Bill to make green chile cheeseburger state burger advances to floor vote

Kai Porter and the Associated Press
February 21, 2017 09:12 PM

If one state lawmaker gets his way, an iconic staple of  New Mexico cuisine – the green chile cheeseburger --  will soon become the official burger of the state.


All day long, green chile cheeseburgers fly off the grill at Shake Foundation in Santa Fe and into the hands of hungry customers.

That's why owner Brian Knox says making the best-selling item an official state symbol is a good proposal.

"I think it's fantastic," said Knox. "I think it's long overdue that we celebrate the number one crop in New Mexico. A crop that is nationally and internationally known: green chile!"

Rep. Matthew McQueen, D-Galisteo, is sponsoring the bill (HB 118).

"The cattle growers like it, the restaurant association likes it, the chile growers like it, the Tourism Department likes it, the Department of Agriculture likes it," said McQueen. "This is a way we could really highlight New Mexico."

McQueen says he got inspiration for the bill during last year's Legislative session when someone delivered plain burgers for a working lunch. He thought they should have been green chile cheeseburgers.

McQueen believes his bill will bolster the state's reputation for serving some of the best -- and hottest -- hamburgers in the country.

"I've a had a few questions like 'Don't you think we have more important things we should be doing?' and of course we do, but we can do this too and it's something that's really good for New Mexico."

The bill already passed two committees in the house and is now up for a floor vote.

If it passes, the green chile cheeseburger would join a list of symbols including the roadrunner as the state bird, the hot air balloon as the state aircraft, chile as a state vegetable, the biscochito as the state cookie, and "red or green?" as the state question.


Kai Porter and the Associated Press

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