Battle of the Scottsdale Green Chile Bacon Cheeseburgers: Greasewood Flat vs. Carlsbad Tavern

Greasewood Flat GCBCB.jpg
JK Grence
Greasewood Flat's Green Chile Bacon Cheeseburger
One of the finest examples of a regional guilty pleasure in the desert Southwest is the green chile cheeseburger. While it's more of a New Mexico specialty (where the green chile shares State Vegetable honors with the humble pinto bean), fine examples have found their way west to the desert that we call home. It so happens that two excellent ones are on opposite ends of Scottsdale, and both (of course) have bacon as an available option. Whose reigns supreme? Let's get on the trail!

See Also: Want fries with that? Battle Fries: Joe's Farm Grill vs. Bourbon Steak

In This Corner: Greasewood Flat
The Setup: Greasewood Flat started life as an 1800s stagecoach stop bunkhouse. Since the mid-1970s, it's been one of the metro Phoenix area's quintessential dive bars. They earned a spot on Esquire Magazine's list of best bars in the country. The rustic, ramshackle style of the place stands in stark contrast to the swank Four Seasons Resort just down the street, and the numerous chichi McMansions that dot the landscape. In addition to plentiful cold beer (including a terrific local draft selection from a fairly new tap house), Greasewood Flat offers up a small menu including hot dogs and hamburgers.

The Good: Greasewood Flat could give a number of much nicer places a lesson in how to properly cook a burger. The patty is seasoned and well-seared. The bun is nicely toasted (Seriously, what IS it with all these expensive burger joints that can't be bothered to toast the damn bun?! [flips a table, pauses a moment, takes a deep breath] But I digress.). Bacon is thick, crispy, and plentiful. Cheddar cheese on the burger is properly melted.

Greasewood Flat Fire and Band.jpg
image courtesy Ben Sweaney
If this looks like fun to you, Greasewood Flat is your kind of place.
The Bad: I could have gone for more green chile on the burger. I can always order extra next time. The patty is promised medium unless requested otherwise (something I always forget to request until it's much too late), but came out closer to medium-well. It wasn't unforgivably off, but it was noticeable. Ruffles potato chips on the side are a yawn, but almost a given with the picnic-style dining area. The location is best described as "remote" to all but a handful of metro Phoenix residents. My usual directions include "Drive until you think you missed it, drive another mile, and turn right".

Their Special Move: How much you enjoy yourself at Greasewood Flat depends on three words: Live country music. They play a little classic rock, but a little twang is always present. Oh, also, the vast majority of seating is outdoors; arrive a little before sunset for maximum effect. Fire pits are plentiful for chilly evenings (it's noticeably cooler here than in the middle of town), but you're on your own to load 'em up.

Location Info

Greasewood Flat

27375 N. Alma School Parkway, Scottsdale, AZ

Category: Restaurant

Carlsbad Tavern and Restaurant

3313 N. Hayden Road, Scottsdale, AZ

Category: Restaurant


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