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Dec 31, 2009 06:37 AM

Dorado Tacos - excellent experience

My husband and I had lunch at Dorado Tacos the other day - the previous thread refers mostly to reviews when it first opened, so I thought it was worthy of a new thread. We had an EXCELLENT experience. I had the swordfish taco, we shared the chips/guac/salsa plate, and my husband had the dorado taco (pollock) and the sirloin taco plate, with beans and rice. I know that people had complained about the quality of the tortilla, but I thought that they were excellent - perfect temperature, and very tasty. My swordfish taco was delicious, and a perfect serving size, esp. since we split the chips plate. The guac was excellent, and the tomatillo/avocado salsa was fantastic and very refreshing. My husband enjoyed his tacos, but preferred the dorado taco, and loved his beans. The owner was behind the counter, and was very nice and helpful. All in all, an excellent fish taco experience.

Dorado Tacos & Cemitas
401 Harvard St, Brookline, MA 02446

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  1. I like the tacos, mainly the fish ones and the chorizo, but I love the cemitas, especially the chicken. That's one mean sandwich. The elotes are good when they have them, too.

    1 Reply
    1. re: MC Slim JB

      Yeah, the cemitas are really good, I prefer the pork one personally, but imagine all of them are good. I went there in the summer and got tacos with my wife, and thought they were very good. I had the sirloin and the chorizo, both were excellent. It's sad I live so far away (my wife works in Coolidge Corner), as the tacos get too cold on the trip to our house (Rozzie), but the cemitas travel really quite nicely.

    2. Since I live right around the corner now and love fish tacos, I went in a couple of weeks ago and got a few. I was very excited to see "Fish Tacos" actually written right on the windows, thinking that this might be a nice authentic little Mexican place that Coolidge Corner could certainly use.

      Well, I was completely and utterly underwhelmed. For anyone who had real fish tacos in, say, San Diego or in Mexico, it should be apparent that this is a very pale imitation. In my humble opinion tacos should be made and sold by Mexican cooks-owners, not new-age health conscious (insert your own adjective) crowd. So the end result was predictable for me, unfortunately. Big blah.

      I think that Anna's, of all places, is a more authentic and a more honest mexican joint. And that's saying something, considering that Anna's is a low cost chain.

      7 Replies
      1. re: solo2

        I don't understand if it matters who the cooks and owners are. I agree I've had better fish tacos elsewhere. But I don't know for a fact that they've all been made by Mexicans. I don't know if they're going for "more honest". They are who they are, they're putting out what they believe is the best product they can. They do seem quite earnest.

          1. re: CookieLee

            I'm not actually questioning the honesty or integrity of the owners of Dorado or people who work there. They seem to be fine people. Maybe a bit aloof, but fine and pleasant on my only visit there and made an earnest effort to make decent food the place was nice and clean.

            It's just that... it's not an authentic mexican place. And I expected (hoped for, really) a good authentic mexican place with good fish tacos. Given a choice between Dorado and Anna's/Qdoba/Boca I would not choose Dorado. As a matter of fact, that's exactly what I've done since.

            PS. Had pretty decent fish tacos at El Pelon near Fenway,

            1. re: solo2

              Yeah, well I hoped big time for a good authentic Mexican place with good fish tacos. I kept hearing how great Dorado was in JP (?). I waited impatiently for them to open, and look at it, it's the most sterile, boring environment, I don't even have an appetite to go in there. I had a fish taco there the night they were free. It was very good, not as good as I've had for sure.
              And, I was finally going to make my way to El Pelon, and they burned down. Who knows if / when they'll be back.

          2. re: solo2

            Both Anna's and Boca Grande are owned by people of Japanese decent <>.

            To me, it's irrelevant where the people who make my food are from, but only that they enjoy the type of food they make and put care into the process.

            That said, I've been very happy with the tacos I've had at La Verdad and El Pelon. I'm less of a fan of Anna's, etc. and have yet to try Dorado as I've been out of the country for a few months. I'm putting it on my list now...especially the cemitas and the Mexican Coke.

            1. re: npwest

              Right, I must go try La Verdad. Thanks for the reminder!

            2. re: solo2

              Folks, we've had to remove some posts from this thread.

              Please keep in mind that we're here to rate the chow, not the Chowhound. We encourage you to add your own opinions and reviews of the chow at local restaurants, but please refrain from critiquing the way other hounds post or eat.

              We're all just amateur reviewers, generously sharing our thoughts on our meals with other hounds. We don't want any hound to hold back from offering his/her opinions because they fear that their tips or opinions won't meet another poster's standards.

              In addition, the discussion of what is or isn't "authentic" is a topic that inevitably ends up with angry opinions, so we'd ask that everyone accept that one person's definition of authentic doesn't need to jibe with anyone else. Feel free to share your own opinions of local chow, but please refrain from adding your opinions of other people's opinions. Thanks.

            3. Just saw on Twitter that Dorado now serves beer, stocking a few bottled Mexican lagers. Nice!


              1. I had an excellent experience too. I utterly dislike the taste of cilantro, and for those who have been to Dorado - you know that almost everything there seems to include it. I ordered two tacos without salsa. The owner didn't take my order, but he got wind of it and came out to talk to me. He wanted to know why I ordered them so plain. When I told him it was because of the cilantro, he pulled out the official recipe book and found the one salsa that they carry that doesn't include it and gave me a few sides to try.

                I felt that he went out of his way to make sure I was going to enjoy my meal....and I did! I have been to many places like Dorado and my meals without cilantro, which is often boring. Not once has anyone pulled out the recipe book.

                11 Replies
                1. re: FoodLush

                  I posted a mediocre review of Dorado on Yelp and the owner sent me a message just introducing himself which I thought was a really nice gesture. They're definitely trying so kudos for customer service, definitely! I just found the fish tacos not to be authentic at all so I didn't care for them. I do enjoy their grilled corn very much though!

                  1. re: BellatrixStar

                    I just had lunch at Dorado this afternoon (they do indeed have beer now, although I went with my usual Mundet apple soda regardless) and was entirely satisfied.

                    While I've always cared much more about "tasty" than "authentic," I would also say that Dorado comes closer to a proper San Diego-style fish taco than anyplace else I've ever seen around here, right down to the all-important cabbage slaw and pickled radishes. In fact, I would say that the one point at which they stray from SD tradition is that they have a much gentler hand with the crema, and to me, that's an improvement, not a complaint.

                    Where El Pelon -- whose fish tacos I never cared for -- always fell down for me was the fish. They always used a very meaty fish, which felt stodgy and leaden in that context: a proper fish taco uses a light, flaky fish in a thin, crispy batter, which is what Dorado uses. At $2.49 a pop, I'd call it value for money.

                    1. re: BarmyFotheringayPhipps

                      barmy, have you or any other CHs tried La Verdad AND Dorado fish tacos?We LOVE those of la verdad and were thinking of trying Dorado tomorr night because i think La verdad is closed Mondays.

                      1. re: opinionatedchef

                        Well, it seems that I am now the only one CH who has eaten and posted about both La Verdad(the take out taqueria part) and Dorado.So here's my take:
                        both of them have little to no atmosphere. La Verdad fish tacos are pretty perfect; aside from perfectly fried and good portion size of light flaky fresh fish, the sauces on it are superb and the tortilla itself is handmade there, thick and very toothsome, making a huge difference in the total experience( I never thought I'd say that about a corn tortilla but now I have seen the light.) Dorado's are excellent; fish is ample 2.5 ou. portion, flaky w/ clean crisp batter, but the sauces aren't as good (too mayonnaisey). I needed to ask for lime wedges.Corn tortillas are commercially made, 2 layers per taco.Shrimp taco had 2 shrimp; good flavor.My Love's chicken quesadilla had ample chicken but it was too plain and the chicken was overcooked.The black beans did not appeal to me; a too-strong flavor of maybe mexican oregano. No refried beans, too bad.The pork milanese cemita (torta, aka sandwich) was excellent; bread crumb coated fried pork loin, beans, cheese, avocado, on tasty fresh bun.yummm. sangria was the usual dreadful sweet drek found in the u.s., but good choice of other bevs. Guac was v good quality w/ lime, onion, cilantro, and thick in-house fried chips. thick green salsa is unusual and tasty.Our party of 4 really enjoyed themselves and we look forw to going back to try more things. But guys,also remember, do yourself a biiig favor and go have the fish tacos and flan at la verdad.

                        1. re: opinionatedchef

                          to keep it simple..La Verdad is much better than Dorado.
                          Im not some person who needs everything to be "authentic" and puts my nose in the air when I have something inferior. but if you have ever had a really good Cemita you will be sadly disappointed in the ones served at Dorado...the fish tacos arent bad though. I will say thought that El Pelon's were better.

                          1. re: jvish

                            I agree with you 100% on the cemitas at Dorado. I was intially excited to learn that a place nearby would be serving these up, but was completely underwhelmed by the lack of flavor, skinless bonless chicken that they use and the tiny sandwich for what I consider a high price. I hate comparing NYC to Boston, but if Dorado could make a cemita that's even close to the ones out in Queens, I think they would start sucking away Anna's burrito crowd.

                            1. re: jvish

                              La Verdad falls down in my book for as long as it continues to use a single, fragile tortilla for its tacos. That's a disgrace, especially at those prices.


                              1. re: MC Slim JB

                                mc, with long-standing great respect, i suggest that you try them again soon. the tortillas are NOT flimsy; they are homemade there, and thick. and their fish tacos are 11 cents more than dorados'. Chapeaux!

                                1. re: opinionatedchef

                                  If they have not changed since last September (where I had them pre-Sox), I will remain unconvinced. As with most single-layer-tortilla tacos, they simply don't hold together, are a disintegrating mess before the second bite. Drives me crazy.


                                  1. re: MC Slim JB

                                    i believe they are thicker. i have not had a falling-apart experience there.
                                    ca suffit maintenant.

                              2. re: jvish

                                Dorado is the only place I have ever had a Cemita (pork) and I thought it was great! If there is someplace where they are even better I would love to try. I do like La Verdad's fish taco's, but do you know of any other places in the Boston/Brookline/Allston/Brighton area that serves a better cemita?

                    2. I have no claim to judge authenticity, but I can say that I very much enjoy Dorado's cemitas and think that for $4.99 it's a good lunch-size option at an excellent price. Also, although it's not on the menu (yet), you can have them put the fish from the fish taco as the filling for a cemita. I actually haven't gotten any other fillings yet because each time I go, I can't stop myself from ordering a fish cemita.

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: Parsnipity

                        gee pars., that's a great idea. I can't figure out some of the 'no flavor' commentors. i like very full flavored food and I thought our pork milanese cemita was very full flavored and delic. and not a rip off, though i know there's always a' bigger, better' out there for most everything.