I love queso.
Cheese by itself is already practically perfection, but when you make that cheese all melty, and add in salsa and spices and other delicious items, you have even perfecter perfection. Plus, queso is healthy. It’s got all that lovely calcium, and protein, and…er, vegetables.
One evening, after a rough day at work, my fellow queso-appreciating friend, Amanda (that’s right, we have the same name), and I decided that alcohol and salty snacks were in order. Before our drinks arrived, we complained to each other about our days, all the while gracefully shoveling queso-doused chips into our gullets.
After a few minutes of this, I realized that I was feeling much calmer and less stabby. Now, it’s possible that venting to an understanding friend is what made me feel better; however, Amanda and I agreed that the more likely explanation was that the queso had sedated us. Spicy, cheesy sedation.
It’s highly likely that we’ve stumbled upon a ground-breaking idea here. Just imagine the transformation in medicine: everyone being encouraged to put down the anti-depressants and benzodiazepines in favor of eating copious amounts of cheese. Lactose-intolerant folks would be shit out of luck, though. Literally.
But before we had the chance to revolutionize mental health, we came up with another, slightly-less-questionable plan. We were facing a long summer with no exciting vacation plans for either of us – and the smallish town we live in wasn’t promising any major thrills, either.
We needed something to do with our spare time – something to look forward to. Amanda mentioned an internet article she’d seen that listed the best Austin-area restaurants to find chips and queso – and an idea was born.
Naturally, we were going to need to taste all of those quesos listed, plus probably others. But we weren’t going to simply eat these dreamy bowls of cheese for no reason – that would be pointless, and we needed a purpose.
In order to justify our mission, we decided that we would rate these quesos on based on several criteria. It would be a challenging, controversial, and possibly emotional task, but we were willing to take it on.
To understand our queso scores and criteria, please see Queso Scoring.