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Pueblo is the official home of the Green Chile Slopper. We were recently featured on the Travel Channel, where two local businesses were showcased for their delicious sloppers. Any visitor to Pueblo should be sure to sink your teeth into one before you leave!
Smother it with the city's famous green chiles and top with raw onions and you've got a slopper, Pueblo's unique contribution to the food world.
The origin of the messy meal (most often served in a bowl, to be eaten with a spoon) is a little cloudy. Although it is known to have originated in Pueblo, no one can agree on which restaurant was the first to serve it.
Today, more than 25 Pueblo restaurants slop up sloppers, and they're all a little different.
“It’s the green chile,” says Greater Pueblo Chamber of Commerce president Rod Slyhoff, who took us on a video tour of some favorite local sloppers. “Everyone’s green chile recipe is different to their taste. Almost all of the recipes are handed down from generation to generation and perfected along the way, and highly guarded.”
Just a few slopper favorites in the city include the Hen House in Pueblo West, Romero's Cafe on the Riverwalk, Jorge’s Sombrero, Papa Jose’s Union Cafe and Star Bar on Spring Street.
Star Bar goes through about five gallons of green chili a day. Five pounds of green chilies, five pounds of pork, diced tomatoes and a bit of salt and pepper go into the pot and are simmered for at least two hours. The result is chili that’s brought customers back ever since the Star Bar began serving up the slopper 45 years ago.
Many restaurants give their creations distinctive names.
Romero’s Café serves a Green Giant Slopper, and Mad Hatter Bar & Grille sells a Mad Slopper. At the Cock & Bull Tavern, it's the Sloppy Cocker, and then there's the Thunder Humper at Gold Dust Saloon.
“The chile can also range from being really thin to really thick,” Slyhoff says. “Some restaurants use potatoes to thicken it, while others use a roux of corn starch and milk to thicken it, and a couple places even use refried beans.”
In addition, the green chile can be served mild, medium or hot.
And just in case you're wondering, Slyhoff practices what he preaches.
“I’m working on having a slopper at all 25 locations,” Slyhoff says. “So far, they’re all excellent.”