ORIGINAL BOWLS: CHILI Thursday, June 14, 2012

New Mexico’s official state motto is, translated from the Latin: “It goes as it grows.” Okay, we’ll wait while you scratch your heads, because, on its surface, it definitely feels kinda postmodern, which is especially confounding when you realize that it’s official adoption predates modernism by several decades. Regardless, we rather like it. It’s a fine motto.

But ask any New Mexican what their true state motto is, and they’ll invariably say, without pausing, “Red or green?”

So what, besides Scottish plaid, most of Boy George’s dreams, or Freddy Kreuger’s iconic, seldom-changed sweater, are red and green?

The answer, if you’ve even been to New Mexico, is, of course, chiles, meaning what color, and therefore, what flavor of chile do you want to pair with your meal?

When you join us for lunch, you’ll probably hear the same question from us, except we’re talking chilis, not chiles. You know, chili, as in Texas.

You can get it by the bowl, by the cup or, as part of our Qwik Combo, with either a small salad or a half-sando. And you can get it red, or you can get it green.

If you’ve ever had a plate of our Chili Cheese Fries, you’ve had our Red Chili, made with, among other things, garlic, carrots, onions, tomatoes, ground beef, pork and, just because, bacon, all of which is seasoned with secret spices and simmered down to a rich, meaty, mouth-watering bowl of yummy goodness that would make even the most politely reticent Texan blush.

The same, we think, can be said of our Green Chili, most prominently featured as the sauce that puts the zip in our Chilaquiles, and so colored by the inclusion of several south-of-the-border ingredients, but made primarily of roasted pork shoulder, tomatillos, jalapeños and, of course, green chiles.

And if you don’t dig on pork, you can always pair your small Oregon Salad with a bowl of our Meatless Green Chili, in which we swap out the pig for a long list of seasonal vegetables.

So, now that you know the question, what will your answer be?