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Dos Batos behind Northcross Mall

stopped by on a whim.

Very preliminary - in a strip mall, white walls, basic metal tables and a small counter with a grill behind.

Was taken aback when I discovered there are only two menu items. No. Seriously. You can either get a beef taco or a pork torta. Okaaay. Second shock - the taco was $7. yes...ONE taco...$7 on the dot with tax. My first thought was to turn and walk away, but the owners looked so earnest. sigh....okay. gimme a taco.

To their credit, they pulled out a fresh steak and grilled it on an open flame right there. Second, a nice FRESH tortilla is cooked on the griddle and it's a big dang tortilla. Then came oodles of fresh white cheese all melty on the top. Steak was diced and piled high. Taco was really quite good. Meat was seasoned just with salt and pepper and cheese was quite flavorful, tortilla was wonderful. Salsa was a nice smoky addition and I easily had two-thirds of it left over for dinner.
Charro beans, while flavorful and had plenty of jalapenos floating around, had hot dogs too. That's just weird.

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  1. Is that the place next to Sandy's Shoes?

    1 Reply
    1. Dropped by there today just to check it out. Looks interesting but apparently I misread you comments because I thought you meant he also sold hot dogs. Nope, but there is sausage in the beans.

      In the discussion that ensued we started talking about the weiners used in HD's back when. He mentioned that a grocery store in the Crestview area sells a dog from Tyler that is dark red and like to ones we used to get. That, is suppose, is the main reason I am writing her. Anyone have any experience with that particular dog? Thanks,J

      3 Replies
      1. re: singlemalt

        Sounds like Tip Top brand, from Taylor Meat Company (instead of Tyler). It's an old-school meat market on Highway 79 as you come into Taylor from Round Rock. They also have some really good peppery jerky, though it's more of a tender beef strip kind of thing than a fully-dried gnawin' type jerky.

        I have seen the Tip Top wieners at Crestview; they're easy to spot because of the red color.

        1. re: singlemalt

          Yeah, meant hot dogs floating around in the beans.

          1. re: amysuehere

            Thanks to all for your replies and thanks to ASH for bringing it to our attention.

        2. Update - the leftover taco made a great appetizer for my husband and me that night. Would have easily been another lunch if I had kept it at the office.

          3 Replies
          1. re: amysuehere

            I stopped by Dos Batos yesterday and ordered one of each - the torta and the taco. Both were excellent, and worth $7 IMHO, considering both their size and the quality of the ingredients. I quite like the interior - somewhat minimalist, but clean and uncluttered, and a very pleasant background smell of the wood burning griddle. The place was empty, so I had time to chat with the guy behind the counter, who said that the owner was at home busy figuring out what items to add to the menu - apparently they want to be operational with a full menu by the time the Walmart opens. Hmmmm, I thought to myself. Urban-concept Walmart or not, I'm just not sure the average Walmart shopper will spend $7 for eats across the parking lot, when goodness knows what deliciousness will be available inside the Walmart :-)

            1. re: TAF

              The website is really cute and short.

              1. re: robbie6805

                The website is the most irritating, annoying site ever, of all times. From the JARRING ignorant-pop leaping heinously from my speakers, to the indiscernible menu items & stupid graphics. What the hell does it say at the top of the site?

          2. am finishing my torta as I type this. It is quite good. I am far from a gourmand, so I don't feel qualified to judge it. But I AM a picky eater, and I like it. I ordered the corn flan too. I had never tried it before. Both Batos were manning the registers, and one let me try it first, which was pretty nice to do. He said if I didn't like it, he would just throw it out. It is quite good, but I suspect I'll have had enough of it after a few bites.

            The torta came with charro beans. I have always wanted to like charro beans. So much more interesting than the other bean choices available with Tex-Mex (imho). Again, I do not have a terribly sophisticated palate, but these were quite good.Despite reading this thread before going, I was surprised to see hot dogs in the charro beans. But, as an inveterate beenie weenie consumer, I am not opposed to the idea.

            I checked the place out on Yelp before heading over there. Some poor reviews, mostly complaining about the cost and the limited menu. Food-specific comments were positive, though.

            Their processes are not perfected yet. I wasn't offered a bag for my take out, so I had to carr the torta box, a coke, and the flan in a stack. If they get a lot of customers, they'll need a system beyond simply remembering who ordered what. Since it was sparse, the Bato was able to find me easily to bring me my food.

            I get the sense that they are looking to bring a casual, gringo-friendly vibe to Mexican (not Tex-Mex) fare. One review on Yelp commented that the pirata was as good as the one he'd had as a kid in Mexico. I'd love to see the menu expanded to Mex favorites I can't get at the Cabana or every Tex-Mex joint in town.

            I would say it is worth a visit if you are in that neck of the woods. And it is worth a repeat visit in a few weeks, to see if they've expanded their menu.

            1 Reply
            1. re: Rice Checks

              I had the big steak taco today. it was good. the meat was above average and the portions left me full. a little bit pricey, but really friendly and tasty. very spartan interior, but I get the sense they are just in the midst of a very soft opening.

            2. Tried Dos Batos today. Their menu has expanded. Since I was not hungry, I got a small beef taco ($3) and it was pretty good but some of the beef bites were a bit chewy--nice smoke flavor though. If you can find the silly thing (their website tells you it is hard but makes no effort to actually help you find it), I'd go again and try a couple more of the items. It is just south of the Conns that is plainly visible from Anderson. Flour tortilla was pretty fresh as well.

              1 Reply
              1. re: Carter B.

                Oh, that's good news! I ended up eating leftover taco for two days the last time I went. The small taco should be right up my alley.

              2. Stopped in for lunch today. The place is a pain to get to with all the construction. They have expanded the menu from what was described in the previous post. There are a couple of variations on the steak taco (plain, w/avocado, and avocado & cheese), plus a veggie taco and a taco of the month (conchita pibil at the moment). I think all were available in two sizes. There was also the torta. And they have a couple of sides - the beans and an elote side. Bothe are a penny each with a taco purchase.

                Inside is bright and airy, if a little bare. There's a cage stacked with mesquite outside and more wood inside. You order at a counter looking into an open kitchen, where the grills are clearly visible. I got the big Pirata, the steak/cheese/avocado taco, plus the beans and the elote. Staff was very friendly and polite.

                The taco was excellent. The beef was cooked well, and quite tender. The melted cheese and avocado added some richness but weren't excessive. The taco was served with a small cup of a mild, slightly smoky salsa. Could've maybe used a bit more spice or acdidty to balance the cheese & avocado.

                The beans are described as "soup" on the menu, and there was definitely more broth (and hot dog) than beans. But they were very flavorful. I loved the elote. It's loaded with mayo, lime juice, and chile powder, with more of a creamed corn consistency than you might expect.

                I was pretty stuffed, and didn't have room for desert. They had a cajeta (goat milk caramel) and pecan taco that sounded excellent.

                I hope this place does well - it's a nice addition to our neighborhood.

                1 Reply
                1. re: brentwood

                  I had the cajeta taco last night. The caramel was delicious, but too runny to easily eat inside a tortilla, and I also didn't really love the corn tortilla flavor with the cajeta.

                  I did, however, love the Pirata. The woodfiring really sets this apart, and like you said, the avocado and cheese added the right amount of creaminess.

                  I wish I had seen the elote on the blackboard while I was ordering instead of later. I'd have ordered that for sure. Also, I was confused about the "soup" on the menu. Had I understood it was their "beans", I'd have gotten it. I just wasn't in a soupy mood last night. Next time I'll ask more questions when I'm trying to order. And there will certainly be a next time.

                2. I tried Dos Batos today for lunch. Had the pirata. How can something so simple taste so delicious? It was just plain beef with asadero cheese and avocado in a griddle-toasted flour tortilla. The beef was smokey and not especially gristly. The ingredients melted together nicely with the mild, molten cheese. The corn with crema, salt, and chile powder was sinful (and just a penny!). Very simple, straight forward Northern Mexican food. I like that the atmosphere is friendly to a multiethnic clientele but they are sticking to a typical specialist Northern taqueria formula.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: luckyfatima

                    I agree, I ate there today and had the pirata (large). I personally thought the avocado was a little too much and might prefer the meat only variety next time, but the meat was very good, as well as the sides. It will be nice to have another choice for lunch close to work.

                  2. I went there the other day, and had the large pirata. It was very good, although the fat from the beef had not been trimmed, which made it slightly hard to chew....

                    2 Replies
                    1. re: shalom9

                      I had a pirata yesterday, too. The meat is very flavorful but mine was more gristly this time. I specifically liked their beef cuz of the minimal gristle before. Still loved the simple taco, though.

                      1. re: luckyfatima

                        Tried it for the first time last night. Pirata good, but agree there was a bit of gristle. Loved the "pirata soup" that is available for one cent. Very tasty.

                        Agree on the website--horrible! Trying hard to be too hip I think.

                        They also mentioned last night that they would be adding some chicken dishes soon to the menu.

                    2. I enjoyed their Pirata taco, the Pirata soup (beans) and their mexican corn in a cup. Their salsa needs some work though. Such simple yet delicious tacos deserve to be spiked with some high quality fresh salsa, and what they have isn't cutting it. The fact that they are wood grilling their meat but are not making fresh grill roasted salsa brings a tear to my eye, but I have faith that this will be coming soon.