Bismarck college student wins Pancheros Queso King title

Published: Sep. 23, 2020 at 5:41 PM CDT
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BISMARCK, N.D. (KFYR) - Some people may get bored with eating the same food every day, but not Aaron Vallejo.

He ordered Pancheros queso 281 times, from National Queso Day on Sept. 20, 2019 through September 2020.

The chain restaurant is now giving Vallejo a royal honor.

As he walks into Pancheros Mexican grill in North Bismarck, a king prepares to hold court.

“They always yell ‘Aaron’ when I walk in and stuff like that. There’s always a big ol' smile on my face and a smile on their face when I walk in,” said Vallejo.

“He’s like Norm from ‘Cheers’ around here,” said Kelly Folden, Pancheros Assistant Manager.

Vallejo ordered more queso from the chain than anyone in the world last year, making him the Queso King.

“After they announced the Queso Cup last year, I told myself I’m going to win this for sure,” said Vallejo.

“As soon as Aaron pulls up, we could start making his food and have it down the line by the time he gets in if we need to,” said Folden.

Vallejo likes to keep his order simple. It’s just rice, chicken and queso.

“I just like the flavor better. I think it’s better than {Qdoba} or Chiptole, so this is my number one place to always come to,” said Aaron.

Vallejo beat last year’s king by more than 40 orders, but says he could’ve eaten more.

“Quarantine for the corona, and then I had COVID, so that’s 14 days; the other days, I don’t know, off days. I had to prepare my stomach again,” said Vallejo.

Vallejo is off to college in Moorhead soon, but the king says he’ll check back in on his castle whenever he’s in town.

He said his crown cost a little more than $3,000, but he won’t have to worry about paying during his year-long reign.

His subjects will cover the cost of his queso until next National Queso Day, when Vallejo says he hopes to retain his title.

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