors.
Owner and chef Joshua Stevens takes homey Mexican food up a notch by adding elegant flavors like red chile aioli, house-made guacamole – made with avocados from Kauai – and fresh made tortilla chips and salsa to his generous meals.
Hatch chiles are essential to an authentic chile sauce so Stevens has his green and red chiles shipped directly from Hatch, New Mexico. Green chiles are the younger, hotter variety that Verde uses to make their vegan and gluten-free green sauce. Chiles left on the vine to ripen become red; these milder chiles are in Verde’s gluten-free red sauce.
Healthy and delicious, the Veggie Stuffed Sopaipilla ($9.99), is stuffed with local greens, guacamole and potatoes, placed in a bath of green sauce and drizzled with a chile-lime dressing. “Sopaipillas are traditionally made with lard,” Stevens says of his fried pastry. “I changed the recipe so it has no lard.”
Meat lovers will enjoy the Stuffed Sopaipilla ($9.99), loaded with tender beef short ribs, chicken or pork adovada and beans. “The menu is very healthy whether you know it or not,” Stevens says.
Honoring his fathers request for vegetarian Mexican food, Stevens created the Veggie Stacked Enchilada ($12.99), a filling combination of three corn tortillas layered with green beans, spinach, broccoli, guacamole, cheese and green chile sauce.
Sous Chef Jason Sessions created the Garlic Shrimp Tacos ($11.99), when Stevens said he wanted a shrimp dish on the menu. Satisfying and delicious, two soft tacos are filled with cornmeal-crusted shrimp, Kauai greens, cabbage, guacamole, pico de gallo, rice and roasted garlic-chipotle aioli.
Verde, rated number six on Trip Advisor, doesn’t get many complaints. “The only complaint that I ever get is that the portions are too big!” Sessions says.
Photos by Dan Lane.