Wednesday, February 4, 2009

At What Point Do You Stop Rooting For A Restaurant?


Green Chile Kitchen is where I get my burrito fix. With all apologies to the fantastic Little Chihuahua and El Farolito kitchens, there is no Mexican place out there that I feel healthier and happier dining at than Green Chile Kitchen. Key word here is healthy. Their ingredients are always fresh, their chicken is always tasty (and P.C.), and the dining environment (super casual, order at the register and find a clean comfortable seat) is always enjoyable. I'm not here to talk about Green Chile Kitchen though, but this recent review from SFBG came up today and Paul Reidinger (resident SFBG critic) proclaimed the following about my favorite Mexican place:

"You would expect that a restaurant with "green chile" in its name would serve at least one memorable dish with green chiles, and Green Chile Kitchen does. In fact, the restaurant serves a host of memorable dishes (some with green chiles, many others without) and, because it's in the middle of NoPa rather than at, or just past, the edge of it, Green Chile could be the best restaurant in NoPa. Much would depend on our understanding of NoPa: region with definite borders or state of mind?"

Keep in mind that Nopa contains a lot of restaurants in its "region with definite borders" (makes no sense, I think he meant a region without definitive borders), therefore, putting out such a bold statement may resonate in many Nopa neighborhoodies' and other SFers' minds. I, however, realize that the last thing I want is for a place that very few consider their own secret to belong to the legions of others.
On the flip side, I love that a well deserved place gets its publicity and its due. We are in a struggling market and any bit of notice becomes a welcome service to the restaurant. I fail to believe Green Chile struggles (packed almost all the time it seems), but I'm happy that it is getting some very much needed attention. Sometimes I fear some restaurants are too "under the radar" and fall without getting the deserved praise, but I am pretty torn about the whole thing. When it comes down to it, I wish that a good restaurant gets every bit of publicity that it can garnish, but I'm also hoping someone can save me an open seat every once in a while.

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