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May 3, 2008 10:35 PM

flaming cheese (queso flameado)

Anyone know if there are any SF restaurants that serve queso flameado (flaming cheese) it is soft white cheese baked and topped with chorizo and onions. Booze is poured over and ignited. It is served with tortillas and can be very delicious... I need a fix.

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  1. I guess without the flaming booze, this is queso fundido? I know I've had queso fundido out and about, but I can't recall where.

    Foodibytes reports it's at Tres Agaves, Chava's, La Parilla, El Herradero, Roosevelt Tamale Parlor, Mamacita, etc. None of the above strike me as all that great.

    Any other hounds have a recommendation for a specific place?

    1. The Bay Area is not big on Tex-Mex dishes. You might need to make it yourself. Lots of recipes on the web.

      It is difficult to find queso fundido even which is similar but minus the booze. Here are some topics of queso fundido sightings. Maybe you could sweet talk one of these joints into flaming it.

      You might have better luck trying to arrange it with one of the more upscale type of joints like Tres Agaves which is mentioned as having queso fundido in one of the above links.

      7 Replies
      1. re: rworange

        Tex-Mex? Not!

        1. One of the original signature definitions of Tex-Mex is the use of yellow cheese.
        2. This dish can be found all over Mexico.

        1. re: larochelle

          While its true that Queso Flameado is popular throughout Northern Mexico and can be found in the Central part of the country... its isn't particularly ubiquitous outside of Nuevo Leon & Chihuhua.... even when it is... you usually find at a very specific type of Mexican restaurant that goes back to early 20th Century dining. They are in great degree the prototype of the gawdy-caricature American style Mexican restaurant in that they are rustic hacienda style homes, with bow tie wearing servers, Queso Flameado is always on the menu as well as salads, guacamole & salsas made table side... Bacon wrapped Tenderloins, deep fried Cornish Game hens with Guacamole etc.

          Those types of restaurants are rare as you go south of Nuevo Leon & Chihuahua.

          1. re: Eat_Nopal

            EN, do you have knowledge you can share about baked parmesan cheese as a mexican appetizer, or maybe there's nothing mexican about it? I have only had it or even seen it offered in some higher end restaurants in DF. It comes in the form of a little wheel about the size of a hockey puck, and I was at first surprised at how baking can soften the texture so much. Pretty tasty.
            Feliz cinco de Mayo!

            1. re: Veggo

              Was it parmesan, cotija or "dried fresco"? Dried/Stale Fresco has been baked in various forms and served as Apps for a long time (it shows up in old classic cookbooks)... one method I've had is to marinade it in Olive Oil & Mexican Oregano for a day.... then its served with tortillas (of course) and a simple salsa. Is it ubiquitous... not really... but not uncommon either.

              As far as Parmesan or Cotija go... I really haven't seen a whole baked disk... but what is fairly common is to get "chicharrones"... thin crispy sheets.

              1. re: Eat_Nopal

                EN, thanks for the info. I can't vouch for what cheese it really was, but it was represented as parmesan. That surprised me initially because parmesan is not typically mexican, and is as solid as a chunk of granite in its usual state. Whatever it was, after being baked it still held its shape, i.e. did not melt or liquefy, and had a texture similar to cheddar. Your thought about olive oil and mexican oregano may be on point, because there was no hint of burn or crispiness on the outside, and a flavor that may have been enhanced with herbs.
                It was one of many mexican delicacies I was introduced to by my business partners there, with whom I became close friends and to whom I am grateful for countless dining experiences in Mexico that are not accessible to visitors. ( I was your cobalt blue dude getting in to the private clubs :) )

                1. re: Veggo

                  I recall a recent article (web, mag ??) on making parmesan rounds as well as shaping them into little cups to hold whatever you wished to fill them with. Will look for it if you're interested.

                  I see from your profile that one of your go to dishes is death-by-garlic Caesar salad, if you've posted the recipe on the Home Cooking board, would love to have the link, if not would you consider sharing?
                  Thanks a 1.0 x 10^6.

                  1. re: Veggo

                    With regards to Parmesan.... I actually think that Cotija is just a Mexican version of Pecorino Romano (most of the celebrated aged cheese in Mexico hails from towns that are near Italian settlements... like Cotija vis-a-vis Nueva Italia, Michoacan... and other similar examples in Puebla, Veracruz & Coahuila).

                    In any case... Parmesan or Cotija would seem to be a little too much in that prep... but then again I would never have expected various Fish & Shellfish to be so great in Mole... so who knows?

                    The nice thing about Fresco is that it holds it does hold its shape well... and once you age it for a couple of weeks... it is pungent enough to be interesting & the texture becomes perfect for baking.

                    By the way... there are also places in Mexico were you can find Panela Flameada with a result very similar to Saganaki... again I think that is an Italian influence as both Greece & Sicily have honeycomb shaped cheeses (and seem to be fairly unique to those areas)