Saturday, March 28, 2009

Matt's Ranchero Part II-3/26/09

First of all, a hearty thank you to the Quesorita team for moving this week's event to Thursday so a frozen Minnesotan with limited Queso experience could partake. For this special event, the group headed to Matt's in Lakewood. Although a little hard to find (look deeply into the strip mall), Matt's had a nice atmosphere and vibe...high ceilings, lots of tables, and a nice looking patio. We headed inside to avoid the coming cold, but maybe next time it will be patio time! The best part about our table was the 2-year-old next to us who liked to throw plates and knives. Fortunately, we were out of harms way (she could only throw about a foot) and it made us look sophisticated and accomplished by comparison.

So, on to the main event...when I got there queso had already been ordered so I had to sample it a little bit cooled, although it was delicious. The queso is a traditional Bob Armstrong variety, but with L.E.'s innovative ordering technique, we had it with no meat and it was great. Nice chunks of avodado, sour cream and lots of yellowy-almost velveeta style cheese. A few bites were almost too much like Velveeta, but other bites were just perfect. The chips were nice and crispy...maybe needed a little bit of salt.

I had a margarita on the rocks and it was almost perfect. A tad too salty, but otherwise one of the best I have had while touring the Dallas area over the past year. It is also nice that they come in three size: small (6 oz), medium (maybe about 10 oz.) and large (big!). John had the king variety of margarita and had no compliants although I didn't sample it myself.

Some in our group ordered the micheladas...they were inconsistent though. The first one out had almost no tomato or tabasco in it although it was spicy. Shelby still loved it. Others were not as in love, but sequential micheladas seemed to redeem.

Queso gets at 5 out of 4.  Remains the best in town and going to be hard to top.

Margaritas get 3.5 out of 4. A little less salt in the mix and it would be perfect! 

Micheladas get a 2.5 out of 4. Inconsistent quality.

Matt's is a solid quesorita spot, especially if you can hit the patio. I look forward to the next quesorita outing and sampling more regional fare!

Thursday, March 26, 2009

In Memory of Matt Martinez Jr. .....

Mariano's 3/11

See- we read your comments and take your suggestions!
This restaurant was not on our original list but due to the enthusiastic comments left on our blog we thought we should check it out ASAP. Again- a beautiful spring evening- we all gathered at the Lakewood location.  Courtney was especially excited since this was closest to her place. So- home of the frozen margarita.........the orignial frozen margaritas got props for actually tasting like tequila instead of margarita mix- it wasn't the best we have had but a solid drink. Lauren tried a swirl and found it way too sweet and could not finish it (whaaaaaaa?) The queso was great- most of us thought it resembled a home job with velveeta and rotel, which is not a bad thing at all- very comforting- a good temperature- easily scooped with chips. The micheladas were a little too hot for my taste- it was like liquid reflux.  I don't think we will be heading back here anytime soon but it was fun to check out! 
Queso- 3/4 
Margaritas (original frozen)- 2.5/4
Micheladas-  1/4- yikes! my esophagus!

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Cafe San Miguel 2/25/09, The First Quesolada

The chicken or the egg question surfaced this week with "Is it queso if you can't dip your chip in it?" That was the question we pondered on our weekly tour. The only queso at Cafe San Miguel is their queso fundido. Yes, it's real white cheese melted with vegetables served with homemade tortillas. We took this challenge on with a smile on our faces. My vote was no but keep in mind I don't like many creamy products including most cheeses. While the queso fundido was good, it wasn't quite the same yellowy orange runniness that we've become accustomed to dipping chips into. We called it a draw in the end.

But... the good news- this week was the first "Quesolada." Instead of margaritas we all had the michelada. For those of you unfamiliar, a michelada is a beer over ice with mixed some combination of lime juice, salt, worschtester, and clamato. It was fantastic- just spicy enough, just enough clamato, just enough fizzy. Yum, yum.

Also yum,yum was their guacamole. Holy guacamole! It is also served in warm homemade corn tortillas and the first bite of velvetly green goodness sends you straight up to avocado heaven.