Kerbey Lane Cafe-Style Queso

by Shawnda on June 28, 2008

in Appetizers,Cinco de Mayo,Mexican & TexMex

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.


{ 15 comments… read them below or add one }

1 farida June 29, 2008 at 1:00 pm

What an interesting dish! Yummy layers!


2 Kristen June 29, 2008 at 2:25 pm

I got into reading you blog a while back and love everything that you make. Since we live in the same area, I can often try places/things you suggest. You even inspired me to take my hubby to The Strand…we loved the D’Wine Bar.

Back to the queso, I love this! This seems like it has the perfect Tex-Mex touch. It’s a “must” next time I make fajitas! Thanks for sharing!


3 Julia July 1, 2008 at 9:58 am

Yum! I lived in Austin for a couple of years, and I LOVE the Kerbey queso! They have lots of yummy other dishes, too, but oh yum.


4 Ashley July 1, 2008 at 10:32 am

I absolutely LOVE the queso at Kerbey!!!! It is the most amazing stuff. Now that we moved we only live about an hour from Austin so I am going to have to talk my husband into taking me there soon. You have just started a tremendous craving. :-)


5 ash July 2, 2008 at 9:39 pm

i should not have seen this post at 11 o’clock at night! its been years since I’ve had Kerby queso…. its SO good!! Perfect to start with before some delicious pancakes :-) Everyone looks at me strange when I say that’s the best part of Kerby. But don’t hate til you’ve tried it! =)


6 Joelen July 5, 2008 at 12:00 am

Wow – every layer in this dip sounds wonderful! I’m going to bookmark this so I can try recreating it, as I love cheese & tortilla chips :)


7 Susan July 7, 2008 at 5:24 am

Oh yeah, now that’s a dip! Gotta make that for the next gathering. You know, so I don’t eat it all myself. Thanks for the instructions and I really enjoy your blog!


8 Haley July 30, 2008 at 1:56 pm

As soon as you started explaining this recipe I was thinking of Kerbey queso! It truly is the best layered queso ever! Before I lived in Austin I would make the hour drive from my house just to eat it… and their gingerbread pancakes! yum!


9 Memoria May 6, 2009 at 4:31 pm

Why can’t I see the photo of the queso????!!!! I need to try their queso. Since the place is only down the street from my place, that shouldn’t be a problem. hehe


10 Guerra June 6, 2009 at 10:36 pm

Uh, you forgot a very crucial layer: Black beans! And The guacamole goes on top (trust me, I eat this stuff pretty regularly.)


11 foodiebride June 7, 2009 at 9:17 am

Hi Guerra – actually, the Kerbey Queso does not have black beans, that’s the Cowboy Queso. And the guac is most *definitely* on the bottom. Getting down to the bottom of the bowl is our favorite part!


12 Brs502 December 3, 2011 at 4:50 pm

I love Kerbey Queso! Very excited about trying this out. Thanks for sharing.


13 Cece July 1, 2013 at 8:59 am

I have been dying for this recipe! I live in MI, but had this dip when visiting in TX a few years ago. It’s the best. Thank you for posting it!


14 Leeanna Rios April 20, 2014 at 7:44 am

I was in austin texas two weeks ago on vacation by far the best queso I’ve ever tasted


15 Amanda May 8, 2014 at 7:03 pm

I love this stuff!! But i thought it was called kirby queso, white cheese with guac, and cowboy queso was white cheese with black beans buried and that on top. Might be other way but both very good!


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