The Student Newspaper of Mississippi State University

The Reflector

The Student Newspaper of Mississippi State University

The Reflector

The Student Newspaper of Mississippi State University

The Reflector

Queso Crawl: Mi Hacienda wins best overall chips, dip

Bralynn Newell
No Way Jose received the lowest rating for queso at 2.5.

Sometimes after a long day of class, students want nothing more than a basket of chips, warm queso and fresh salsa. Fortunately, Starkville has many Mexican restaurants that offer a wide variety of cheese dips and salsas, but with so many options, how does a person know which restaurant has the most delectable dips? Sacrificing their waistlines for the greater good, two members of the Opinion section tried the small queso and complimentary salsa at six of Starkville’s popular places.

The dips were given a score on a scale of one to five, and the two scores were added together. Each dip has a rating out of ten, and the prices for a small order of queso at each eatery has also been recorded. As a note, the chips and dip alone were evaluated – not the lighting, the seating or the serving. 

El Veracruz – $3.95 

Queso rating: 5.5/10

Salsa rating: 4.75/10

This queso was hot, smooth and traditional but not very flavorful. It tasted flat and had little to no spice. The queso would honestly be good on a taco or quesadilla but seriously lacked flavor on its own. The bottle of watery salsa, which had a consistency similar to runny applesauce that ran off the chip, was only half-filled. As for the taste, there was not much there to break up the tomato. The typical notes of onion, cilantro and serrano peppers were overwhelmed. In defense of the half-filled salsa bottle, however, El Veracruz offered a complimentary bean dip too – pretty much just refried beans with a dollop of cheese. 

Mi Hacienda – $4.95

Queso rating: 9.5/10

Salsa rating: 9.5/10

Mi Hacienda’s dips were balanced. The queso had a good consistency between thick and thin which fully coated and stuck to the chip. The queso also had a rich depth of cheesy flavor that paired well with the thin, smoky and spicy salsa. There was visibly more spice in this salsa — little flecks of goodness that made all the difference. Elena thought the salsa’s thin consistency was a small point of contention, but the flavor made up for any trouble the consistency might have caused.

La Terraza – $5.49

Queso rating: 10/10

Salsa rating: 7.5/10

This queso had all the best qualities of Mi Hacienda’s cheese dip like the rich cheesy taste, but the queso here was also thinner and lighter. This queso’s best feature had nothing to do with the taste or texture but all to do with the temperature. The queso’s piping hot temperature did wonders to bring out the flavor and gave ample time to eat the entire bowl before it congealed. Elena described the salsa as flavorful and spicy, but Rowan thought the salsa had an off putting, unidentifiable tang. La Terraza’s salsa may not have had the balance that Mi Hacienda had, but their hot and heavenly cheese dip earned the only ten out of ten.

Uno Mas Tacos y Tequila – $7.00 or $3.50 on Queso Mondays

Queso rating: 6/10

Salsa rating: 5.5/10

Uno Mas’ cheese dip had a strong taste that resembled the queso at Moe’s or Chipotle. The texture was balanced, but the taste was one-dimensional and the bowl lukewarm. Although this was the priciest queso, Uno Mas offered half-priced queso since it was Monday. The salsa was spicy and chunky with large chunks of white onion. The salsa’s cold temperature and the bite of the onion were satisfying, but the salsa also resembled quality jarred salsa. The dips do not taste like authentic Mexican food, but they provide a different option than some of the other traditional cheese dips and salsas. 

No Way Jose – $4.00

Queso rating: 2.5/10

Salsa rating: 3.75/10

No Way Jose’s queso had a weird, almost gelatinous texture. There was not much flavor there, and the confusing texture smothered any other aspect of the dip. The thin salsa did not have much flavor either and had a canned taste comparable to Ro-Tel. Neither dip was enjoyable, and the cheese dip’s texture in particular was unappetizing.

Casa Bravo – $5.99

Queso rating: 7.75/10

Salsa rating: 9/10

Casa Bravo’s salsa stole the show, so the cheese dip suffered by comparison. There was nothing wrong with the cheese dip. It had a good, one-note flavor and an incredibly creamy consistency but did not compare with the unique salsa – Starkville’s hidden gem.

The salsa appeared more rust-colored than red with a rich, smoky and deep flavor that resembled a red enchilada sauce more than salsa. Casa Bravo brought each person at the table a hearty, individual bowl of salsa rather than the typical salsa bottle, and the bowls were empty by the end of the night. 

Overall, La Terraza had the best queso, but Mi Hacienda had the best balance. Casa Bravo’s deep, smoky salsa deserves a shout out too. The Queso Crawl of 2024 was certainly entertaining and educational. Hopefully, you will enjoy many baskets of chips and winning queso in the near future.

About the Contributors
Rowan Feasel
Rowan Feasel, Staff Writer
Rowan Feasel is a junior English major. Rowan is currently a staff writer for The Reflector.
Elena Harman
Elena Harman, Staff Writer
Elena Harman is a junior secondary education major. Elena is currently a staff writer for The Reflector.
Leave a Comment
More to Discover

Comments (0)

All The Reflector Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *