By Amanda Hill

What’s the test of a true Texan? Ask them what they call melted, spicy cheese. I cringe at “hot cheese” and “cheese dip”—It’s queso, bless their hearts…

Cinco de Mayo is this week, and like any good Texan, I’ll be celebrating with my favorite Tex-Mex dinner—chicken enchiladas, rice and more chips, salsa and queso than I certainly need. We Texans love our Tex-Mex, especially the really authentic tacos, burritos, homemade tortillas and refried beans that come from restaurants off the beaten path. Or, if you’d rather whip up something yourself, check out Robb Walsh’s The Tex-Mex Cookbook: A history in recipes and photos.

It’s pretty rare to find great Tex-Mex north of the Red River. Actually, in my opinion, the fare tastes better the closer you get to the Texas-Mexico border. San Antonio is often credited for the largest concentration of Tex-Mex restaurants in the Lone Star State, including Mi Tierra, a must-visit when I’m in San Antone. But, to be honest, ask any Texan where to find the best Tex-Mex in the state, and they’ll all give you different answers. There are just too many to narrow it to one.

In a lot of ways, Tex-Mex is a window into the Lone Star State itself. It’s not purely Mexican cuisine. Apparently, the genre originated as a group effort of Mexican, Czech, German and Anglo immigrants in the 1800s. They brought their own flair to food that became uniquely Texan.

The same holds true today. Every Tex-Mex restaurant has its own unique personality, taste and atmosphere. But let’s be honest—true Texans know that the good stuff can only be found this side of the state line.

What about you? Any Tex-Mex spots that you swear by?