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Franklin Barbecue Enters SXSW Queso Showcase

A limited edition Quesoff is taking place during the Austin festival

Quesoff in 2016
Quesoff in 2016
Jessica Alexander
Nadia Chaudhury is the editor of Eater Austin covering food and pop culture, as well as a photographer, writer, and frequent panel moderator and podcast guest.

Even though last year’s Quesoff was canceled because of Hurricane Harvey, the queso event is coming back for SXSW on Tuesday, March 13. It’s a best-of-the-best edition. There will be queso from restaurants like Franklin Barbecue, Valentina’s Tex Mex BBQ, Emmer & Rye, and San Antonio’s Mixtli. Then there are returning champs Frank (even though the Austin restaurant is currently closed because of unpaid taxes), and other groups like Cheesus and the Austin Facial Club. Read on for the full list below.

This iteration of Quesoff is different than the usual ones. There are no judges or winners; instead each restaurant and group will serve their best queso to the public.

The SXSW Quesoff will take place at the SouthBites Trailer Park at Driskill and Rainey streets at 2 p.m. It will be open to the public, but the competitor list is fixed, meaning no one else can enter to compete. Never fear, the regular Quesoff will take place this summer too.

Because of pitmaster Aaron Franklin’s involvement, this Quesoff is pegged as a pop-up for the pitmaster’s food festival, Hot Luck, which will be returning to Austin in May. A Hot Luck staffer teased that Hot Luck will host other pop-ups in Austin as well as other cities in the country.

This isn’t the first time the Quesoff took place during SXSW; there was a competition held in 2016.

SXSW Quesoff Competitors

  • Frank
  • Austin Facial Hair Club
  • Cheesus
  • Willigan’s Island
  • Franklin Barbecue
  • JuiceLand
  • Mixtli
  • Emmer & Rye
  • Valentina’s Tex Mex BBQ

This post has been updated to reflect that the SXSW Quesoff isn’t a competition; rather it’s a showcase.