Queso Fundido @ Carthay Circle Lounge

Price: $15.00

When: November 28, 2015, 4:05 PM

Reservations: n/a

Verdict? Not recommended

So you’ve been walking around the parks all day long with a few close friends, and now you’re ready to recharge. You land a table at the Carthay Circle Lounge. You’ve ordered a martini. You’re a bit peckish. And you’re looking for something a little indulgent, a little caloric, that you can share with the group.

You notice the Queso Fundido on the appetizer menu, and think, “Hey! Chips and cheese dip! Perfect!”

Don’t do it.

This is a very, very, very underwhelming dish. It’s bland. It’s not well-executed. And it’s kind of a pain to eat.

First: the cheese. It’s just simple Jack, melted into a circular patty. Jack doesn’t start with much flavor, but nothing special has been done to assist it, either. Given that cheese is the core of this dish, that’s a problem.

Second: the accessories. There’s a layer of salsa and peppers on top of the cheese. They have a bit of spice, but nothing to write home about. And there’s not nearly enough, relative to the quantity of cheese and chips.

Finally: the chips. These are garden-variety, buy-’em-at-the-store chips. (I’m guessing they’re Tostitos.) And while there’s nothing wrong with Tostitos, per se, the problem here is that these are weak. They snap and break easily. A stiff breeze could cut one of these suckers in half. Unlike the burly, sturdy chips used by the Cove for their Spinach and Artichoke Dip, these chips are of zero use for actually loading up the chip. So now you’re using a spoon to get a chunk of cheese, and then you’re gently lowering it on to the chip, and …

You get the picture. It’s a pain.

My suggestions? Switch to a sharp cheddar. Add more salsa and peppers. And call the Cove’s chip supplier.

Until then, skip this. There are other, better things on the Carthay’s appetizer menu.