This time, it was my turn to celebrate a birthday. Hungry for a little excitement (and cheese, obviously), Amanda and I decided to take the day off work and spend the afternoon on South Congress in Austin. The area is full of delicious restaurants and unique (okay, strange) shops, which was right up our alley. We agreed that spicy cheese would need to be an important part of the celebration, so we planned ahead and found Guero’s, a popular queso-serving restaurant in the heart of South Congress.
After getting our margaritas ordered (because birthday!), we opened our menus and carefully considered which one of the two quesos to eat. The Chile Con Queso sounded like your standard chip-dipping fare, and there was also a Queso Flameado, which sounded similar to the one we tried at Sazón. Traditional choices like the Chile Con Queso are sometimes the best ones, but the other option included the word “flame” in the name, which we quite liked. Who doesn’t want their food to involve fire?
It was a heart-wrenching choice, but we finally settled on the Chile Con Queso. Right away, we were in agreement that the queso was wonderfully cheesy and had a nice consistency – not too liquidy, and not too thick. Disappointingly, however, it had no spice. As stated in previous critiques, we expect a little zing – especially when we’re at a Tex-Mex place.
For those reasons, we gave the Chile Con Queso a 6.5 (Revised: 2.3).
Feeling a little dissatisfied about our less-than-stellar birthday cheese, Amanda and I made an important decision. When our waiter returned to the table, we gave him apologetic and embarrassed expressions and begged him not to judge us. After he promised, we requested that he bring us the other queso option.
Or, as we put it, “the queso with the flames.”
Our sweet server successfully hid any horror he was experiencing, and cheerfully told us that he liked our style. And by “style,” I think he meant our aptitude for cheese consumption.
The Queso Flameado was well worth our slight feelings of shame. Like the one at Sazón, this dish contained cheese and chilies that had been softened, as opposed to being fully melted. It was appropriately spicy and had a fabulous grilled/charred taste to it. Yum. We gleefully spooned mountains of cheese onto fresh tortillas, and bounced like hyper little kids in our seats.
It really just doesn’t take much to get us excited.
We gave the Queso Flameado a very commendable 9 (Revised: 4). We believed Sazón, the current front-runner, still deserved a small half-point edge over this one, because their dish had included chorizo; otherwise, these two non-traditional quesos are true equals.