A recent story in The New York Times tackles the the state of Mexican dining in New York. Authentic Mexican restaurants are overtaking the city, which would be great if they didn't all suck. The Times points out that the chefs running these kitchens know little about Mexican cooking and that "a week's vacation has become a research trip, and a snack bought with pocket change has become a $13 appetizer."
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I think the same thing just happened to Tex-Mex, which has also experiencing a moment in New York. Two restaurants, El Original and Javelina both opened this year, and the latter was just written up in the New York Post for its take on a dip that many in Austin and Dallas will recognize. Bob Armstrong, the loaded queso born in Texas, has traveled north.
According to The Post, the goopy dip is New York's dish of the moment. A bowl costs $12, more than twice what a small order in Texas will set you back, and features "a refined version" of the recipe we've all come to love.
But it's that refinement that has photos of the dish looking a little overwrought. The bowl is garnished with what looks like chopped cilantro and dried Mexican cheese and all of the components seem a little "cheffed up." The Post even publishes a picture of chef Richard Caruso dressed in whites as he carefully adorns a bowl with a dollop of sour cream. If that photo looks a little forced, Caruso admits he doesn't always understand the recent queso craze.
Caruso better get used to it. Once a city gets hooked on queso it can never come back. The restorative properties for the hungover are impossible to refute, and the pure evil of drinkable cheese is impossible to defeat. Welcome to #fat, New York City. Good luck with next year's fashion week.