Best Queso in Austin

Best Queso in Austin

Living in Austin for the majority of my life, I’ve had the blessing and the curse of easy access to queso whenever I want. It's a blessing because it is quite possibly the best invention out of the state of Texas. On the flip side, it's a curse because if I could have my way, I’d dine on queso for breakfast, lunch, and dinner and end up the size of ten people. That being said, take a look at the top 10 queso spots in Austin from a native Austinite and a queso veteran.  For those less fortunate (out-of-staters), queso is not simply “melted cheese”. See, and taste, for yourself. 

1.     Torchy’s Tacos

Not only does Torchy’s make damn good tacos, but their queso is by far the best in Austin.  Or anywhere for that matter.  The Green Chile Queso has a dollop of guacamole, topped off with Diablo Sauce, Torchy’s famous hot sauce, queso fresco, and cilantro.  I would definitely go just for the queso.

   

 

2.     Magnolia Café

If you’ve found yourself at this 24/7 diner, then there’s no way you haven’t tried Mag Mud — queso with avocado and pico de gallo.  You can also get it with beans, which people love but personally I stick with Mag Queso (without beans).  You can satisfy your queso craving any hour of the day at Magnolia Café and it just so happens to be one of my favorites. 

 

3.     Matt’s El Rancho

 

Matt’s Famous El Rancho’s Bob Armstrong Dip is mouth-wateringly sinful.  Like really, really good.  Matt’s El Rancho is an Austin icon, and this dip is part of the reason why.  A savory queso with beef, pico, and guacamole will definitely leave you satisfied.  Maybe a little too satisfying, but it’s well worth it. 

 

4.     Abel’s on the Lake

 

Yet another Austin favorite restaurant.  (Hmm… maybe there’s a reason to this pattern.)  Abel’s on the Lake offers vegetarian style queso, with a generous addition of guacamole and, sour cream, Their Queso Especial comes with spicy taco meat, guacamole, and pico de gallo. Either way, you’re #winning.

 

5.     Chuy’s

 

Another Austin staple Tex-Mex restaurant, Chuy’s has one of the best tasting quesos in town.  With just the right amount of spiciness, kick things up a notch by mixing it  with their free, fresh salsa and you’ve got yourself some queso compuesto.  On weekdays, their happy hour includes free queso in their salsa bar!  So, what are you waiting for?

 

6.     Kerbey Lane

 

Those in West Campus are no stranger to Kerbey Lane, the 24 hour diner on The Drag that is always crowded, whether it's 12 p.m. or 12 a.m.  Besides being known for their pancakes, the Kerbey Queso is perhaps it's most popular menu item. This white cheesy goodness comes with pico de gallo, guacamole, and cilantro.  Of course, you can order it without, but why would you mess with a good thing?

 

 

7.     Maudie’s

Maudie’s is one my personal favorite Tex Mex restaurants in general, and their queso might just be one of the reasons.  With several Austin locations, Maudie’s offers regular queso and queso compuesto. This is the most classic queso, and I promise it won’t disappoint.

 

 

8.     El Mercado

El Mercado loves their college customers, so thank you El Mercado waiters and waitresses, you guys are far too kind.  If you have the chance to make it to El Mercado and satisfy your Tex Mex addiction, I suggest ordering their queso. Bet you didn’t see that coming! It’s got enough kick without being too overpowering and frankly I could just have that for dinner if only spring break wasn't looming so near. 

 

9.     Cantina Laredo

For a fun GNO or BroNO (is that a thing?), head to Cantina Laredo in downtown Austin. But don’t leave the establishment without ordering their queso. Top Ten in Austin, people, top ten. 

 

10.Tacos & Tequila: TNT

Tacos & Tequila: God’s gift to this world.  But truly, their queso is to die for.  Yeah, I know, cliché but seriously try it.  They have the options of classic, beef chorizo, spicy mushroom, and spinach artichoke.  So many options you might just have to share with their Queso Flight.  You can also dip skewers of spicy Sriracha chicken, steak, rojo shrimp, or veggies.  YUM.

 

Bon appétit! Sorry for making you gain the Freshman 15 – maybe the Queso Quince? – all over again. Actually, I’m not sorry.

 

 

 

 

 

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A List Of Things I Never Thought I Would Thank My Parents For Teaching Me

#12 is the scariest one yet

Our parents or guardians are our teachers. From a young age, children look up to their elders for day to day tasks. It's our instinct to learn from the people we are supposed to trust the most. It's easy to take advantage of how much they really do teach us, considering most are small tasks you would've learned eventually. It wasn't until I was cleaning up some bedding after a sleep over where I was the only one who knew how to fold a fitted bed sheet that I truly appreciated that I had someone to teach me that. So here is a list of tasks I am glad my parents taught me how to do.

1. Fold a fitted bed sheet

It's really not that hard, but some people seem to think it's impossible. If I'm being honest, it's probably because they're just trying to fold it without a method and that is their first mistake.

2. Chop wood

Living in an area where it gets insanely cold, a wood stove can help save so much money on electric. To have a wood stove though, you need to have chopped wood. You could totally use an ax, but it's much easier and faster to use a wood cutter.

3. Properly wash my laundry

All I can say is that I'm glad my life didn't end up like one of those infomercials where you screw everything up. You taught me how to do laundry early on, and it's something that needs to be done frequently. It is handy to know especially being away at college where I don't have a mom or dad to do my laundry for me.

4. Change a shower head

Who doesn't want to have a wild shower party like this kid? In order for that to happen, you need to know how to change things like a shower head.

5. Unclog a drain

It would be a little gross to show a gif, but it's a handy task you need to know. Not just how to unclog a toilet, because that's easy when you have plunger. Your sink tends to collect more than you would think and it builds up. Who knows, maybe one day you'll drop something down the sink that's valuable. If you know how to unclog a drain, you'll know how to retrieve that item.

6. Cook a mean scrambled egg

This is just a classic food, and one of many, that I have learned how to cook. There are so many ways you could spice up this style food, but you need to know how to cook the basics. Once you know how to cook this, you have breakfast for everyday of the week.

7. Balance a check book

Not that I actually use a check book daily yet, but I know the basics on how to use one. Some day in the future I will be a pro at using one.

8. Use big kid tools

There is going to come a time in my life where I need to use a screwdriver, and not just one of those tiny manual ones. It's nice to know that out of the majority of my friends, I'm the only one with a tool box. You never know when you're going to need tools.

9. How to navigate a grocery store

It's so easy to walk in and decide that you want everything. I learned to make a list of what I need (and to double check before I leave to make sure I have everything.) When you stumble upon something that isn't on the list, their has to be a clear and reasonable justification to buy it. I also learned to have an order to the groceries. You don't want to be walking back and forth to collect your items. Travel isle to isle.

10. Cleaning a bathroom

It's so easy to just casually wipe down the surface of the counters and the toilet seat with a wipe and then call it a day. When I'm older, I'll know exactly what products to buy and how to get into all of the nooks and crannies.

11. Pump gas

It's weird to think that in some states, people never have to learn how to pump their own gas. What happens when you travel outside of those comforting borders and you run low on gas? I can confidently say that I will be set because I learned how to pump my own gas.

12. Make phone calls

I like to think that I look like a very casual business woman when I'm on the phone, but often times I look like this. Talking on the phone can be scary when you don't know what to say, but it's easier to make phone calls when they're on speaker and my mom is mouthing the words I need to say.

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I Asked College Students About Eating Habits And Here's What They Said

What is your opinion?
So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.

I have a really hard time eating healthy in college. I want to eat healthy whenever I can, but I find that it's either too expensive or not available. How am I expected to maintain a healthy weight and lifestyle when it's nearly out of reach? I decided to see if other people were struggling with the same problems, so I asked 4 college students about their eating habits: here's what the said.

1. How many meals a day do you eat?

"I eat 3 meals a day" Female, age 21
"I’m actually more of a snacker than I am a full meal type of eater. I usually eat something small for breakfast just so I am not starving later on, a simple lunch, snack time until I eat dinner." Female, age 23
" I eat 3 meals a day. Breakfast, lunch and dinner. A lot of times in the morning I forget to eat breakfast so that makes it two. This happens about 2 or 3 times a week. Lunch is definitely my biggest meal of the day. Lately, I have been eating a buffet of some sort. I wish my dinners consisted of more food. A lot of times, I don't have enough food at home. And, I usually eat pasta, rice with meat, or something out if I have the energy." Male, age 22
"I eat 3-4 meals a day." Male, age 21

2. Do you make breakfast, grab a packaged breakfast (Pop-tarts, frozen sandwiches, protein bars, cereal bars, etc.) grab fast food, or go to the dining hall?

"I make breakfast. Most of the time it is one fried egg and one piece of turkey sausage." Female, age 21

"I always have a cup of “almost black” coffee and then either a piece of fruit, toast, or overnight oats." Female, age 23

"I each packaged food. Specifically Jimmy Dean's. And I eat a Chobani Flip Cup Yogurt. Sometimes when I have time, I go to Starbucks to get a drink with either a chorizo breakfast breakfast sandwich or a spinach and feta wrap. When I wake up early, I make a few eggs, scrambled with a glass of OJ and some bacon. So, I eat all sorts of food for breakfast. Predominately, the jimmy deans and yogurt though." Male, age 22

"I usually eat at the dining hall. I will get eggs and bacon or sausage, biscuits and gravy, and sometimes I will get french toast or pancakes, too." Male, age 21





3. Where do you eat a majority of your meals? (at home, at the dining hall, fast food, etc.)

"I eat most of my meals at home." Female, age 21

"At home!" Female, age 23

"I eat a majority of my meals out. I eat a lot of meals at the dining hall. But I also eat at chic fil a, moes, and cookout." Male, age 22

"I eat most of my meals at the dining hall." Male, age 21





4. Do you eat with others or alone?

"I eat with my boyfriend or with friends every night." Female, age 21

"i almost always eat with others." Female, age 23

"I usually eat alone." Male, age 22

" I eat most of my meals with my friends. Occasionally I will eat alone if no one is available." Male, age 21





5. If you were cooking dinner, what would you cook?

"When I cook dinner, I usually make something like zucchini noodles with chicken." Female, age 21

"My favorite dinner includes having various types of veggies (usually baked), with something similar to quinoa, and sweet potatoes." Female, age 23

"I would cook some rice with some sort of meat. Either some cheese stuffed turkey meatballs or some chicken. I also would drink a glass of chocolate milk if possible. I always like trying to cook though. I like looking up recipes and trying new foods of all sorts." Male, age 22

"I don't really cook..." Male, age 21





6. What is the hardest thing about eating healthy in college?

"The hardest part about eating healthy in college is the temptation of bad food due to limited healthy options." Female, age 21

"Food that is better for you is often more expensive, “junk food” is more easily accessible around campus (ex. vending machines in academic halls), and just general exposure to the majority of people our age that have unhealthy eating habits while trying not to fall into them yourself." Female, age 23

"The hardest thing about eating healthy is going out to the store and buying the food. And finding the right, healthy foods I like are hard to find too. Doing the dishes is hard too. I am generally a lazy person but I also like eating so it's a daily struggle. So I eat out a lot to reduce the energy of doing those extra things." Male, age 22

"I don't really like healthy food, so I don't find it a problem." Male, age 21





7. What could be changed to make healthy eating in college easier?

"I think there would need to be more healthy and affordable options on and near campus." Female, age 21

"Incentive programs or education on the importance of taking care of your “whole self”- the physical, emotional, and mental well-being while in college." Female, age 23

"More choices in the dining hall. Foods that are delicious. More variety gives more leeway for different palettes. Also integrating a meal system where meal swipes would buy you more of a variety of foods. I also think that having the dining hall more open to what the students want and actually integrating different foods and systems. More posters and more signage around campus to influence healthy lifestyles." Male, age 22

"If I ate healthy meals, I would want there to be more healthy restaurants around town or more healthy options in the dining hall." Male, age 21





8. Do you think you have enough resources to eat what you want in college?

"I do not believe we have enough resources to eat in the healthy way that I would like to in college." Female, age 21

"Yes and no, the basic resources are beginning to be established but I think that there is still a long way to go with being equally available with other types of foods. For those with dietary restrictions (non-dairy, vegan, etc.) there are nowhere near as many options as their could/should be." Female, age 23

" I think there are enough resources to eat healthy and live a good lifestyle. However, with the nature of an average college student, I do not fully utilize the resources." Male, age 22

"I think there are plenty of options. Sometimes I will drive an hour away to get something I really want if i have to." Male, age 21





9. What is your "go-to" meal?

"In college, my "go-to" meal would be hibachi at the local hibachi restaurant." Female, age 21

"Smoothies!" Female, age 23

"My "go to meal" is some pasta and meatballs." Male, age 22

"I love burgers. My "go-to" meal would be a burger with fries or a Moe's stack." Male, age 21





10. If you were to go out to eat, where would you eat?

"My favorite place to eat out is a Mexican restaurant because it's cheap." Female, age 21

"My favorite restaurant is a local cafe." Female, age 23

"I'm not picky, I'll eat anywhere." Male, age 22

"I really like going to Moe's and Cookout." Male, age 21







After interviewing these people, I realized that we all have different eating habits. While I struggle with eating healthy, some can make do with what is available. The four students are very diverse, and their answers reflect that exceptionally. Overall, I realized that I am not alone, but I also have the capability to satisfy my healthy eating needs. What do you think about your college's eating choices?

Cover Image Credit: unsplash

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