Queso Roundup: Exploring Southlake’s Tex-Mex Scene
Jan 12, 2018 02:19PM
● By Ashley Madonna
Nothing beats a hot bowl of queso on a cold winter day – or any day really if you ask us. But not all melted cheese is created equally. We’ve dipped a lot of chips into a lot of bowls to find this city’s best queso. See if your favorite Tex-Mex spot made the list.
For a fresh, sophisticated dining experience, you have to stop into Anamia's Tex-Mex. With favorites like a scrumptious enchilada plate and house specialties like the Tacos a la Mexicana, there's so much to choose from. This family-owned and -operated North Dallas Tex-Mex restaurant group has four different queso options, but their Kelli's Queso with a creamy blend of melted cheeses layered with guacamole and spicy taco meat stands out. You can smell the picadillo as soon as it makes your way to your table, and you won't be able to rest until your bowl is empty.
The Mexican bistro is known to bring out a crowd during the lunch break, and for good reason. Their menu gives you the power to build your own experience by selecting whether you want a burrito, taco, nachos, bowl or salad. While you are creating your own adventure, make sure to remember that glorious melted cheese. Their queso uses New Mexican green chilies, tomatoes and spices to create its flavor profile. And it’s known to pack a spicy punch, so a little bit goes a long way. So whether you like it on top of your tacos or as a side serving, you can’t go wrong upgrading your meal with queso.
You can’t talk about Tex-Mex without talking about Chuy’s. The Austin-cult favorite is a must for tasty margaritas and their Creamy Jalapeño sauce. But don’t forget about their queso. Whether you want their traditional Chile Con Queso or want to upgrade to their Queso Compuesto with seasoned ground sirloin, guacamole and pico de gallo, you’ll thank yourself for making the order after you have your first bite. And with their super thin, crispy chips, you are basically burning calories as you snack on them, right? If not, don’t tell us. Ignorance is bliss.
Guests feel a sense a comfort as soon as they walk through the doors at Cristina’s Fine Mexican Restaurant. Relax with the Tex-Mex favorites that have built up this local favorite since it opened its doors in 1989. But even though they’ve been around for more than 25 years, the chefs keep their dishes current by infusing different aspects of Mexico and its beautiful flavors into the menu’s options, which gives them something really special. And you can taste that both in the Chile con Queso or the Queso Mexicano, a creamy chile con queso blended with spicy ground beef, guacamole, sour cream jalapeños and pico de gallo.
Even though the original restaurant is right down the road in Fort Worth, we are happy there’s a Fuzzy’s Taco Shop in town that we can jump over to whenever we need a taco fix. And while waiting on the entrees, it’s almost required that you order one of their chips and queso options. Each basket of tortilla chips is seasoned with Fuzzy Dust that gives each bite a pop of flavor. And their creamy blend of cheeses makes the queso shine. To spice it up, get your queso with chorizo or their special ground beef.
The Dallas-based restaurant started out with a modest 12-tablespace shop back in 1991 but has since grown into a huge player in the Tex-Mex game. When you dine at Mi Cocina, you don’t ask yourself if you are gonna start with queso. You ask yourself whether you are going to enjoy the Chile con Queso or the Queso Blanco. And while both are great, the rich and spicy blend of melted white cheeses, fresh tomatoes and poblano pepper make the Queso Blanco a must-have appetizer. You can also add slow-roasted brisket or seasoned picadillo beef on top for no additional charge, so you have nothing to lose.
Combining traditional Mexican recipes, modern Santa Fe influences and Tex-Mex flavors, the minds behind Mi Dia from Scratch knew what they were doing when they opened up in Grapevine. While their innovative menu includes lots of great finds, you’ll want to pump up the fun with their Queso Fundido. Their melted jack cheese base is topped with chorizo and roasted poblano peppers and is served with their Roasted Tomatillo and Chile Arbol sauces on the side. This queso order is all about the experience with servers rolling the tasty combination into house-made flour tortillas tableside.
Hear us out. We know this may seem like an odd one to add to the list, but Taco Bueno is bringing it with their 2018 queso additions. Buenoheads can still expect to see their creamy signature queso on the menu, but they should also be on the lookout for their Cowboy Queso, topped with black beans, guacamole, sour cream and pico de gallo, and Chili Bean Queso, topped with ground beef, chili sauce and slow-roasted refried beans. Tell them what you think about their new options by using the hashtag, #LetsTalkTexMex.
And last but certainly not least, we land on the local favorite, Torchy’s Tacos. The Austin-based chain has spread throughout the state supporting Texans’ need for queso for years. When you come in, all you have to decide is if you are going to stick with their classic Green Chile Queso, topped with guacamole, cotija cheese, cilantro and their famous Diablo sauce, or try out their Hillbilly Queso that includes all of that and Texas chorizo. And even when you get a full order to split before enjoying your tacos, don’t forget to make your tacos trashy so you can continue the queso full throughout your dining experience. You can thank us later.
Did you see your favorite queso spot? If not, tell us about it in the comments.