Chile con queso is the dip of choice at new Tex-Mex restaurants like Superica in Atlanta and HomeState in L.A. Lisa Fain, the Homesick Texan blogger behind Manhattan’s El Original, explains the appeal: “At nearly any restaurant, house party or church youth group meeting in Texas, there are always people clustered around a big bowl of queso—almost like they’re gathering around a fire.”
Fain and El Original’s chef de cuisine Morgan Robinson gave us the terrific recipe for El Original Queso, a Velveeta-based dip that’s ultra-popular at her restaurant, as well as a more natural béchamel sauce and cheese–based version. Our editors couldn’t resist a taste-off, and the results were unanimous: We were obsessed, addicted, passionately dedicated to the Velveeta version, but we loved the real cheese sauce on its own terms.
“I never knew that I had a thing for Velveeta before we tried this queso," said executive food editor Tina Ujlaki. "There is something about this dip—it’s got that I-cannot-stop-eating-it factor." Here, she explains why: