Authentic Mexican Food

How it took me so long to get to Dos Amigos is a bit of a mystery. J and I would read and hear about it over the years and say, “We should really try it out.” Four months later, it would come up again and we’d say the same thing. We had a current favourite, La Mexicana, that was 7 blocks away, yummy and very reasonably priced. We tried out another, higher-end place with a couple of locations in the city and were underwhelmed. We could have made the same food at home for significantly less. (I will say that the mole was very, very good, though.)

Finally, we decided to just GO to Dos Amigos already. Located in a house right across from the TTC yard on Bathurst, you might drive right by it if you didn’t know it was there. But believe me, you do not want to miss this place. Our first meal there was…epic. Not realizing just how large the portions are, we each ordered an appetizer and a meal. I ordered the mussels which came in a fragrant tomato, lime and beer broth and was accompanied by a giant, warm, crusty whole grain bun. J ordered the chicken tostadas that arrived with mounds of chicken, tomato, lettuce and queso fresco. This could have been our meals unto themselves. After polishing off our appetizers, we moved on to another round of sangria and eagerly looked forward to the main course.

When we’d ordered the main course, I ordered off the “specialties” menu and our waitress had looked particularly pleased with the choice. We’d picked “Julianna’s Recommendation” and a knowing smile had spread across her face. I had no idea that I was in for a giant plate o’ delicious. This enormous, guacamole- and cheese-smothered plate of food arrived at our table and I could feel my mouth water. This amazing concoction of beans and peppers came wrapped in a steak. Yes, that’s right. Wrapped in a steak. Then it was covered with guacamole and cheese and it was just…oh, drool. J ordered the taquiza platter: a variety of tacos served with piping hot flour tortillas. There was pork (al pastor), chicken, beef, and vegetable tacos and they were resoundingly scrumptious. We decided the pork was our favourite: a bit of a bite, balanced nicely with sweet pineapple.  We somehow finished these monstrosities and when our waitress came back to take our plates, she looked appreciatively at the empty dishes and remarked, “Well done.” We rather thought so. We were pretty sure they’d have to get a forklift get us outta there after that one.

We waddled out to the car and proceeded to dissect the meal. The beef was so tender! The tostadas were piled high with fresh ingredients! The mussels…oh, how I love those mussels. We then went on to tell absolutely everyone about this place. We loved it so much, we literally went back the following Saturday for more. What did we discover this time? Parrillada Mixta: a combination of grilled chicken breast, steak, chorizo sausage and pork served with two quesadillas, grilled onions, tortillas, frijoles, guacamole and our daily sauces.  We’d learned our lesson from the last time: we just ordered that one main and split it. It was one giant plate o’ meat, with a side of more meat and excellent quesadillas. Though we did feel that the pork was a bit overcooked, the rest of the meal was, as before, completely and utterly fantastic. Fresh, cooked to order and really flavourful.

Since we’d ordered less for our apps and main, we decided we’d have some dessert. Sadly, they were out of the tres leches con chocolat (Mexican cake); but, they DID have churros con chocolat. These were not a disappointment. The little fritters arrived fresh out of the fryer, dusted with sugar and with a drizzle of dark chocolate. I quashed my inner 6-year old and shared with J, though it took a lot of self control. If you’ve got room for dessert, I wouldn’t pass these up!

We have been back several times since and have brought many with us. With perhaps the exception of the vegetable tamal, the restaurant has been met with rave reviews. It’s cozy, it’s friendly, it’s got excellent, authentic food and one of my favourite waitresses ever. It’s completely unpretentious AND it has a fabulous patio in the back. If you’re looking for me on a summer night, that’s where I’ll be.

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