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Why Does Leslie Brenner Hate Queso?

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Queso over everything.

Is there really anything more perfect than queso?
Robert J. Lerma/EATX

There’s really no disputing just how much Texans love queso. There’s something transcendent about that blend of melty, neon-orange cheese and Ro-Tel that combines to create magic in a bowl. That is, of course, unless you’re Leslie Brenner.

Yesterday, Brenner penned an anti-queso screed after an Arkansas restaurant claimed to be the originator of queso, or as they call it, “cheese dip.” Whether or not that’s actually true, Brenner was happy to hand over the origins of Texas’ favorite dip because she just doesn’t see the appeal.

“I've never been a fan of the insipid melted processed cheese concoction that passes for an appetizer in Tex-Mex restaurants from here to El Paso and back,” wrote Brenner. “Yes, I know many (most?) Texans consider it an essential comfort food. I consider it to be a baby-food version of Mexican food.”

This isn’t Brenner’s first takedown of queso, either. In 2012, the critic went on a lengthier tirade against the popular Tex-Mex appetizer, saying that she was coming “out of the queso closet.” “To me, quesos based on process cheese are a bad combination of rich and insipid,” she wrote. “Maybe I’m the only person in Texas who doesn’t like old-fashioned, Velveeta-happy Tex-Mex queso, and if that’s the case so be it.”

Ouch. Considering the ubiquity and popularity of queso across DFW — and Texas, of course — Brenner may very well be the only person around who doesn’t think that queso is the best invention since tortillas.

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