The Tex-Mex cheese sauce with a cult following has landed at a test kitchen open to the public in Chelsea after much demand from customers.
Chipotle is taking a dip into queso.
The Tex-Mex cheese sauce is the most hyped-up new menu item next to other launches, including two kinds of frozen margaritas, and a salad (yawn), available to the public exclusively at its New York City test kitchen (504 Sixth Ave.).
For years the company has been reluctant to make the dip because it wanted to refrain from using additives. And real queso lovers know some of the tastiest are made with processed cheese products like Velveeta.
“Queso has been the most requested menu item we don’t have probably from the beginning,” Chipotle spokesperson Chris Arnold tells Moneyish.
“But it is very difficult to do without artificial ingredients. We were able to develop a recipe that we loved – and that we think customers will love too – that is consistent with our overall food philosophy.”
The chain’s entire menu requires only 60 all-natural ingredients and two are potato starch and tapioca starch, found in its queso.
The sauce is also made with cheddar cheese, jalapeno, tomatillo peppers, and spices, an employee at the Chipotle NEXT Kitchen in Chelsea confirmed to Moneyish Wednesday.
The savory stuff will cost you $1.25 to get it on an entrée, like a burrito, (still $0.55 cents less than extra guacamole, which is $1.80); or with a side of chips at $2.05 for 4-ounces and $4.10 for 8-ounces.
The dip could be what’s needed for the company that’s had a chip on its shoulder after being plagued with scandals. It was hit with a 95% decrease in profits in 2016 as a result of the E. coli and norovirus outbreak in 2015. The company temporarily shut down for a day, and hired food safety experts to rectify its kitchen practices after the E. coli disaster. And more recently in May, the mexican grill experienced a hack that compromised customer payment information.
The burrito chain isn’t the only fast food restaurant that’s just now joining the queso party. A day after Chipotle debuted its cheese dip, Wendy’s announced on Tuesday it would serve three, limited-time queso offerings – the Bacon Queso Burger, Bacon Queso Chicken Sandwich, and Bacon Queso Fries.
Queso veterans include Taco Bell, which sells it with chips for $1.59, and the same combo for $4 at Qdoba.
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