Dos Toros Taquiera
Neighborhood: Union Square
Venue: Mexican Restaurant, Fast Casual
Atmosphere: Lunch Scene, Trendy
Crowd/Scene: Young urbanites
Rating: Uzo gives it 5/5 stars
Well, this place definitely lives up to whatever hype there is about it. I hadn’t heard much about Dos Toros from friends, but it has been all the buzz online. So, I finally got around to checking it out on Memorial Day!
I went to the Union Square location, and despite it being mid-afternoon on Memorial Day, there was no line. In fairness though, I’ve walked by at other times during the week, and the line has been out the “proverbial” door.
Having not been there before, I had no idea what to order, and I hadn’t bothered to do much research. But as soon as you walk-in, you can already the see the similarities to Chipotle. Above the front desk, there were boards listing all of the available options on the menu. Down below, there were metal buckets of different ingredients, from which customers were choosing the elements that would make their meal.
Fortunately, as soon as I got to the front of the line, a woman with a “platos” platter walked by me, and it looked delicious. So I went with the “platos” platter, which for you Chipotle fans is essentially the same thing as a “burrito bowl.” However, the main difference between the “burrito bowl” and the “platos” platter is that the ingredients aren’t necessarily piled on top of each other. Instead, the beans, rice and meat are laid out in thirds across the bottom of the bowl, before the additional toppings are equally spread across those 3 main ingredients.
In my bowl, I went with the carne asada, black beans, rice, tomatoes, and guacamole. Because they don’t have the corn option that Chipotle has, I went with sour cream–not exactly the healthy equivalent. And for all of you wondering, “no,” I did not get cheese. I’ve never been a huge fan of sprinkled cheese on my food. If it’s not melted, “no thank you.”
In my humble opinion, Dos Toros “platos” platter outperforms Chipotle’s “burrito bowl.” The big pieces of carne asada at Dos Toros are a lot jucier and flavorful than the small pebbles of steak that Chipotle serves. The spanish rice that Dos Toros offers is nothing to write home (or to a blog) about, but it is a welcome reprieve from the salty, cilantro-centric rice of Chipotle. And the black beans with my “platos” come with a lot more “bean juice” than at Chipotle, which I thought wouldn’t be a good thing, but because they were so well prepared with a little zesty flavor, it was a welcomed addition. Last but not least, the guacamole was unquestionably better at Dos Toros. It seemed less “sticky,” and it had a little kick that is hard to decipher, but certainly made my “platos” a hell of a lot better.
I hate to go to a new place and immediately compare it something else, but you can’t help but do so with Dos Toros, especially since it would appear that it’s little more than carbon-copy of Chipotle with it’s own flare. That said, they outdid Chipotle. Overall, my platter was less salty, more flavorful and had much better guacamole. If you ever have the option of choosing between Chipotle and Dos Toros (and funny enough, you have just that option in Union Square), I recommend you go with Dos Toros 9 out of 10 times–Chipotle still has the leg-up on the corn!