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Oct 19, 2006 07:53 PM

Chile con Queso in Austin

It could be a campus spot with Extra Melt and Pickled Jalapenos...or it could be Queso Flameado from a Mexican Heavyhitter...the only thing that matters,really,is how does it taste? Just to get the ball rolling:What are y'alls thoughts on Janitzio's version on Riverside Drive.It's a bouillion bowl of spicy love.

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  1. Dunno Janitzio's.

    I'll admit to being a fool for Chuy's Queso Compuesto.

    1. My wife and I consume too much queso. We sometimes ruin meals because of it. We freaking love queso. We tend to be fans of a plain, smooth queso with lossa stuff tossed in.

      Polvo's brings you a plate of goodies (picadillo beef, fresh chopped japs, guacamole, pico) that you add in to suit your own taste. If you haven't tried this yet, leave wherever you are as soon as you read this, go there now, and order it.

      Curra's queso is good and loaded with tasty bits, and their vegetarian chorizo variant is good too. Sometimes I think I'm getting a potato bit -- rare, but delicious! Then I think, "Nahhh! There couldn't really be potato bits in here, could there? Probably just a chunk of onion that has been floating around long enough that it had been drained of onionyness..."

      Guero's queso is nondescript (although solid), but you can hit the free refill pico to load it up with juicy, fruity tomatobits! This is especially good for my wife, who sometimes treats queso as a vector for tomatoes.

      Finally, Matt's El Rancho is a seriously over-rated joint, but the Bob Armstrong Dip is possibly the most consistently excellent quesoesque treat in town. Titanic and unmatchable. If you plan on eating a full meal after your large Bob, come hungry.

      Finally, my only queso warning: Evita's Botanitas, while having a diverse and exciting salsa wheel, has queso that can only be descibed as "ballpark queso". This semisolid orange sludge must be thinned with salsa and pico to be consumed; even then, you could probably do as well at home with a brick of velveeta.

      3 Replies
      1. re: tom in austin

        Tom, that's because you ordered the wrong queso. Get the queso flameado with chorizo next time... it's a grease ball, but pretty tasty.

        1. re: catarata

          My great shame as an eater: I deeply prefer the gringo chile con queso (creamy, gloopy, yellow) to the greasy, lumpy queso flameado-style queso (thick, stringy, greasy, near-white).

          I like flameado, don't get me wrong. I'll happy throw stringy, greasy wads of cheese (peppered with onions, peppers, cactus, what have you) on fresh tortillas and jam them down.

          But maybe because of my upbringing, I prefer the Americanized variant. And to my shame, many places I don't otherwise like have great chile con queso (by my metric). And many places I *love* have no gringo chile con queso at all!

          What to do?! Other than continue to jam queso down my piehole, I mean...

          1. re: tom in austin

            As mentioned above, I agree the best Americanized queso is at Polvo's and also Los Pino's. Both are done the same way - stereotypical creamy yellow beginnings, but is brought out with lots of potential additions; onion, cilantro, greasy chili meat, guac, etc. LOVE that.

      2. OK've got me ready for a Queso run when I am in Austin next summer for the music products convention. Your list would allow me to visit all the places I've wanted to. Add Chuy's to the mix for my beloved Queso Compuesto, and I'm betting we can fully clog our arteries in one evening.

        Up for it?

        1. Thanks for the about some more obscure tips? Surely there's a beat up transmission shop outside Bastrop where the owner's grandma comes in on Friday night and sells El Presidente flamed Queso Blanco? Do y'all know a place that flames the queso at the table?

          1. When I get a craving for real Mexican Queso Flameado, I go to La Palapa.