Tag Archives: Dos Toros

Once again Time Out New York released their Top 100 Dishes of the year and once again, I’m going to eat my way through every one. And no price point or subway delay will stop me. In no particular order, here’s my take on their Top 100.

Every country has their own regional culinary differences (think of the differences between Southern and New England food), but I’m not sure if other countries have different regional styles based on another ethnic cuisine. I’m talking about American Mexican food.

The phenomenon is similar to the Americanization of Chinese food, but in most urban areas you can sample Mexico’s own regional culinary styles (like Yucatan, Pueblan, and Oaxacan) in addition to these new cuisines: Tex Mex, SoCalMex and Mission-Style Mexican. ¬†Thanks to chains like Chevy’s and Baja Fresh, we’re pretty much all too familiar with the Texas Mexican fusion food. But what are these other two that can both be considered Cal-Mex? My brain hurts with all these annoying abbreviations.

Much like the debate between New York and Chicago pizza, California has their own civil war over whose Mexican food (specifically burritos) is better – San Diego or San Francisco. The main difference is that San Fran steams their tortillas and uses more fillers like rice and black beans. San Diego grills their tortillas and focuses more on the meat and sauce.

Brothers Leo and Oliver Kremer were shocked to discover that nobody in New York was making Mission-style Mexican food. So instead of moving back to San Francisco, they opened Dos Toros (meaning “two bulls”) in early 2009 and were immediately a hit with New Yorkers (and critics) who were tired of Chipotle (that company is based in Colorado but relies on Mission-style cuisine).

And while most people will talk about the burritos in San Francisco as being the must-have dish, Time Out recognized one of the tacos at Dos Toros. It was a meaty Carne Asada Taco and I took their advice when ordering the food by having them top it with everything possible (including the unusual 46 cents extra charge for the guacamole – why 46 cents?). Waiting on the rather disorganized line and choosing the vessel (taco, burrito, quesadilla, plato) for my choice of meat (carnitas, pollo asado, or carne asado), I couldn’t help but think of Chipotle. But in reverse, because I imagine that mediocre food chain modeled their locations on places that felt like this in California.

The taco wasn’t much bigger than the ones at cheaper Mexican bodegas around the city, but was slightly more expensive. The grilled flap steak (which has a similar flavor and texture to skirt) was fresh and loaded with spicy, smoky flavors, if a bit salty. Salt or not, I do think they could have been a bit more generous with that juicy meat. The addition of Monterey Jack cheese, tangy pico de gallo, and that fresh guacamole helped fill the corn tortilla, although the hot sauce was tough to pick out since I didn’t get much heat.

We also liked the carnitas plato we tried, which is basically a burrito with the tortilla. Yet I’m a little embarrassed that I went to Dos Toros and didn’t actually try the thing that brought them here in the first place: the Mission-style burrito. Maybe I’ll just wait until somebody invents the Manhattan burrito and then I can fight over which is better. I think we should call it MannMex.

Would Dos Toros’ Carne Asada Tacos make my Top 100 of the year? 7 out of 10 because it’s definitely a step or two up from Chipotle, but I’d have liked hotter hot sauce and maybe a bit more of that hugely flavorful meat.

DOS TOROS
137 4th Avenue (between 13th and 14th Street)
East Village
(212) 677-7300
dostoros.com

Connect with me

Link to our Youtube Page
Link to our Facebook Page
Link to our Rss Page
Link to our Twitter Page

WATCH

LOCALS KNOW: CUSCO RUINS & MARKETS TOUR in CUSCO AROUND THE WORLD IN ONE CITY: IRAN AROUND THE WORLD IN ONE CITY: PERU AROUND THE WORLD IN ONE CITY: GREECE
EMPIRE PLATES OF MINE A DAY IN THE LIFE
EAT THIS BOSTON: IN THE SOUP SOMETHING BORROWED, SOMETHING BREWED


DREAM A LITTLE CREAM CHEESE


BIG TROUBLE IN LITTLE CHINATOWN


ICE CREAM


KOSHER MEAT MARKET


PIZZA DAY


Instagram Feed