Boise eatery Green Chile offers an important lesson for the food snobs out there: It's what's on the inside that counts.
While some people would rather face grievous personal injury than sully their reputations by being seen at a restaurant in a strip mall, those who let the bland exterior of the State Street restaurant keep them away aren't hurting anyone but themselves. Green Chile is a bastion of Southwestern cuisine in the High Desert, where a bowl of green is a dish that will keep your insides burning for the better part of a week and a bowl of red will clear up any lingering sinus problems.
The menu is filled with what would appear at first glance to be run-of-the-mill Mexican restaurant standards—burritos, tacos, enchiladas—but a Southwestern twist makes things go from mundane dinner to a culinary test of heat tolerance.
Green Chile takes full advantage of the Hatch chiles that are the trademark of New Mexican cooking, creating green and red sauces that will slowly simmer their way up to nearly volcanic intensity. If you ignore the fact that the green chile looks like a bowl of bubbling snot, the slow-cooked tenderness of generous chunks of pork will keep you diving in, despite the fact that your insides are steadily burning.
If you're more interested in the smoky sweetness of the ancho pepper, go for the bowl of red, which though less spicy, is about as good of bowl of chili as you can experience. Nearly everything at the modest restaurant comes either smothered in, or sided by, red or green sauce, a fact which those who make it past the strip mall exterior will relish.