Dallas Suaqueso > Philadelphia Cheese Steak = This Should Be Dallas' Official Bar Food
If humans are anything, they are adaptable. When I lived in D.C. I had a serious cheese steak problem. After a night out with friends, if burritos weren't immediately available I'd be willing to walk miles for a cheese steak. I did it many times. I'm convinced this habit has prevented a statistically significant amount of hangovers, and I'll continue to indulge my late-night cheese steak habit until no less than five years after a doctor demands that I stop.
Ignore the two pastor tacos in the background. Clearly I have a problem.
The problem is, I haven't found a single good cheese steak in Dallas. (Finding a good one in DC was hard too.) But don't think I'd let that stop me from nurturing what is a very real need. There's a new meat and cheese mixture that I can honestly say is better than any cheese steak I've ever had in any city. It's called suaqueso.
I had something similar to La Banqueta's suadero and queso hybrid (clearly an obsession has started) stuffed between two tortillas at El Tizoncito a while back. I'd asked the waitress her favorite dish and she pointed to bistec con queso so I went for it. I took one bite and I called it: This is a cheese steak. It had steak, peppers, onions and plenty of melted cheese. All it was missing was the roll that defines the Philadelphian icon.
La Banqueta's suaqueso is even better because the suadero's crunchy bits add flavor and texture that's missing from El Tizoncito's version. It's also missing from most Philadelphia cheese steaks because cooks crowd the grill with meat, which weeps moisture, cools the cooking surface, and prevents browning. It tastes like steak, I guess, but it doesn't have an texture or personality. That's why I can say with a high degree of confidence that La Banqueta's suaqueso is better than any cheese steak in Philadelphia and maybe the entire world. I'm serious.
Maybe I'm just a fish out of water, and maybe this is some sort of environmental adjustment I've made to cope with a new life in Texas, but suaqueso makes me seriously happy. The only problem is my favorite La Banqueta location closes at 9 p.m. and the other locations are too far for a late night drive. So here's my solution: Let's make suaqueso Dallas' iconic barfood.
Every bar in Dallas should offer suaqueso, just like every bar in New York offers buffalo style chicken wings. If they do it right (and it's really not that difficult) they'd clean up. They'd give Dallas something to cheer for. And I'd be really fucking fat.