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Quest for Mexican Restaurant with White Cheese dip

You know the dip - comes out in a shallow bowl, searing hot liquid at first, but quickly congeals if you aren't consuming it quickly enough. This variety of cheese dip is easily found in the strip malls of most southern cities, Atlanta for example has them everywhere, in Mexican restaurants that have roughly 78 numbered order options which are really just five different entrees mixed and matched into different combinations. The sodas come out in gallon-sized plastic cups, and there's a dusty pinata hanging in the corner.

I don't want authentic. I don't want fresh. The quest for the perfect taqueria is better left to other threads.

I want this experience, and I know it has to exist somewhere in or around Washington DC. Come on foodies - help a brother out.

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  1. Try Banana Café and Piano Bar or Las Placitas Restaurante (both on Barracks Row on 8th Street, SE) for a nice, chill "sit-down" spot. El Tamarindo (Adams Morgan) might be more up your alley.

    Otherwise, there's always California Tortilla. I actually like their con queso as much as the others I mentioned.

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    Las Placitas
    517 8th St SE, Washington, DC 20003

    El Tamarindo
    1785 Florida Ave NW, Washington, DC 20009

    1. I believe you are talking about Queso Fundido. You can order it with chorizo (awesome orange oil floating on top of cheese) and jalepenos (used to love it at El Azteca in ATL). You can get a version of it at Uncle Julio's in Ballston.

      4 Replies
      1. re: sekelmaan

        I too dig the fundido. They make a great version with poblano peppers at Guajillo in Arlington, but the dip I'm thinking of is a lot less classy.

        Banana Cafe and El Tamarindo are decent spots as well, but they don't have what I'm looking for. Don't get me started on Las Placitas (I'm pretty sure they use Tostitos Cheese Dip for their dip, which is yellow).

        I know it's out there - I will keep you all posted if I find it.

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        Las Placitas
        517 8th St SE, Washington, DC 20003

        El Tamarindo
        1785 Florida Ave NW, Washington, DC 20009

        1. re: fisherdm

          If your thinking about less classy and delicious (despite your description, which I also thought sounded like Queso Fundido), Toucan Taco in Laurel has incredible chile con queso, although it's yellow.

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          Toucan Taco
          315 Gorman Ave, Laurel, MD 20707

          1. re: fisherdm

            Does anyone have a recipe for said dip? I'd love to try my hand at making my own.

            1. re: elledeepea

              That's a great question - I will do some research on this and report back with my findings. Incidentally, a friend has informed me that Los Cuates on Wisconsin Avenue in Georgetown has what I'm looking for. I'm going tonight - fingers crossed!

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              Los Cuates Restaurant
              1564 Wisconsin Ave. nw, Washington, DC 20007

        2. Mi Rancho up in Silver Spring serves Queso Fundido too. yum!

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          Mi Rancho Restaurant
          1488 Rockville Pike Ste A, Rockville, MD 20852

          1. Sounds to me like you're talking about the amazing cheese dip from Taxco.... god I miss that dip!! I have not been able to find such a dip in DC even though I've been looking for 7 years. I did find a white cheese dip in Lewes, DE at Agave if you're ever on the DE beach coast. It's truly amazing to me that with all the Mexican Restaurants here, they don't have a queso available!

            1. Oyamel. For sure. I ordered it there, and it did exactly what you describe.

              1. Well if you want the unclassy version then definitely Don Pablos. Seems to be like the dip you describe. They even have a queso sampler I beleive.

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                Don Pablo's
                14600 Laurel Pl, Laurel, MD 20707

                1. I found it people. Los Cuates in Georgetown. 1564 Wisconsin Ave NW

                  Liquid white cheese dip served in a heavy crock. Recommend getting the guac too, which comes with thicker chips, which are perfect for dipping into the white cheese.

                  The rest of the menu is standard, including the numbered combo dinner options, and the ambiance is your typical bright colored sombreros pinned to the walls.

                  Because it's around the corner from Georgetown, we were the only non-students in the place at 9:00pm on a Thursday evening, and it was incredibly loud.

                  But man, that dip was what I've been looking for.

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                  Los Cuates Restaurant
                  1564 Wisconsin Ave. nw, Washington, DC 20007

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: fisherdm

                    I am so very excited! We just moved up here from Atlanta and I was in pure shock when I kept ordering queso at different Mexican joints and it kept coming out yellow or orange!!!!! Why is white queso so hard to find here?!?!?!? I had to make a trip back to Atlanta to get my fix. I have been on a mad hunt for that fabulous white queso you are talking about since we moved here. I cannot wait to try Los Cuates! Thank you so much!

                  2. I bought "queso quesadilla" cheese at Eastern Market and made it myself. Better than any restaurant:
                    http://www.washingtonian.com/blogs/be...
                    or
                    http://www.fronterakitchens.com/cooki...

                    1. El Paso Grill has several locations in the area and they have the white queso dip...just had it a couple of weeks ago!

                      http://www.elpasomexicanrestaurants.c...

                      3 Replies
                      1. re: sleestak

                        Where is the Eastern Market? Those recipes sounds delicious, but the queso I'm looking for is just plain white soupy looking queso that sometimes comes with jalapenos in it, but that's it......

                        Is that what El Paso Grill serves? I looked at the menu and it sounds like it might be it!!!
                        Thanks!

                        1. re: girlification

                          Yes, that is exactly what El Paso serves. Eastern Market is in SE DC. http://www.easternmarket-dc.org/

                          1. re: sleestak

                            Yay!!! Awesome. So excited. Thank you for the information!!!

                      2. Did you ever find it? I am a fellow southern queso lover moving to DC