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Dos Urban Cantina

PHOTOS: Dos Urban Cantina

We all have that person we forget we dated. They were kind, attractive, intelligent, but much to the disappointment of your mother, the spark just wasn’t there. Likewise, Dos Urban Cantina checks all the boxes, but sadly, there’s no chemistry.

On paper, it was the one. The menu reads like a fairytale—Mexican street corn, carnitas, octopus in squid ink sauce. The globally-inspired Mexican food isn't your average taqueria, and we like that. We thought we were ready to settle down with the dinner of our dreams, but when it was time to get serious, the flavor just wasn’t there. We tried to stay optimistic. Surely, some salt or spice would start to come around—and for a few bites of goat meatballs and sweet corn tamal, it did. But one or two things fails to compensate for the rest of the meal, and ultimately, both the food and relationship are bland.

Don’t get us wrong, there are a lot of things we like about Dos Urban Cantina. The service is great, the space is lovely, and we'll always have dessert. Everything on the dessert menu sounds like a hit, but unlike dinner it actually delivers. The Piloncillo Sugar Pie is one the best desserts around, and the next person to order The Best Chocolate Cake is going to be a really lucky guy. The dessert alone is almost worth it, but then you remember that you’re an amazing person, and good enough is a dangerous emotional game. You deserve somebody to sweep you off your feet.

Dos Urban Cantina is nice and all, but we prefer to remain just friends.

Food Rundown

Cocktails

Sweet across the board. If that’s your kind of thing, you’re in luck. But if it’s not, ask a lot of questions and proceed with caution.

Chips and Dip

This trio kind of sets the tone for the night. A standard guacamole, salsa that's not very good, and a weird pumpkin seed hummus. Not the good kind of weird, just the weird kind of weird.

Black Lentils

Black lentils with cous cous, poached egg, watercress, and jalapeño salsa. We were enticed by the poached egg, but it wasn't all that exciting. We'd skip it next time around.

Sweet Corn Tamal

We love the sweet corn and charred parmesan, but we don't love dancing around the tomato salsa on the plate. The corn tamal itself is one of the better things you can eat, but it's also tough to trust a Mexican restaurant with bad salsa.

Street Style Corn

Mexican street corn is having a moment, and you can do much better than this.

Raw Scallops

A raw scallop ceviche with spicy lime aguachile, chia seeds, and roasted sweet potato. Not bad, but looks prettier than it tastes.

Carnitas

Pulled pork with buttered potatoes and a tomatillo broth. There's no flavor. A little spice wouldn't hurt.

Goat Albondigas

Goat meatballs with black mole and masa gnudi. This is a good one. The meatballs are flavorful and mole is great. Make sure to get this in the mix.

Octopus

There's nothing specifically octopussy about this. All you taste is squid ink and rice, so it could easily be a chicken dish and we'd be none the wiser. At least it gave us the opportunity to say octopussy.

Grilled Chicken

Simple grilled chicken dish with roasted veggies and fried chicken skin. That's all we have to say about that.

Piloncillo Sugar Pie

Do NOT pass on dessert. This sugar pie is sweet, but not overpowering. The crust is light and flakey and it’s truly in a league of its own.

The Best Chocolate Cake

A more decadent version of Portillo’s chocolate cake, aka: it’s heaven. Allegedly the pastry chef has spent years perfecting her chocolate cake recipe, and as far as we’re concerned, mission accomplished. Do not leave without eating this.

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