A thing or two
There are few things I enjoy more than discovering a new eatery hiding in plain sight. Though I knew Carniceria Dos Amigos is one of the shops at the northeast corner of Moana and Kietzke, I didn’t notice until last week that they’d added a small restaurant next door. Nearly everything on the menu is made in-house, with tortillas, sauces and marinated meats available for retail sale in the shop.
Crispy tortilla chips and a delicious salsa started things off with what I consider a perfect amount of heat, balanced by plenty of fresh onion, tomato and cilantro. My wife and I make pico de gallo at home, but this version included some form of black magic that made me swoon with every bite. Trust me, you’ll want to buy a pint to take home.
A rather unique serving of queso fundido con chorizo (melted cheese and spicy sausage) ($5.99) was shared by the table. Instead of a melty cheese and sausage dip, a big pile of chorizo—surrounded by jalapeño halves—was piled atop melted Oaxaca cheese with a little more cheese sprinkled on top. The flavor was fine, but a fork was required to pull it apart and place it on a chip. I took half of it home to make a breakfast burrito.
We followed the chips with a plate of tacos ($2 each), including carnitas (slow-cooked pork), lengua (beef tongue), al pastor (pork roasted in spices and pineapple), carne asada (marinated flank steak), chorizo (spicy sausage) and birria (goat stew). Each taco was loaded with meat, topped with veggies and sauce and accompanied by a side of fiery hot sauce. All the meats were tender, moist and well-seasoned, although caution is warranted with the goat; birria often includes a bone fragment or two. It’s better to order the birria soup ($7.99) so you can spot the bony bits amongst the savory, spicy chunks of meat.
My wife’s burrito de pollo ($4.99) was very flavorful, largely due to the better-than-average rice, refried beans and a near-perfect blend of herbs and spices ($4.99). Similarly, a tostada de camarón ($3.99)—fresh shrimp, mildly cured with lime juice and cilantro atop a crispy corn tortilla—was bursting with flavor. My daughter enjoyed a plate of costilla en salsa verde (bone-in pork chops in green sauce)($8.99). Again, you have to watch out for bones in the pork chop chunks. The meat was served in green sauce with julienned onion and jalapeño.
The soft, crusty roll of a chorizo torta (Mexican sandwich) ($5.99) was stuffed with meat and veggies and served with plenty of square-cut fries. The sandwich was too big to be finished in one sitting, but we all pitched in on the fries. Similarly, a pair of chicken enchiladas ($8.99) totally covered in a ton of cheese was more than could be finished. The flavor and texture of the marinated, grilled chicken was very good and completely different from that used in the burrito.
Wanting to try something new I ordered filete al aacute;ngel (fish fillet) ($10.99). It was the size of a hubcap and fried in a crispy coating of seasoned cornmeal. Delicious on its own, the fish was topped with a generous serving of tender octopus and melted Oaxaca cheese. Served with rice, beans and veggie garnish, it was a huge amount of quality food for the price.