Hatch Chile Mania Descends on Dallas; Here’s Where to Find the Best Specials

Cheese on meat is good. Hatch mac and cheese on smoked brisket is better.
Cheese on meat is good. Hatch mac and cheese on smoked brisket is better. Heim Barbecue
Hatch chile season is officially upon us through September, so you have a limited time to snag these New Mexican chiles and all the dishes inspired by them.

This versatile ingredient can be found throughout Dallas this month, both fresh and incorporated into dishes such as queso, enchiladas, chiles rellenos, mac and cheese and even margaritas, bread and hummus.

“They’re very marketable; they’ve become a buzzword,” says Eric Dreyer, former executive chef at Fearing’s Restaurant and upcoming executive chef at Ellie’s, which is slated to open in the new Hall Arts Hotel this fall.

“A Hatch chile is similar to an Anaheim chile, but being grown in Hatch Valley, New Mexico, makes it special,” Dreyer says. “You can do so many things with them. Roasting them is the best way, I think.”

Their flavor, not spiciness, is why they’re highly sought. Most Hatch chiles are mild, but you can also find hot ones.

“I like to make a Hatch chile hollandaise,” Dreyer says. “You roast them, puree them and put them into the hollandaise sauce. They really give a different layer of flavor.

“Really, you can put them into anything. You could cut them into strips and put them into something like a risotto, with grains. Or what about a Hatch chile smoothie or fresh juice?”

Whether you’re seeking out fresh Hatch chiles, classic Southwest Hatch dishes or something more out-of-the-box, like Hatch cheesecake or Hatch-cheese puffs, these Dallas markets and restaurants have you covered.

Central Market is your go-to place for all things Hatch chile. Their Hatchsteria festival runs through Aug. 20, and there you can find a smorgasbord of Hatch items.

At the meat and seafood counters, try the Hatch meatloaf, crab cakes, meatballs and burgers. The bakery is serving Hatch tortillas, Hatch-cheddar bread, Hatch cornbread, Hatch-cheese puffs and more. Chef-prepared Hatch items include Hatch chile and chicken tamales, salsa, grilled salmon with roasted Hatch pesto and Hatch pepper hummus. And of course, you can find fresh and roasted Hatch chiles in the produce department.

This is the real deal: in 2013, the New Mexico Tourism Department certified Central Market’s Hatch chile festival as the most authentic Hatch festival outside of New Mexico.

click to enlarge Upgrade your cheese spread with Hatch chiles. (Or have Eatzi's do it for you.) - EATZI'S MARKET AND BAKERY
Upgrade your cheese spread with Hatch chiles. (Or have Eatzi's do it for you.)
Eatzi's Market and Bakery
Eatzi’s Market and Bakery is also debuting more than 30 chile dishes for a limited time, such as the Hatch-bacon mac and cheese, chicken and Hatch chile empanada, Hatch pimento spread, and a corn and Hatch quiche.

La Popular Tamale House in Old East Dallas frequently does a special tamale, depending on the season, and August is no different. They'll have black bean Hatch chile tamales, but only Aug. 27-31 and by pre-order. Order these vegan tamales by calling 214-824-7617.

Beginning today, Aug. 12, Liberty Burger is serving an off-the-menu Hatchback burger made with a beef patty mixed with roasted chiles and chopped bacon, topped with garlic aioli, Swiss cheese, lettuce, tomato, red onion, roasted Hatch salsa and applewood smoked bacon. This special Hatchback burger is only available for two weeks, so get it while you can.

click to enlarge Cheese on meat is good. Hatch mac and cheese on smoked brisket is better. - HEIM BARBECUE
Cheese on meat is good. Hatch mac and cheese on smoked brisket is better.
Heim Barbecue
Even Heim Barbecue is getting in on the Hatch action. Try their chile mac and cheese as a side, or be bold and try it heaped on their chopped, smoked brisket sandwich.

If you're about burgers, Snuffer's will have a Hatch chile cheeseburger with side and Hatch sauce. Try it for $8.99. Or just get that Hatch chile sauce to add to anything for $2.

Stop by Pappasito’s Cantina through Sept. 2 to try their special Hatch chile menu items. This year they’re offering Hatch white queso, pork tamales with Hatch green salsa, grilled chicken Hatch tacos, Hatch-chicken quesadillas, fire-roasted Hatch rellenos, pulled pork-hatch enchiladas and Hatch-shrimp brochette with beef and chicken fajitas.

At El Fenix, they’re offering three special dishes during their Hatch chile festival. Try the roasted queso blanco, Hatch and chicken enchiladas or Hatch queso blanco enchiladas. These items are available through Sept. 7.

Chuy’s is offering four special, Hatch chile-inspired menu items, including pork belly tacos with Hatch pineapple pico, steak enchiladas with spicy red and Hatch green sauces, Pablo’s enchiladas with Hatch and poblano peppers and a Hatch combo. Their Hatch chile festival runs through Sept. 1.

Blue Mesa Grill is hosting its annual Hatch chile festival dinner Aug. 14. This buffet will be packed with Hatch specialties, including a relleno, pozole, chile wings with Hatch ranch, steak relleno tacos and Hatch cheesecake.

Can't get enough of Blue Mesa? Come try them at Tacolandia Oct. 5.
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Paige Weaver
Contact: Paige Weaver