This is Going to Get Cheesy

In 2015, when we launched The Storyhive, we had just quit our ‘real’ jobs and were eager to grow our business. So most out-of-town trips frequently turned into meeting as many potential customers as possible. That often meant we skipped first and second lunch as we fought traffic to get from one side of a city to the other.

On one particular trip to San Francisco, Jena had booked Tom and Alex on a red eye flight from Houston to do a location scout, shoot and client meeting-- all on the same day. Their day wrapped at 7 p.m. and they found themselves at an Irish pub across the street from the downtown San Francisco location of their last meeting.

So what’s the most appetizing dish at an Irish Pub in Northern California? It’s probably not a quesadilla but they ordered it anyway. And what were Tom and Alex served? Nachos, of course. It was complete with store-bought, slightly frozen guacamole.

San Francisco, California

We found it so hilarious that we decided to create a quesadilla coffee table book that included reviews (good, bad, or ugly) of the cheesy dish we sampled in states and countries where Hivesters worked.

We established some ground rules for a quesadilla to be included in the book:

  1. At least two Hivesters had to try the tortilla-based meal.

  2. We could only eat one quesadilla per state -- no repeats. So that means California, you’ll always be known for your nachos in our book.

  3. We couldn’t research the best quesadilla in a town prior to a trip. We didn’t ask for recommendations except for on our shooting date.

  4. We had to be traveling to or through the location for work. However, we did cheat on this rule a few times with Jena and Tom eating quesadillas on vacation in Thailand and the Cayman Islands and Alex and E in Hawaii because they were ‘working.’

Cayman Islands


Surprisingly, we traveled often for work during our first few years in business, which meant we ate a lot of quesadillas.

Acton, Massachusetts

New Orleans, Louisiana

Boulder, Colorado

Phoenix, Arizona

Syracuse, New York

Calgary, Canada

Maui, Hawaii

Wolf Point, Montana

The quesadilla challenge became so much a part of our company culture that clients joined in the fun, suggesting restaurants and rating the meals.

Freelancers who we were lucky enough to break tortilla with also joined. Sean Horejs and Anderson Castro provided detailed reviews of the quesadillas they consumed.

In most cases, our team shared one quesadilla but when our group was large, we ordered multiple types of the dish -- quesadillas stuffed with vegetables or meat, for example.

Charlotte, North Carolina

We tried to give each state a chance to convince us their chefs could prepare an authentic, cheesy-licious dish.

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Scotland, UK

Portland, Oregon

So unless absolutely necessary, we avoided eating the meal in an airport, for example. Apologies to New York and Washington state... your airport quesadillas were all we could manage to eat during quick trips.