The Blue Goose: Restaurant Guide 2014

2725 SE Ankeny St., 235-2222.

[WESTWARD THE WAGONS] Tex-Mex is out, New Mex is in. In the past year, three new restaurants specializing in the Enchantment State's chile-fired cuisine have popped up in town, including this good egg in the former Esparza's space. Long before its fling with taxidermic armadillos, the building housed a watering hole named the Blue Goose. The name returns, though the cocktail menu is now agave-driven—try the strawberry basil margarita or the stiff but bright tequila old-fashioned ($10)—and the must-try dish is now the green-chile cheeseburger ($10.50), a thick half-pound slab of beef on a soft brioche bun with a super-sweet marinated tomato, ground Hatch chile peppers and layer of crispy aged cheddar. The other killer entree is a beastly burrito stuffed with ultra-rich pork shoulder, heat-dripping Hatch chiles, salted crema and Yukon gold potatoes ($12.50) that comes out barely contained by a brave-but-doomed-to-fail tortilla. You can't order those from the bar or on the patio, where instead they serve tacos, $7.50 a pair. I like the deeply smoky, salty pecho de vaca, beautifully balanced with a salsa of pickled corn and the vegetarian-friendly pasilla-roasted squash. MARTIN CIZMAR.

Pro tip:

Keep an eye on the seasonal salads, which on our late-fall visit included a Latinized version of a Caprese salad with heirloom tomatoes and queso fresca, and grill-blackened corn on the cob with caramelized garlic-lime butter glaze and salty cotija.

5-10 pm Tuesday-Thursday, 5 pm-midnight Friday and Saturday. $$.