If you guessed that you’re not looking at just any bowl of queso, you’d be right.
The chile con queso served at Kerbey Lane Cafe in Austin most definitely qualifies as “not just any queso.” It’s deep, it’s sophisticated. It has layers. You know, like an onion. Or an ogre.
Layer 1. Guacamole. Wait! Don’t leave! Buried at the bottom of the bowl is 1/2 cup of freshly smashed avocados, onions, and tomatoes. Don’t knock it ’til you try it. I wasn’t so convinced the first time myself but it only took one bite. (Doesn’t it always?)
Layer 2. Wonderful, magical cheese. Cilantro, lightly sauteed onions, and fresh jalapenos are suspended in a delicious queso blanco. You could make a reasonable substitute at home but stay away from the yellow box on this one (though there’s nothing wrong with the yellow box if you’ve got Rotel handy). Like many restaurants, I use White American Cheese to get that perfectly smooth, melty queso. Try it!
Layer 3. Pico de gallo. Rough chopped tomatoes, red and white onions, fresh jalapenos, cilantro, a splash of lime, and some salt sit on top.
It’s not just the guacamole that makes it so unique, it’s the cost. (Okay, so it’s mostly the guacamole.) $7.95 for a cereal bowl full of melty goodness ain’t bad if you live in Austin. We don’t. After two tanks of gas for the round trip, an order of this stuff costs us upwards of $100. And it’s so worth every penny. We have a bowl for lunch and grab an order to go on our way out. We cut the cost per order in half and call it a day. And dinner tonight.