'Homesick Texan' Took Month-Long Trip To Eat Queso Across The State For New Cookbook | KERA News

'Homesick Texan' Took Month-Long Trip To Eat Queso Across The State For New Cookbook

Sep 28, 2017

Five stories that have North Texas talking: Lisa Fain traveled across Texas to find the best queso; get to know Dallas’ new police chief; Rubber Gloves is up for sale; and more.

Lisa Fain spent a month last year eating hundreds of bowls of queso across Texas — her home state. Fain, who lives in New York now, says she ended up losing 10 pounds.

The “Homesick Texan” wasn’t trying a new diet. She was researching for her cookbook on queso out this week.


She started her writing process at the library going through cookbooks, newspapers and magazines to study chile con queso’s history and evolution. Next, she drove around Texas, New Mexico and Arkansas for “field research,” visiting almost 100 restaurants and talking with home cooks and chefs about the dish. Back in New York, she began developing recipes.


She explains her process for Bon Appétit:

My typical day on the road would begin with a tasteless iceberg salad at my hotel’s breakfast bar (eating plenty of vegetables is key when you’re consuming quarts of liquid cheese every day) that I’d enliven with a scoop of salsa, then I’d hit the first restaurant on my list and order whatever queso was on offer in the morning. In El Paso, I ate queso huevos rancheros, which is fried eggs smothered in a yellow queso instead of the usual tomato salsa. In Laredo, I had a choriqueso breakfast taco oozing with melted Monterey Jack at Yoly’s, a friendly café filled with locals beginning their day over plates of eggs, beans, and mariachis, the name that Laredoans use for their morning tacos.

After breakfast, to let my first meal settle I’d write or research for an hour then go out for lunch and dinner, ordering all the quesos so I could sample everything. When I was alone, I got plenty of funny looks from servers. “That’s a lot of food,” they’d say. “Do you really want all that?” I’d assure them I knew what I was doing. When I was able to connect with friends and family on the trail, I’d invite them to join me in the queso quest. Because everyone loves queso, I was very popular.


Fain narrowed down her 215 recipes to 50 for the book. She says she keeps her fridge stocked with cheese and still makes queso about twice a week. [Bon Appétit]


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  • Earlier this month, Renee Hall officially took over as the first female chief of the Dallas Police Department. She joined host Krys Boyd on KERA’s Think to talk about what she sees as the biggest challenges to the job — and about her approach to policing. [Think]


  • The former home of Rubber Gloves Rehearsal Studio in Denton is officially up for sale. The property, which includes two buildings on 1.116 acres, is listed at $990,000. The music venue closed in June 2016 after farewell shows and 20 years. [Denton Record-Chronicle]


  • A 19-year-old woman was working at an Austin Chipotle until one night a modeling agent asked her name and took her picture. Now, a month later, Remington Williams has walked runways in New York, London and Milan. She’s currently at Paris Fashion Week. [Austin 360]


  • Taylor Kitsch, known by many as Dillon Panther Tim Riggins from “Friday Night Lights” is taking on another iconic Texas role, but this time it’s not fictional. He’s portraying cult leader David Koresh in a new television series about the 1993 standoff in Waco. [Rolling Stone]

The High Five is KERA’s daily roundup of stories from Dallas-Fort Worth and across the state. Explore our archives here. And sign up for our weekly email for the North Texas news you need to know.