Only a Texas transplant truly appreciates the rarity of good queso north of the homeland.
Though many I know judge – and harshly – the quality of a restaurant based solely on the mastery of its salsa offerings, I tend to lean toward queso as a barometer of success instead. To reach the Tex-Mex ideal of a golden, molten, not-entirely-natural bowl of mildly spicy cheesy heaven, viscosity is key. The mixture should be not so thick as to support a standing chip, but not so thin as to drizzle miserably off a wanly-coated one, either. It should be just spicy enough to light a fire in your mouth, but not so much to make you suffer before your inevitably delayed water refill, and I prefer mine to be festooned with some mixture of south of the border goodies – pico de gallo, cilantro, jalapenos and yes, even more cheese in the form of queso fresco or cotija.
Settle in with a toasty bowl of lightly salted tortilla chips (not from a bag, please and thank you), or better yet, a few hot griddled flour tortillas for dipping, and tell me you’ve never eaten your fill before the entree arrives.