Bobcat Bite/Santa Fe, NM

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buffetbuster
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Bobcat Bite/Santa Fe, NM - Wed, 06/17/09 2:55 PM
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In 2004, my cousin Johnny and I vacationed in the Four Corners area.  We did spend a day in Santa Fe, NM eating our way around the city.  Our favorite thing in Santa Fe and on the entire trip was the Green Chile Cheeseburgers at Bobcat Bite.  We enjoyed it so much, we both had put Bobcat Bite in our respective Roadfood Top Ten lists.
 
Last week, we were again vacationing in New Mexico, with our return to Bobcat Bite being eagerly anticipated.  Could the GCC possibly live up to our expectations and the myths our memories had created?
 
We arrived last Wednesday around 3:00PM.  The place still looked great on the outside

and a fair amount of cars were in the parking lot.  We figured we would most likely have to wait for a table.  But the people waiting were all parts of larger parties, so we grabbed the two open seats at the end of the counter.  A woman, who I recognized as owner Bonnie Eckre, warmly greeted us and gave us menus.  No surprise, that they have bobcats on the front.

We did look over the menu, but there was never any doubt about what we would be ordering.  Here is the burger section of the menu.

In our previous visit, I don't remember trying any of the sides.  This time, Johnny got an order of the cole slaw. 

The cabbage was chopped fine and it had a nice vinegary, peppery taste.  Johnny said it reminded him of the Amish pepper slaw he buys at the PA Dutch Market in Annapolis, which is reviewed here on Roadfood.
 
The GCCs took a while to be delivered to us.  This is not fast food.  When they were sat down in front of us, I asked Bonnie to take our photo.

We look like two guys who are ready to take care of business!  Here is what the burger looks like when it is delivered. 

If you don't order a side, it comes with chips.  Underneath the bun is lettuce and tomato.  While I was taking my usual way too many photos, Johnny was already half way done with his burger, alternating between yummy noises and exclaiming how juicy it was.  So, I pressed down on the bun and you can see the juice dripping down the sides of the burger.

After the very first bite, beef juice started dripping down my arm.  Here is a rather poor photo of the bitten into burger.

What is kind of unusual about this GCC is that the green chile is applied directly on top of the burger and then the cheese on top of that.  The chile itself does not bring much heat and is rather mild.  But what it lacks in heat, it makes up for in powerful flavor.  Combine that with the high quality beef that is used here and you have a world class burger.  Johnny and I ordered our burgers medium and they had just the right amount of pink in the middle.
 
Both of us gushed how great our burgers were and we agreed we must come back later in the trip.  Since it was my turn to pay, I went up to the cash register with the bill.  The other waitress asked how our food was and I told her it so fantastic that were going to come back a couple of more times before our vacation was over.  She said if we were going to come back, she should know our names and introduced herself as Ashley.  I thought that was a very nice touch.
 
On Thursday, we spent the day riding the Cumbres & Toltec Scenic Railroad, so it wasn't until late Friday afternoon that we made it back to Bobcat Bite.  Only this time, there was hardly any cars in the parking lot, which came as quite a surprise.  We settled on a table next to the counter in the left corner.  The attractive Ashley welcomed us back and was our waitress this time.  By now, I had picked up the 2002 copy of Roadfood they keep on the shelf and was perusing it.  We told her that we travel around, eating at places out of the book and this was our all-time favorite, and she seemed quite pleased at this.  We overheard her give our order to the owner John Eckre in the kitchen, along with what we had said and we could overhear him in the kitchen, sarcastically exclaim, "Well that's no pressure"! 
 
This time, we tried a couple more sides.  The beans in a skillet

were more typical baked beans than the pinto beans we had mostly seen on the trip.  They were sweet and had plenty of bacon it.  Excellent!  These are only available in the summer.  The potato salad (sorry, the pics didn't turn out) had pickel, celery and plenty of egg and was both sweet and tart.  Johnny really liked it.  And the burgers, which came out faster, since there was less of a crowd, were just as amazing.  Here is another shot of the juicy burger.

This place never stays empty long and before we left, the place was filled,

with lots of people again waiting outside.
 
We had hopes of coming back on Saturday.  The decision to share a GCC and try a steak this time was already made.  But we ended up spending more time at Bandelier National Monument than expected and we didn't make it back.  At least we got there twice.
 
Both Johnny and I easily agree, this is the #1 Roadfood place we have ever visited.
 
Here is their website:   http://www.bobcatbite.com/
 
The Roadfood review:   http://www.roadfood.com/Restaurant/Review/1385-1385/bobcat-bite
 
A video from George Motz Hamburger America film:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SD2cI1i2vqQ
<message edited by buffetbuster on Wed, 06/17/09 3:07 PM>

Davydd
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Re:Bobcat Bite/Santa Fe, NM - Wed, 06/17/09 3:13 PM
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Very impressive, Cliff. I take it if this is the number one roadfood place ever then this would have to be the number one burger too? The photos certainly give merit to that.

buffetbuster
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Re:Bobcat Bite/Santa Fe, NM - Wed, 06/17/09 3:22 PM
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Thanks Davydd.  What surprises me about saying this is my #1 place is that I am not a burger guy.  I rarely order them outside of a Roadfood place.  But there is just something about Green Chile Cheeseburgers, especially at the Bobcat Bite.

joerogo
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Re:Bobcat Bite/Santa Fe, NM - Wed, 06/17/09 8:05 PM
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buffetbuster, Them is some pretty strong words.  If this is your #1, I gotta get there.  Great pics and write-up!

wanderingjew
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Re:Bobcat Bite/Santa Fe, NM - Wed, 06/17/09 8:16 PM
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Cliff, thanks for torturing me...

I really appreciate it. I'll trade ya some soy milk and cocoa dusted almonds for one (bobcat)  bite of that burger!

carolina bob
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Re:Bobcat Bite/Santa Fe, NM - Wed, 06/17/09 8:48 PM
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Cliff, I've never tasted a burger garnished with green chiles, but after seeing your photos, I sure do want to. It's times like this that I really regret being so terrified of flying ( one of those "not for any amount of money" things for me. ) I'm reasonably sure that I'll never have either the money or the stamina to drive all the way to New Mexico, so I guess that I'm gonna have to continue to live a deprived life ( does Bobcat Bite deliver??? ) 

Davydd
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Re:Bobcat Bite/Santa Fe, NM - Wed, 06/17/09 8:55 PM
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Bob, I guess you missed it in the Twin Cities. The newly opened Burger Jones in Minneapolis is serving a green chili cheeseburger topped with an onion ring. I suspect since Burger Jones is a new concept burger place by restaurant developers, Parasole Restaurant Holdings, that they probably got their inspiration directly from Bobcat Bites.

ellen4641
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Re:Bobcat Bite/Santa Fe, NM - Wed, 06/17/09 9:33 PM
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Always wanted to see a pic of the famed BOBCAT burger! 
It's on my "to do" burger list!
Nice report, as always!

tommyeats
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Re:Bobcat Bite/Santa Fe, NM - Wed, 06/17/09 10:02 PM
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there are some pics of the burger  here if anyone is interested.

for some reason, the ones i had looked bigger!  i hope they haven't made them smaller since my visit a few years ago.

it remains one of the best burgers i've ever eaten, and has been an inspiration on many levels to my cooking of hamburgers at home. a roadfood treasure, to my mind.
<message edited by tommyeats on Wed, 06/17/09 10:04 PM>

ellen4641
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Re:Bobcat Bite/Santa Fe, NM - Wed, 06/17/09 10:17 PM
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tommyeats


there are some pics of the burger  here if anyone is interested.

I'm INTERESTED!  Thanks Tommyeats!  You're my IDOL !
Any pics of you on your website or anywhere?   How about joining us Roadfood.com'ers for a hot dog tour sometime? (I don't think you've been yet; correct?)
I wanna see just who this TOMMYEATS really is,  "LIVE"...
 
Your website,  plus the "pigtrip.net" one, plus Hollyeats.com are my favorites!
and if both YOU and BUFFETBUSTER say that the Bobcat burger is your favorite, I've GOTTA get to that Bobcat!
 
ellen in AC area..
 
p.s.  Appreciate the BEEF RIB write up you did on May 24th.... I just saw it when I looked at the Bobcat bite burger.   I know what you mean, as I'm often finding that the beef ribs they have in the supermarkets (Pathmark and Genuardi's, etc) are usually trimmed a little too thin...  wheres the beef ???
 


 

The Travelin Man
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Re:Bobcat Bite/Santa Fe, NM - Thu, 06/18/09 1:20 AM
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Buffetbuster - I am glad to see that you made it to Bobcat Bite.  I wasn't sure if you were aware that they offer one of the best burgers around.  I know most people don't know about this place - and I really hoped that you would discover it on this trip.

douginvirginia
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Re:Bobcat Bite/Santa Fe, NM - Thu, 06/18/09 7:21 AM
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Bobcat Bite has always been on my "lifetime to eat" list. I think it just got moved up several slots.

Thanks for another great report and juicy pics.

MiamiDon
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Re:Bobcat Bite/Santa Fe, NM - Thu, 06/18/09 7:52 AM
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Good photos of an awesome-looking burger, buffetbuster.  Do you know what kind of cheese it has on it?

ScreamingChicken
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Re:Bobcat Bite/Santa Fe, NM - Thu, 06/18/09 10:53 AM
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And what kind of chiles are under the cheese?

Brad

ann peeples
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Re:Bobcat Bite/Santa Fe, NM - Thu, 06/18/09 10:56 AM
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Green chiles...

MiamiDon
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Re:Bobcat Bite/Santa Fe, NM - Thu, 06/18/09 11:03 AM
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Roasted green chiles, perhaps Hatch?

Baah Ben
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Re:Bobcat Bite/Santa Fe, NM - Thu, 06/18/09 11:30 AM
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BB - It's the best.  I have never had a better burger.  Thanks for the pictures.  Lucky you!  

We sat at the counter, too.  I had the seat closest to the kitchen and watched those burgers! My wife had their chicken sandwich..What a waste.  Hey, she doesn't eat red meat. 

I planned our trip literally to get to this place.  But, you're going to have some fantastic other food in Sante Fe...Great food town!  Amazing art, too.

Why more Top 10 lists don't include BobCat Bite..I have no idea. 

If you go on yelp.com you can read a lot of 2009 reviews from diners.  Pretty amazing.   

Did you guys stop for pie on the way back up the road? Great pies!!! 
<message edited by Baah Ben on Thu, 06/18/09 3:20 PM>

The Travelin Man
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Re:Bobcat Bite/Santa Fe, NM - Thu, 06/18/09 11:30 AM
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Could you possibly describe the bun?  How does it compare to other burger buns you have had elsewhere?

Davydd
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Re:Bobcat Bite/Santa Fe, NM - Thu, 06/18/09 12:16 PM
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OK, now the mystery. Why does the Food Network Magazine list Clancy's Irish Cantina in Farmington, NM green chile cheeseburger as the best in New Mexico in their 50 States, 50 Burgers list?

http://www.foodnetwork.com/50-states-50-burgers/package/index.html

Anyone compared them?

tommyeats
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Re:Bobcat Bite/Santa Fe, NM - Thu, 06/18/09 2:15 PM
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Davydd


OK, now the mystery. Why does the Food Network Magazine list Clancy's Irish Cantina in Farmington, NM green chile cheeseburger as the best in New Mexico in their 50 States, 50 Burgers list?

http://www.foodnetwork.com/50-states-50-burgers/package/index.html

Anyone compared them?


that list doesn't suggest they are "the best", which is just as well, because assertions like that are hard to support.  it's refreshing to see another place get some attention.  surely NM has a few chile cheeseburgers worth trying.

Baah Ben
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Re:Bobcat Bite/Santa Fe, NM - Thu, 06/18/09 3:15 PM
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Davydd - I have read several things about Clancy's and apparently it is really good.  

Yeah, maybe someone has been to both places.  That would be great!!


buffetbuster
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Re:Bobcat Bite/Santa Fe, NM - Fri, 06/19/09 7:53 AM
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Unfortunately, I don't know what kind of cheese was on this burger.  And other than knowing it was green chile, I can't tell you more about the chiles.  Usually when we are eating together, Johnny and I deconstruct the food, but in this instance, we just sat there moaning and making yummy noises.

tommyeats
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Re:Bobcat Bite/Santa Fe, NM - Fri, 06/19/09 9:02 AM
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It is almost definitely Hatch, given this is New Mexico.  You can't duplicate the stuff without Hatch, which are very hard to find outside of that area, but you can make pretty damned good green chile with roasted poblanos.  The cheese was very mild, as I recall.  

mr chips
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Re:Bobcat Bite/Santa Fe, NM - Sat, 06/20/09 12:27 AM
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Another place i must try.

Baah Ben
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Re:Bobcat Bite/Santa Fe, NM - Tue, 06/23/09 3:30 AM
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Hatch, NM.  "The term Hatch Chili refers to any number of chilis grown in this area and not one specific chili"  
according to a yahoo.com search

"Hatch - The Chili Capital of the World." Yahoo.com They have a website.  Just search Hatch Chilis.  Explains their festival, etc. 


Extreme Glow
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Re:Bobcat Bite/Santa Fe, NM - Tue, 06/23/09 6:02 PM
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Thanks for the report and photos.  

I stopped at BB back in February and had a great burger (my second visit).  Will visit again...

buffetbuster
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Re:Bobcat Bite/Santa Fe, NM - Tue, 08/3/10 1:27 PM
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On his blog, George Motz returned to Bobcat Bite and reported some changes, including bigger patties, new bun and the availability of a bacon green chile cheeseburger.  Some of this has me worried, as in why mess with perfection.  But, I trust John and Bonnie Eckre.

http://hamburgeramerica.blogspot.com/2010/07/changes-at-bobcat-bite.html

I will be able to see for myself in a little more than a month.  It can't come soon enough!

ChiTownDiner
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Re:Bobcat Bite/Santa Fe, NM - Tue, 08/3/10 6:16 PM
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Looks mighty fine!  I may be interested...

PapaJoe8
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Re:Bobcat Bite/Santa Fe, NM - Tue, 08/17/10 7:44 PM
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I'm guessin that yummy lookin cheese is Monterrey Jack but I'm not sure. Anyone know?
Joe

carollwdls
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Re:Bobcat Bite/Santa Fe, NM - Fri, 08/20/10 9:51 PM
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PapaJoe, You asked, so I did as well... I emailed the Bobcat Bite folks & they responded. See below:

"Greetings!
The Roadfood.com people are all excited about trying the famous Bob Cat Bite GCC on their trip to NM next month. Several have clamored  to find out what kind of cheese y'all use on the burgers. I thought  I would just cut to the chase & inquire directly. :) Thanks for your time!
Sincerely,
Carol"

"Hi Carol,
We use a swiss/american blend cheese. 
Thank you for your EMail.
Bobcat Staff"

OK, so I overstated it a teensy bit about how many people wanted to know. But now we all do! 
CiaoMeOwwww! 

PapaJoe8
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Re:Bobcat Bite/Santa Fe, NM - Sat, 08/21/10 7:09 PM
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WOW, TY SBQ!

Swiss and American... whoda guessed?
Joe

buffetbuster
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Re:Bobcat Bite/Santa Fe, NM - Tue, 08/28/12 8:39 AM
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This past weekend was spent in New Mexico, which of course, guarantees a stop at Bobcat Bite.  But in all the times I have been here before, I did something new.  I ate here on a Sunday. 

They used to be closed on Sundays, but I appreciate the extra opportunity to get the famed green chile cheeseburger.
 
Arriving 15 minutes before they opened, there were several other cars already waiting in the parking lot for themto unlock the door.  By the time they officially opened, there was enough people waiting to fill the place.  I was lucky enough to snag my favorite seat, dead center of the counter.  What makes this the best seat is that you are positioned to get all the natural light from the picture window in the back, which is great for photo taking.  And you also can kill time waiting for your burger watching the hummingbirds enjoying the feeder.  Here are a few photos of the hummingbirds.



 
After about a half hour, my GCC came out. 


Just as beautiful as always.  And tasted just as spectacular as remembered.  Owner Bonnie Eckre did not wait on me.  Instead, I had a young woman I had not seen before, but she was constantantly refilling the iced tea after just a sip or two.  Bonnie told me she thought I looked familiar and when I reminded her of the Roadfood bus tour, she recalled ChiTownDiner, cousin Johnny and myself.  I asked her about the change in buns they made a few years ago.  She said that the hamburger bun they used would just disintegrate because of the juiciness of the meat.  They decided a hard roll would be too hard, so they worked with their bun provider in Albuquerque to come up with something in between.  The results are an even better product.  My bun was also well toasted, more than I had ever seen before.
 
On the side, an order of the sweet, bacony skillet beans,

which is only available during the Summer.  Confession time:  I didn't eat the entire burger.  Since there had already been two breakfasts on this morning, I had the second half wrapped to go and ate it at the airport sunport in Albuquerque.
 
The one regret was that since I am a nut frowner, I didn't try the homemade cookies for sale next to the counter.
 

ScreamingChicken
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Re:Bobcat Bite/Santa Fe, NM - Tue, 08/28/12 9:27 AM
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Nice photos!  Is the hummingbird feeder fairly close to the window?  And does it contain green chile nectar?

buffetbuster
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Re:Bobcat Bite/Santa Fe, NM - Tue, 08/28/12 10:06 AM
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SC-
The feeder is right outside the window, which makes it real easy for photo taking.  Management did try putting green chile nectar in the bird feeder, but they got tired of hitting me with brooms to shoo me away.

Sundancer7
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Re:Bobcat Bite/Santa Fe, NM - Tue, 08/28/12 10:40 AM
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A very good write and sure does look delicious.  Nothing like birding and burgers.  I may make that a stop on our round the USA trip.
Paul E. Smith
Knoxville, TN

Michael Hoffman
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Re:Bobcat Bite/Santa Fe, NM - Tue, 08/28/12 10:44 AM
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I hate you!
 
I thought I was really close the other day to getting lleechef to agree to a little drive after our boar hunt next month in Missouri. After all, I reasoned, it's just a one night stopover in Weatherford, Oklahoma before getting to Santa Fe from Rolla. I even pointed out how much she enjoyed her dinner at the steakhouse in Weatherford last summer. Didn't work.

buffetbuster
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Re:Bobcat Bite/Santa Fe, NM - Tue, 08/28/12 11:26 AM
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Michael, I thought we might hear from you.  Keep working on her.  We both know it is worth the extra drive!

Michael Hoffman
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Re:Bobcat Bite/Santa Fe, NM - Tue, 08/28/12 11:57 AM
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For some stramge reason she's upset about the price of gasoline.

lleechef
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Re:Bobcat Bite/Santa Fe, NM - Tue, 08/28/12 5:21 PM
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It does seem like a long way to go for a burger.  But then, it IS a green chile cheeseburger, best burger I've ever had.  I may reconsider!

buffetbuster
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Re:Bobcat Bite/Santa Fe, NM - Tue, 08/28/12 6:24 PM
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lleechef

I may reconsider!

 
Michael, you're welcome! 


Michael Hoffman
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Re:Bobcat Bite/Santa Fe, NM - Tue, 08/28/12 7:07 PM
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Thank you! Thank you!

badbyron722
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Re:Bobcat Bite/Santa Fe, NM - Sun, 01/20/13 4:34 PM
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Missed this place on our four corners adventure. Looks like an awesome Burger.

lleechef
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Re:Bobcat Bite/Santa Fe, NM - Sun, 01/20/13 6:37 PM
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What a shame.  I think it is one of buffetbuster's favorite places.  I know it's one of mine. 

carlton pierre
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Re:Bobcat Bite/Santa Fe, NM - Mon, 01/21/13 11:26 AM
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Nothing like a green chili cheeseburger!!

Wintahaba
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Re:Bobcat Bite/Santa Fe, NM - Mon, 01/21/13 12:25 PM
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For all you Bobcat Bite vets, what would be the preferred choice (and method) of green chile to use for making the burger at home? Remember I'm in NE Wisconsin. Thanks!

Michael Hoffman
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Re:Bobcat Bite/Santa Fe, NM - Mon, 01/21/13 12:58 PM
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Peeled, roasted Hatch chiles are the ones to use.
One source: http://www.hatch-chile.com/

billyboy
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Re:Bobcat Bite/Santa Fe, NM - Mon, 01/21/13 3:16 PM
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Wintahaba, Trader Joe's sells Hatch, NM chiles in the can.  I've bought them here in NYC so it's possible they may have them at other stores.  I checked their site and it says they have locations in Wisconsin in Brookfield, Glendale and Madison, if that helps.

Wintahaba
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Re:Bobcat Bite/Santa Fe, NM - Mon, 01/21/13 3:50 PM
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MH, Thanks, but the quantity is a little too much  Billyboy, Thank you...Trader Joe's is a hike,  but I do make the trek a few times a year. Do you roast them after opening or use them as is? Thanks, WH

agnesrob
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Re:Bobcat Bite/Santa Fe, NM - Mon, 01/21/13 3:55 PM
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I bought them this year at The Fresh Market. They sold quart containers of roasted hatch chilies with the charred skin on. I bought quite a few quarts and skinned and deseeded them, put them in zip locks and froze them for future use. I used some for a nice chicken hatch chili soup. I am definitely going to make some green chili cheese burgers very soon.

rneiner
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Re:Bobcat Bite/Santa Fe, NM - Mon, 01/21/13 4:09 PM
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Will be in Santa Fe in 3 weeks cant wait to try Bobcat Bites.

billyboy
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Re:Bobcat Bite/Santa Fe, NM - Mon, 01/21/13 4:10 PM
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WH, the ones at TraderJoe's are already roasted and can be used "as is" straight from the can.

buffetbuster
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Re:Bobcat Bite/Santa Fe, NM - Tue, 01/22/13 9:57 AM
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rneiner


Will be in Santa Fe in 3 weeks cant wait to try Bobcat Bites.
Lucky you!  Please report back and let us know what you think. 


artphon
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Re:Bobcat Bite/Santa Fe, NM - Tue, 01/22/13 10:23 AM
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Made a pilgrimage there on a vacation in NM in October, 2011. Turns out they close gor a week in October...that week :-( oh well, next time.

buffetbuster
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Re:Bobcat Bite/Santa Fe, NM - Tue, 01/22/13 10:45 AM
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artphon-
Oh no!  What bad luck!  I hope you get a chance to go back.

manofschwa
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Re:Bobcat Bite/Santa Fe, NM - Sun, 05/26/13 6:03 PM
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Just finished my first (and with the news of late, my last) visit to the Bobcat Bite. Is any burger worth a two-hour wait from the time you get on the seating list until your food is placed in front of you? Anyone answering no hasn't had a Bobcat Bite GCCB. This is without question the finest burger I've ever eaten.

All the accolades listed earlier in this thread are true, but there is a definite seasoning of the meat that is done to perfection. When combined with the incredibly flavored chiles and that tasty cheese blend, this becomes the burger version of manna from Heaven.

I'm choosing to look on the bright side of the Eckres leaving the venerable old spot and relocating elsewhere in Santa Fe. The GCCB is worth the two-hour wait, but if it can be had in 60 minutes, all the better.

Michael Hoffman
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Re:Bobcat Bite/Santa Fe, NM - Sun, 05/26/13 6:37 PM
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Congratulations on getting to the Bobcat  Bite. lleechef and I agree with you about their green chile cheeseburger. We think its the best burger we've ever had.
<message edited by Michael Hoffman on Sun, 05/26/13 6:47 PM>

lleechef
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Re:Bobcat Bite/Santa Fe, NM - Sun, 05/26/13 7:43 PM
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I make killer burgers at home....thick, grilled MR on good buns with cheese and slabs of fresh Ohio tomatoes but there is NOTHING like a GCCB at Bobcat Bite!  I know I can purchase the hatch chiles online....but there's something special about being in Santa Fe, talking to Bonnie about Alaska (she graduated from Elmendorf High School in Anchorage) and just devouring that delicious burger and hearing the stories about the bobcats.  I have eaten at many restaurants in many countries, Bobcat Bite is definitely in the top five.