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Dos Toros Taqueria

Manhattan's food scene is far superior to San Francisco's, with one glaring exception - Mexican. Seeing this gaping hole as an opportunity, two Bay Area transplants decided to bring NYC a taste of how the 415 gets down. Considering that Chipotle is in the "Best Mexican" conversation around here, Dos Toros has been a welcome addition, catering to the hungry youth that hang out around Union Square.

Having spent a good amount of time in SF frequenting the originals, I've gotta say that while Dos is definitely good for NYC, it pales in comparison to its predecessors. The space, along with the burritos, pay homage to the Gordo’s Taqueria mini-franchise. From the foil wrap and paper bag packaging to the woven chairs, they hit the aesthetic right on the nose. Stuffed to the gills and served in identical red baskets, the tacos are a play on La Taqueria, a cult favorite in the Mission district. We applaud the effort and appreciate what Dos is trying to do. You can taste that they’re using high quality ingredients, but it's missing that little extra something to make the food memorable. Even so, we’ll definitely be back for some Quick Eats before an Irving Plaza show.

Food Rundown:

After multiple return trips, here’s our draft board rankings for their burrito fillings: 1.) Carnitas 2.) Carne Asada 3.) Pollo Asado 4.) Basic (no meat). Sorry vegetarians, but a meat free burrito kinda defeats the purpose. Just get a salad. The Dos Toros burrito (with choice of black or pinto beans, cheese, salsa, guac and sour cream) has a couple of pros and a couple of cons. Pros: the size is perfect - enough food to fill you up but doesn’t make you feel bloated and disgusting. Also, we dig the whole make your own at the counter thing, and the price is right. Cons: the wrap is not strong enough to handle the weight of the burrito and breaks too easily. Also, overall the food just lacks flavor. I can’t put my finger on exactly what it lacks, I just always feel like I want something a little more exciting. Unfortunately, dumping more hot sauce on top isn’t the answer.

TacosAgain, we dig the well sized portions. Last time through I ordered three so I could try all the different kinds of meat which was way too much. Two of these chubby tacos will do the trick. Each comes with a layer of melted cheese on the bottom and your choice of meat, salsa, sour cream and guacamole. The steak taco was particularly good.

QuesadillaI’ve never been a huge quesadilla guy, but my female half gave these her seal of approval, which leads me to believe they’re pretty damn good. She takes her chicken quesadillas very seriously…almost as seriously as her outfits for a Lady Gaga show. Almost.

Chips & Guacamole Now that I’m sitting here writing this review, I think I may have uncovered why these burritos and tacos aren’t coming together. Maybe it’s the underwhelming guacamole. Next time I go, I’m going sans guac and heavy hot sauce. That’s the plan.

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