The debates can get heated. Ask 10 locals what their favorite is, and you’re likely to get 10 different responses.

Queso is a serious thing in Bryan College Station.

Even inside the Bryan College Station Convention and Visitors Bureau offices, the staff was divided when trying to name the best melted cheese dip in town.

Visitors who make a stop through Aggieland all discover one thing – Bryan College Station certainly has some of the best queso in Texas.

So to help out visitors and residents alike, the Visit Aggieland staff took on the terrible task of finding the best queso.

To create the best and most unbiased results, a testing system was devised. First, the restaurants were not informed ahead of time they were being sampled, so a “special” batch wasn’t made just for the judges. The queso was purchased around the same time each day – shortly after lunch. Only one person knew which queso was being purchased, and they were tasked with putting the queso in a plain bowl while hiding any bags or receipts from the judges. The judges – which had to be minimum four people per sample but was often closer to seven or eight judges – were given a standard score sheet. The scoring sheet only had rating boxes labeled “liked” or “did not like” with no number weight or score visible so the judges were scoring purely based on their taste. Even the quality of the chips factored into the overall score. Once the scoring was completed, the judges were informed which queso they had sampled.

The most interesting result? Of all the quesos sampled, judges incorrectly guessed which restaurant the queso came from 90% of the time. In other words, the scoring was truly blind.

As there are more than 200 restaurants in Bryan College Station, and the Visit Aggieland team’s estimate that a minimum 75 of those serve queso, the list had to be narrowed. A poll was conducted within the office, among residents, as well as on Visit Aggieland’s Facebook and Twitter to determine which 12 restaurants would be sampled. The competitors were narrowed down to:

Harvey Washbangers
Torchy’s Tacos
Chuy’s
Freebirds
Shipwreck Grill
Ozona Grill & Bar
Fuego Tortilla Grill
Pepe’s Mexican Café
Casa Rodriguez
The Corner Bar & Grill
Blackwater Draw
Mad Taco
Although the results may have defined a winner, it certainly wasn’t a runaway victory. While 20 points separated the top ranked queso from the bottom ranked, a mere 5.85 points separated number one from number six on the list. In fact, the overall winner only beat the second and third place quesos by just one measly point!

And because each restaurant in Aggieland is what makes Bryan College Station so unique, we won’t be publishing the scores or the final rankings in order. The scoring sheets have been shredded. A queso that ranked low on our judges’ list might rank higher on another person’s list – so we’ll leave it up to visitors and residents to decide what their favorite is!

We will, however, reveal the top three on our judges’ list, which were only separated by one point:

Harvey Washbangers
Ozona Grill & Bar
Fuego Tortilla Grill

Take a second to imagine a drumroll to add dramatic effect here … and the winner is, Fuego! Interestingly enough, when taking suggestions from locals about which restaurants to include, Fuego was on just about every person’s list. And from our investigations, it is pretty popular in Aggieland. When we chatted with the general manager for Fuego, he let us know that on average the restaurant will go through 60-65 gallons per week! That’s an average too – for gameday weekends, he said that number can go as high as 120-180 gallons.

So if stopping through Bryan College Station and looking for the best queso around, our judges say try Fuego first. But from our findings, if you try any of the 12 on the list, you won’t be disappointed. Because, as many locals already know, Aggieland has the best queso around.

 

Disclaimer: No restaurants paid to be a part of this blog, nor were informed ahead of time of their inclusion in this tasting. Rankings are based on judges’ ratings, and are not an official reflection of the Bryan College Station Convention & Visitors Bureau’s opinion. This blog is for entertainment and informative purposes for visitors and residents, and should not reflect an official endorsement by the Bryan College Station Convention & Visitors Bureau. Tastings were conducted in fall of 2015, and queso quality may have changed since the authoring of this blog.