The best Slopper in Colorado can be found in Wheat Ridge, not Pueblo.
I may have just started a feud with the people of Pueblo with the title of this article, but I can say with certainty that the best Slopper in Colorado can be found at El Aguascalientes Mexican Restaurant in Wheat Ridge.
First, if you don’t know what a Slopper is you’re missing out! A Slopper can be succinctly described as a green chili-smothered cheeseburger. The dish has its origins in Pueblo because with green chili that good, you can’t help but smother just about everything in it. If you’ve ever had one, you know that it is comfort food at its best and quintessentially Colorado. Sloppers are not as popular in the Denver area and can be hard to find in these parts, so when I found one listed on the menu, I knew I had to give it a try.
The menu at Aguascalientes is gigantic, both in size and quantity. You might not find the Slopper on the menu even if you are looking for it. It can be found on the lunch menu on the back page under the burgers section disguised as a “Sloppy Green Chili Ground Beef,” but rest assured that this is the elusive Slopper.
The first difference that makes this preparation special is that instead of burger patties, the buns are topped with ground beef like a traditional “sloppy joe” but a Tex-Mex version with seasoned taco meat that isn’t sweet and of course smothered in green chili and cheese. Pico de Gallo salsa is added for color and a dollop of sour cream cuts into the heat of the green chili.
What really puts this Slopper head and shoulders above the others is that it is served with chili cheese fries instead of plain fries. There is something magical that happens when you smother fries with green chili and cheese. It’s like peanut butter and jelly where the combination of ingredients is transformed into something that is greater than the sum of their parts. For those of you who have ever had the chili cheese fries at the Original Chubby’s on 38th and Lipan you know what I’m talking about. It’s the combination of the seasoned-taco-meat-style Slopper plated alongside the chili cheese fries smothered in green chili and melted cheese that brings this dish to a critical mass of comfort food all on one plate that others just can’t compete with.
If you’re already a fan of the Slopper or just intrigued by this Colorado original dish, you’ve got to give the one at Aguascalientes a try and decide for yourself if this one’s got Pueblo’s beat.
El Aguascalientes Mexican Restaurant is located at 4105 Wadsworth Blvd., in Wheat Ridge.
Chris Miller is the Wheat Ridge City Treasurer and self-described local foodie.