New in Durham: Dos Perros
Well, I was going to wait until I had lunch there to post a proper review, but instead I'm just going to encourage everyone to go try Dos Perros in downtown Durham at 200 Mangum St. while the watermelon/cucumber salad is still in season. That simple little dish was a revelation.
Whatever you do be sure to try the Platanos Rellenos, which are absolutely delicious.
I loved the ceviche the first time I had it, but the second time not so much.
I figure they've only been open a couple of weeks and they're still working things out here and there, so I'm totally letting them off the hook.
They have a nice selection of fun cocktails, but what I really appreciate about Charlie Deal (of Jujube fame) is that he takes such care with his wine selections. I've never had a bad glass of wine at Jujube and now I can say the same for Dos Perros. There are always at least a couple of selections priced so you can afford to drink more than one. I so appreciate this now that palatable juice seems to cost no less than $8/glass just about everywhere.
If you're not ready to commit to a full meal, sidle up to the bar and start with a nice cocktail and a little plate of those Platanos Rellenos and just enjoy the space.
You'll find a nice review with lots of details on Carpe Durham. I generally agree with most of these comments and as I was too busy eating to think about writing down the names of the dishes, I'm going to add a link here:
The space is nice and the dress code according to the web site is 'smart casual', but it's also loud (forgot to mention that in my post - that's the one negative I've got about the place - it's hard to hear your dining companion(s) when the room starts filling up). I don't think anyone would even notice the kids, as long as they aren't running in the aisles or anything.
They don't have a kids' menu, though, and while I think the prices are reasonable for what you get, you're looking at $15-$30 per entree for dinner, so it may not be ideal for smaller kids. Lunch might be a better choice for them.
Menu link: http://dosperrosrestaurant.com/menus/
Full disclosure: I'm the owner and am only replying because this is a pretty straight forward question. People bring in kids all the time. Like others have mentioned, it's not a quiet place especially when it gets busy, so that shouldn't be a problem.
We don't have a kids menu but happily make quesadillas and the like for any kids too young to find something off the menu they like. So far, most haven't had much of a problem finding something for the youngins.
Also, as a point of clarification, while the website lists entrees that range from $15 to $30, the $30 one was a whole fish intended for two. We've found smaller whole fish to use now, so our entrees actually range from $12 to $18. We need to get on the website to update the menu but we've been tweaking it so much in the first weeks that it's hard to keep up.
We were there Saturday evening too. Loved it! Really liked the tortilla chips and salsa. I tried the watermelon agua fresca, which was perfect - not too sweet and quite refreshing.
I had the Cochinita Pibil, which was outstanding, and does now come with the pickled red onion that the Carpe Durham post mentioned was lacking at the time of their visit. It came with the spicy pinto beans and zucchini/tomato/onion sides also mentioned in the Carpe Durham post, both of which I also enjoyed (husband also got the zucchini side with his meal and declared it overcooked - he tends to like more bite to his vegs).
Husband got the Camarones al Ajillo, which he said was excellent, but after trying my pork, he said he liked that even more.
Dessert was the Mexican chocolate ice cream sprinkled with canded orange peel. The ice cream was creamy and delcious, with a hint of cinnamon.
The only thing I had that I didn't care for was the coffee - a bit too on the acidic/bitter side for my taste, but all in all a wonderful meal.
The place was hopping, too, so they look to be off to a fantastic start.
I went there tonight with my wife, I went to the owners other place a few times while interviewing and after moving to the triangle and I really enjoyed it, so I was looking forward to trying it out.
Overall, we both liked it. nice space, it was a fairly packed house. it would be a great place to have a couple of drinks and some snacks. Interesting cocktails (I just had a beer so nothing to report there). Brought out some chips and salsa (tomatillo?), tasty.
apps: ceviche - very tasty! light and refreshing (good for these miserable humid summer days), tamale - good, solid flavors, but compared to the rest of the meal it was just 'good'.
entrees : pork pastor (it was a special) - perfectly cooked, nice caramelization on the outside, but so very tender. came with rice and beans. the beans were insanely good, spicy, smoky, the best part of the meal for me.(but I love beans)
chicken mole - very tasty. could have been slightly spicier. also came with rice and beans.
dessert - fig pudding. my wife loved it, I only thought it was okay. I saw a few orders of churros going out, I will definitely get them next time.