NewsAdventures with Alan


Adventures with Alan tours the top-3 sloppers in Pueblo

Gray's Coors Tavern
Posted at 6:37 PM, Mar 11, 2023
and last updated 2023-03-12 19:49:59-04

PUEBLO — In our exclusive series Adventures with Alan, we'll travel across Southern Colorado week-by-week to show you thrills and chills, hidden gems and well-known spots.

One part burger, one part green chili. The Pueblo slopper is the Steel City's most iconic dish!

"Oh, I love it. I have friends that come in from out of state from Kansas and they're like, when are we going to get us a slopper," said Pueblo slopper fan Frank Musso.

Popular, messy and delicious, the slopper is being celebrated once again in 2023 by the Greater Pueblo Chamber of Commerce.

"We felt like we needed to hear from the locals. What were their favorites, and that way we could promote it to visitors coming to Pueblo and have them try the local favorites," said Donielle Kitzman, Vice President of the Pueblo Chamber of Commerce.

The contest that was held online earlier this year has now been posted online as a self-guided tour.

Through social media and their website, the Pueblo Chamber recorded thousands of votes, which allowed them to put together this year's top-10 list.

Pueblo's #3 ranked slopper — Heart & Soul Grill at Star Bar

To show us the best of the best, Kitzman offered to meet up with us for this adventure at Star Bar, home to Heart & Soul Grill.

It's here that we're introduced to Star Bar Owner Sam Romero and Heart & Soul Kitchen Manager Frank Lopez.

When asked what makes their slopper so special, Lopez said, "So it's so special and unique because we get all our chile (peppers) here from Pueblo."

The legend of the Pueblo slopper dates back to the early 1950s, but there's some debate as to where in town it may have originated.

"I've been told by the old timers that come in that have been here forever that this is where it started," said Romero.

More on that later, but first, it's time to sample the slopper from Heart & Soul Grill.

For my first slopper, I find the chili to be a little spicy, but not bad, and overall quite delicious. The made-from-scratch fries...also a very nice touch!

Pueblo's #2 ranked slopper — Sunset Inn

Family run since the early 1980s, the Sunset Inn is well known for their huge burgers and some of Pueblo's best green chili.

Asked why they think they're the best, Sunset Inn Manager Casey Gibbons said, "I think that our sloppers have always been consistent. I mean it's been the same year after year after year."

And with a recipe this good, why change it?

Gibbons tells me that it dates back several generations.

"When my Dad wanted to put sloppers on the menu, he had to have his Mom's recipe," said Gibbons.

The slopper at the Sunset Inn comes available in three different sizes, and if you go large, you'll need a big appetite to finish your meal.

For my second slopper...I found the burger here to be huge, delicious and juicy. Plus, I thought that the chili was outstanding as well, and very, very flavorful.

Pueblo's #1 ranked slopper — Gray's Coors Tavern

Right in the heart of the Steel City, Coors as the locals call it, has been serving their slopper for decades.

According to "Uncover Colorado" and co-owner Dean Gray, this is the true birthplace of the slopper.

"People for one in Pueblo love tradition. They love green chili, and you know, being the home of the slopper, it just kind of goes all together. People just come in and support us and we appreciate it," said Gray.

Gray says that they go through four to ten pots of green chili a day, and like the Sunset, their recipe is timeless and tasty.

When asked what makes his slopper the best in town, Gray said, "It's an easy answer to that, it's the green chili obviously. Pueblo chiles, green chili is a staple in Pueblo and we think ours is one of the best," said Gray.

His customers agree!

"I'll be honest with you, the chili speaks for itself. I couldn't put it in words to describe how good it is to eat here. It is number one," said Musso.

After taking a few bites for myself, I can see why fans of the Coors Tavern slopper have so much love for Gray's chili.

It's hearty and bursting with flavor, and following Gray's lead by adding oyster crackers to the dish, well that was a super nice touch!

My final thoughts

Even though this adventure set me back a few pounds, it was well worth it!

All three sloppers that I tried were so flavorful and so scrumptious.

My main takeaway after talking to Star Bar (Heart & Soul Grill), Sunset Inn and Gray's Coors Tavern is that both the green chili and consistency of their dishes matter the most. That's what makes the most perfect slopper.

I want to thank Donielle Kitzman with the Greater Pueblo Chamber of Commerce for taking the time to show to us around.

If you'd like to check out the Pueblo slopper scene for yourself, you can visit the chamber's website - Visit Pueblo.

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