The Great Queso Debate: My search for the best cheese dip in Charlotte

The Great Queso Debate: My search for the best cheese dip in Charlotte
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I freaking love cheese.

As a little girl my parents had to limit me to one piece of the dairy delight per day. When we moved out of our house, they found a stash of plastic wrappers under my bed from years of me sneaking Kraft singles up to my room and hiding the evidence.

At middle school graduation, all the kids’ parents stood up and gave their children a blessing of sorts (small private school, ya know). Some parents gave charges, some read verses from the Bible, and others shared inspirational quotes.

My mom stood up in front of the entire student body and said, direct quote here, “Laura, may all your life be covered with cheese.”

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Not all young adults can say this, but I can proudly proclaim that all my mother’s hopes and dreams for me have come true. I’ll accept cheese in any form, but my favorite has got to be hot and melt-y, delivered straight to my mouth on a vehicle of crispy, salty tortilla chips. Earlier this summer I charged myself with the task of finding the best Mexican queso dip in all of Charlotte. It’s a tough job, but somebody’s gotta do it. Below are the spots I’ve hit up so far, in order of personal preference.

First a simple poll, then my preferences and analysis.

(1) Sabor Latin Street Grill 

Price: $2.95

Thoughts: The queso from Sabor is my lifeblood. There are no frills, just the good stuff. Even when sharing with a friend, I normally end up taking some home because the serving is so large. The price plus the serving size makes Sabor’s queso my favorite in all of Charlotte.

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(2) Cabo Fish Taco

Price: $3.95

Thoughts: If I could have one last meal on earth before I died, I’d pick two shrimp tacos from Cabo Fish Taco (spicy avocado pasta as the side) with queso to start.

Agenda Pro Tip: forgo the regular chips and ask for pita points instead. They’re slightly fried and sprinkled with queso fresco and I promise they’ll change your life.

Presentation is better at the restaurant, but this photo is from a day I was so desperate that I ordered Cabo’s queso to my front door via Postmates.

Cabo-Fish-Taco-Queso

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(3) La Unica 

Price: $3.99

Thoughts: La Unica is my neighborhood Mexican joint and it’s awesome. I can walk from my house, the staff is incredibly friendly, and they make the best grilled chicken quesadilla around. Their queso is exactly what you think of when you think of all that late night Mexican you ate after too many beers in college.

La Unica-Queso

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(4) Las Margaritas

Price: $4.95

Thoughts: The portion sizes at Las Margaritas are unreal and the queso is no exception. I included my hand for scale in the photo below because, seriously, look at the size of that plate. When I want enough cheese to swim in, I make the drive down Independence Boulevard to Las Margs.

Las Margaritas-portions

Las Margaritas-Queso

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(5) RuRu’s Tacos & Tequila 

Price: $7.00

Thoughts: I’m obsessed with the plates and dishes at RuRu’s. So much so that I called the restaurant and asked where they bought them. Sadly the hostess I spoke with had no idea.

The cheese dip is good – I’m partial to white cheese over orange cheese – but the portion size is small. If I’m paying $7.00 for queso, I want a lot of it.

RuRus-Queso

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(6) Bakersfield

Price: $5.00

Thoughts: The queso at Bakersfield is… different. It has a crust. Maybe it’s just me but I’m not used to having to use a knife to cut my queso. You can add black beans, chorizo, or house-pickled jalapeños. I didn’t add any of the extras, so maybe I didn’t enjoy the full experience. The chips, however, are on point.

Bakersfield-Queso

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(7) Chuy’s

Price: $6.99

Thoughts: I might get crucified for this, but I really don’t get all the hype surrounding Chuy’s. Every time I’ve eaten there the service has been crappy and the food is mediocre. The queso isn’t exactly my cup of tea – again with the orange cheese – but you can ask for a side of warm tortillas to eat it with (free and freshly made in house), which are pretty delicious.

Chuys-Queso

What did I miss? Seriously, tell me, I don’t want to leave any queso uneaten. Email, Twitter, Instagram.

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