Kerbey Lane Cafe-Style Queso

in Appetizers, Chile con Queso, Cinco de Mayo, Mexican & TexMex

If you guessed that you’re not looking at just any bowl of queso, you’d be right.

The chile con queso served at Kerbey Lane Cafe in Austin most definitely qualifies as “not just any queso.” It’s deep, it’s sophisticated. It has layers. You know, like an onion. Or an ogre.

Layer 1. Guacamole. Wait! Don’t leave! Buried at the bottom of the bowl is 1/2 cup of freshly smashed avocados, onions, and tomatoes. Don’t knock it ’til you try it. I wasn’t so convinced the first time myself but it only took one bite. (Doesn’t it always?)

Layer 2. Wonderful, magical cheese. Cilantro, lightly sauteed onions, and fresh jalapenos are suspended in a delicious queso blanco. You could make a reasonable substitute at home but stay away from the yellow box on this one (though there’s nothing wrong with the yellow box if you’ve got Rotel handy). Like many restaurants, I use White American Cheese to get that perfectly smooth, melty queso. Try it!

Layer 3. Pico de gallo. Rough chopped tomatoes, red and white onions, fresh jalapenos, cilantro, a splash of lime, and some salt sit on top.

It’s not just the guacamole that makes it so unique, it’s the cost. (Okay, so it’s mostly the guacamole.) $7.95 for a cereal bowl full of melty goodness ain’t bad if you live in Austin. We don’t. After two tanks of gas for the round trip, an order of this stuff costs us upwards of $100. And it’s so worth every penny. We have a bowl for lunch and grab an order to go on our way out. We cut the cost per order in half and call it a day. And dinner tonight.

16 comments… add one
  • What an interesting dish! Yummy layers!

  • I got into reading you blog a while back and love everything that you make. Since we live in the same area, I can often try places/things you suggest. You even inspired me to take my hubby to The Strand…we loved the D’Wine Bar.

    Back to the queso, I love this! This seems like it has the perfect Tex-Mex touch. It’s a “must” next time I make fajitas! Thanks for sharing!

  • Julia

    Yum! I lived in Austin for a couple of years, and I LOVE the Kerbey queso! They have lots of yummy other dishes, too, but oh yum.

  • I absolutely LOVE the queso at Kerbey!!!! It is the most amazing stuff. Now that we moved we only live about an hour from Austin so I am going to have to talk my husband into taking me there soon. You have just started a tremendous craving. 🙂

  • i should not have seen this post at 11 o’clock at night! its been years since I’ve had Kerby queso…. its SO good!! Perfect to start with before some delicious pancakes 🙂 Everyone looks at me strange when I say that’s the best part of Kerby. But don’t hate til you’ve tried it! =)

  • Wow – every layer in this dip sounds wonderful! I’m going to bookmark this so I can try recreating it, as I love cheese & tortilla chips 🙂

  • Oh yeah, now that’s a dip! Gotta make that for the next gathering. You know, so I don’t eat it all myself. Thanks for the instructions and I really enjoy your blog!

  • As soon as you started explaining this recipe I was thinking of Kerbey queso! It truly is the best layered queso ever! Before I lived in Austin I would make the hour drive from my house just to eat it… and their gingerbread pancakes! yum!

  • Why can’t I see the photo of the queso????!!!! I need to try their queso. Since the place is only down the street from my place, that shouldn’t be a problem. hehe

  • Guerra

    Uh, you forgot a very crucial layer: Black beans! And The guacamole goes on top (trust me, I eat this stuff pretty regularly.)

  • Hi Guerra – actually, the Kerbey Queso does not have black beans, that’s the Cowboy Queso. And the guac is most *definitely* on the bottom. Getting down to the bottom of the bowl is our favorite part!

  • Brs502

    I love Kerbey Queso! Very excited about trying this out. Thanks for sharing.

  • Cece

    I have been dying for this recipe! I live in MI, but had this dip when visiting in TX a few years ago. It’s the best. Thank you for posting it!

  • Leeanna Rios

    I was in austin texas two weeks ago on vacation by far the best queso I’ve ever tasted

  • Amanda

    I love this stuff!! But i thought it was called kirby queso, white cheese with guac, and cowboy queso was white cheese with black beans buried and that on top. Might be other way but both very good!

  • Tina

    Everything I read says this has ground beef? Does it? If so, what layer? And is there anything added to the ground beef? I can’t wait to try this!!

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