Saturday, March 13, 2010

Dos Perros: Good Food with Mexican Flair

Most people in the triangle probably do not associate Mexican food with elegant cuisine. We generally go to the Mexican chain restaurants for a giant plate of Tex-Mex style chicken/pork/beef smothered in sauce and cheese for not a lot of money. Or we choose a taqueria that serves great food out of a van on a paper plate. But authentic Mexican cuisine can come with the entire experience of eating at a nice restaurant. And thanks to Dos Perros, we now have a place to go in downtown Durham that combines the truly great Mexican food of a local taqueria with the ambiance of a nice restaurant. With dishes ranging from spiced roast hen to pork carnitas to vegetables in mole sauce, Dos Perros offers options for all tastes, each with authentic Mexican spices and flavors. An equally impressive beverage menu, including a variety of reasonably priced wines and plenty of Margarita flavors, rounds out the dining experience, to put Dos Perros in an entirely different class than your usual Mexican chain. So if you're in the mood for some spice and heat in your culinary life, check out Dos Perros for a plate of truly authentic Mexican food with a side of refined atmosphere.

For my first course this evening, I went with a salad on the list of rotating specials. Tonight's offering was a delicious mix of jicama, white beans, and spinach, all tossed in a spicy mango vinaigrette. The balance of sweet and spicy in the vinaigrette was delicious and a perfect compliment to the crisp and refreshing jicama and the tender white beans. Although a very large portion for a starter, I couldn't help but eat the whole thing despite wanting to save room for my entree. It was that good.

I chose the grilled spiced-rubbed grouper for my entree. Served with a side of seasonal vegetables and rice, this was a great mix of Mexican spices without any of the heaviness present in so many Mexican dishes. The fish was a delicate balance of tender white meat and bold spices. The best part of the plate, however, was the seasonal vegetables. The mix of sauteed zucchini with onions and tomatoes was perfectly seasoned, cooked to a tender softness and full of flavor. Add the seasoned rice and the dish was definitely an overall success.

To compliment this delicious meal, I enjoyed the Paul D. Gruner Vetliner, a delicious Austrian white wine that's light floral flavor complimented the spices in the food perfectly. The description of "way too tasty to be this affordable" is spot on as this wine is only $5 per glass and yet is one of the better whites I've had recently. Gruner Vetliner is an under-appreciated white wine grape, which is great with a wide variety of foods. So with a delicious wine, spiced and flavorful food and a pleasant atmosphere, Dos Perros provided an excellent dining experience overall and gave new meaning to the often stereotyped Mexican cuisine.

Dos Perros on Urbanspoon

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