By SUSAN ERICSON
A south-of-the-border lunch hankering nudged PieHole through the door of another of the center’s tenants: Queso Grill, where we were stopped short by the number of decisions that would need to be made before we could order lunch.
Chicken tostada, a special of the day at Queso Grill, below. (Photos by Susan Ericson. (click to enlarge)
Mexican in theme, in case you couldn’t guess by the name, the menu includes steps on how to order to your specifications, the first decision being the style. Do you want a “wet” burrito that you’ll need to eat with a fork, or a burrito wrap, which can be hand-held? A burrito bowl, tacos, a taco salad, fajitas, nachos or fish tacos?
Step two is a choice of protein: shrimp, steak, chicken, pork or ground beef, or a combination thereof. Throw into the mix three different bean options, and two rice choices, and we’re still not done. Step three is where you choose your toppings from among seven salsas, lettuce, cheddar jack cheese, sour cream, jalapenos, chopped onions, and cilantro. Premium toppings such as guacamole, peppers and onions, and queso cheese are also part of the decisionmaking process.
PieHole suggests first-timers check out the four-page menu online in advance to avoid the feeling that you’re holding up other customers.
We went for a steak burrito ($12.95) with just about everything from the toppings area. An orca of a meal, it came filled with tender grilled steak, brown Spanish rice, black beans, lettuce, cheese and guacamole. It was scrumptious, even if we could only get halfway through it.
We also had a chicken tostada ($6.95) from the daily specials menu. Crunchy and spicy, we’ll order this again.
Neither order was wimpy in flavor or heat: jalapenos were liberally applied. The only transgression we note was a tasteless, watery green salsa, but a basketful of hot sauce alternatives on every table offers all the heat your heart desires.
A dozen burger options, hot dogs, gyros, and quesadillas also populate the menu, with additional pages dedicated to salad bar selections, which are also ordered in steps.
While plenty of customers come in for takeout, many others slide into the comfortable cushioned booths. Vivid walls and and pretty murals bring a cheerful transformation to the dining area.
Queso Grill is open Monday through Thursday, 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.; Friday and Saturday until 10 p.m.; and from noon to 9 p.m. on Sunday. It’s BYOB, and delivery is available.