Updated on September 6, 2017 at 4:44 PM
Posted on September 6, 2017 at 4:43 PM
Chipotle will begin serving queso nationwide starting Sept. 12. (Alan Diaz/AP)
By Joseph Atmonavage
What’s been the most requested — yet unavailable — Chipotle menu item for years?
What do the millions who construct their own burritos or bowls at the more than 2,000 store locations ask for, only to be disappointed?
The answer is queso, and the solution is finally here.
Starting Tuesday, the made-to-order Mexican chain is rolling out a new spicy melted cheese sauce to stores across the nation, either to smother your entree with, or to pair with chips. Prices vary by city, but queso will range from $1.25 to add it to your meal or as much as $5.25 for a large side order.
Expectedly, this news sent Chipotle frequenters into a social media frenzy.
CHIPOTLE STARTS SERVING THEIR QUESO ON MY BIRTHDAY THATS THE BEST PRESENT EVER
— Katie Michalak (@MaddogMichalak) September 6, 2017
PSA: September 12th chipotle is getting queso [?]
— Austin Bergman (@austinjbergman) September 6, 2017
queso comes out nationwide at chipotle next tuesday. best news ive heard in weeks
— Kyle Smith (@Kyle51221) September 6, 2017
So why did it take so long for Chipotle to give the people what they wanted?
“We never added it to our menu before now because we wouldn’t use the industrial additives used in most quesos,” Steve Ells, founder, chairman and CEO at Chipotle, said in a release. “Additives make typical queso very consistent and predictable, but are not at all in keeping with our food culture.”
Chipotle will be serving queso at locations nationwide starting Sept. 12. (Business Wire)Joseph Atmonavage | NJ Advance Media for NJ.com
The company first tested queso at the Chipotle NEXT Kitchen in New York early this summer, before expanding the new menu item to 350 restaurants in Southern California and Colorado for a test run.
Eater NY food critic Robert Sietsema may hamper expectations of those who are planning to dart to their local Chipotle and load up on queso next week.
“Chipotle’s queso is notably bland, with virtually no heat or discernible chile flavor despite that it’s flecked red and green,” Sietsema wrote in July.
According to the release, Chipotle will use aged cheddar cheese, tomatillos, tomatoes and several varieties of peppers to create a “complex and slightly spicy flavor.”
Chipotle is notorious for rarely updating their menu. Earlier this year, it was reported the Denver-based company would start testing a dessert item, which would be only the third time they changed their menu in the last 20 years.
After E. coli outbreaks in 2015 drew customers away, the national chain said last year they would continue to expand their menu in an attempt to “restore customer traffic” after the outbreaks, according to Business Insider.