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Dorado Tacos & Cemitas Total Disappointment

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Hit it for lunch Monday.

When I walked in the place had a sort of stale smell with a hint of cleaning product. And the place was empty. I swear restaurants should just keep onions and garlic sauteeing 24x7 just to give a place a good inviting smell. I almost left before ordering just cause of the smell.

The place had a sad vibe :(

Got the taco plate.

The fish taco was nothing at all to write home about. Very small, fish batter a tad soggy, not enough cabbage. Eh.

Chorizo taco also just eh. How do you manage to make "house made" chorizo with no flavor?

The fried black beans had a funny atypical taste to them. Too tricky to add some cumin, a bit of fresh lime juice, and (and least in the best rendition) a little bacon fat or lard? I guess so.

The rice was dry, and also flavorless.

Quite frankly every single thing I ate was soulless and dull. The beans were almost ick.

Would NEVER bother giving it a second whirl. And to think I almost hit Dok Bua...

Also had a mini hamentashen from Kupels which was lame. They used to be tasty, what happened?

Gosh that was a lame lunch stop. I hate wasting a good meal on undeliciousness...

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  1. I agree that the fish tacos are puny and not an optimal bargain. Definitely not sufficient sustenance or economic value for the V-ball players back in the day on Mission Beach, let alone the Allston college kids today. ;)

    How did you find the tortillas ?

    1 Reply
    1. re: Nab

      Size of the fish taco would not have bothered me if it actually tasted like something. Two with rice and beans for $7 or so is not so bad, certainly enough for lunch. There was just no flava...

      The tortillas (which they did serve two of per taco) were flabby and seemed like they had been steamed or something. Way better to just heat them on the griddle.

      The El Pelon rendition was way, way better.

      -----
      El Pelon
      2197 Commonwealth Ave., Brighton, MA 02135

    2. They do a good job with mayonnaise and cheese- I would recommend the shrimp tacos, the quesadillas, and the fresh chips and guac. Rice and beans are indeed poor.

      Kupel's hasn't been good in ~10 years, back before they went kosher. This is especially true of the sweet pastries.

      1. Too bad to hear that this is still the case- your experience mirrors my two tries from when they were new in almost every single detail! Chorizo was some weird un-chorizo-like ground beefish thing, and the rice and beans were practicaly inedible (In fact, although I try never to waste food, I had two bites and couldn't hack it)
        I wonder if it has anything to do with time of day? I've only been there in the afternoon or early dinnerish (6 or 6:30), never later. Is there a magical time of day when things are fresher?

        1. Gosh, I went a few weeks ago and had a much better experience with the fish taco. I claim no fish-taco-cred but I did like it a lot - the fish was freshly fried and definitely not soggy, seemed like about the right amount of cabbage for me, and I liked the crema (mayo?) on top. I do agree that the tortillas were a bit steamy - would have been improved by a minute on the griddle. And I suppose it was small but for $2.50 I wasn't really expecting large. (Plus it left enough room to walk over to Rami's for a falafel.) But the fry job was excellent, which is what sold it for me. Also I liked the watermelon agua fresca I had with it - genuinely watermelony and not too sweet. I was there at around 2:00 and it was quiet, but I didn't get a sad vibe; more of a lazy spring day vibe. I'd go back, though it sounds like I'll want to avoid the chorizo and the rice & beans.

          7 Replies
          1. re: MichaelB

            Agree that the tacos are not terribly small for the $2.50 price, but when you order the "Plate," the rice and beans are inedible, and all you have are two small crappy tacos, it doesn't amount to lunch, which then amounts to a drag.

            Heck, even the "Crema" was lame. Too loose, kinda watery.

            I really liked the El Pelon rendition. To try a tastier version you don't even need to get on a plane. Even if the fry job were better then what I had, between the soggy tacos, lack of cabbage, iffy crema, there is no way what they are serving at Dorado is even a passable rendition.

            1. re: StriperGuy

              there are different fish tacos there- if i recall correctly they don't all have cabbage, some have onions or pickled radish

              1. re: Luther

                El Pelon has nice pickled onions AND cabbage. It is just WAY tastier.

                -----
                El Pelon
                2197 Commonwealth Ave., Brighton, MA 02135

              2. re: StriperGuy

                I guess I think $2.50 is pretty steep for a fish taco (quality aside), esp of that size.

                Here's the Dorado fish taco, on a standard 6-inch tort:
                http://bostonist.com/attachments/Pam/...

                Fits nicely in the tort, with an inch or two on either side to spare.

                Here's a $1.65 taco I grabbed in SoCal last year, same 6-inch torts:
                http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3660/3...

                But yes, this is like the ol' grateful dead concert joke that I believe wilbanks has quoted on the boards here before: "lousy show, poorly played, tons of mistakes, terrible song selection ... and also way too short."

                1. re: Nab

                  I like the other one, too: what one grateful dead concert-goer say to the other when they ran out of pot? "Dude, this music sucks.'"

                  1. re: Nab

                    That's like the Woody Allen quip, and I paraphrase: The food here's terrible, and the portions are too small.

                    1. re: almansa

                      'No one goes there anymore, it's too crowded.'

              3. Geez, folks - I was at Dorado a few months ago and rather enjoyed the tacos - nothing groundbreaking, but yummy all the same. Although, the owner was in the house, so maybe everything was up to tip-top shape...

                And while I have only ever gotten bagels from Kupel's, I rather like them too.

                Maybe y'all have that cold that's been going around - messed up your taste buds. ;)

                1 Reply
                1. re: Bob Dobalina

                  RE: Kupels, it really is true, since they changed over to Kosher the bagels and everything really went downhill. I threw away part of my hamentashen, tasted like it was made from some Kosher hamentashen mix.

                  If you want to try an excellent bagel, and the best challah in Boston hit Rosenfeld's, though I think they don't make the challah every day.

                2. We live close by and have been to Dorado a number of times for a quick weekend lunch. I have had good luck with the grilled swordfish taco and the cemitas. I agree some things are a bit on the bland side (I realize this isn't Angela's Cafe but East Boston is a little too far for us to to grab a quick taco on a regular basis and I just can't stand the ubiquitous Anna's which is almost right across the street) but everything is usually very fresh and the fish tacos are non-greasy. We tend to go in around noon and there is always a pretty steady flow of customers. However, I have to agree with Striper Guy that lately there is often that off-putting cleaning product smell; they really need to do something about that.

                  1. SG, I'm with you. The space is very sad, boring, utilitarian. I had a free fish taco one evening. And, that's what it was worth. Now that El Pelon has reopened, I'm keen to try their fish tacos. Any thoughts on La Verdad? We were just saying how Kupel's doesn't know how to make bagels. Rosenfeld's is the way to go.

                    -----
                    La Verdad
                    1 Lansdowne St, Boston, MA 02215

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: CookieLee

                      I had them at La Verdad a few weeks ago at lunch. I wasn't blown away by them, though they were large (also somewhat expensive, I think it was $12 for two, though it came with a really nice mound of slaw and refried beans). The fish was not very crunchy, and barely warm. It may be that it wasn't busy, and the fish was hanging around a while. The chicken milanesa torta was way better. The elote wasn't as good as at Toro - just wasn't as fresh, and was gloppier.

                      -----
                      Toro
                      1704 Washington St, Boston, MA 02118

                      La Verdad
                      1 Lansdowne St, Boston, MA 02215

                       
                    2. On two visits I thought the fish was OK (and the batter fresh and crisp) but everything else very bland, especially the rice and beans.

                      One cemita so far -- chicken -- was better, but for what in my limited experience is the most obvious comparison point -- a Tacos Lupita torta -- the cemita is bland by comparison.

                      Tried the new El Pelon once. Fish about the same, definitely better cabbage, etc., but still not that tasty. So I concluded I don't "get" fish tacos so far.

                      2 Replies
                      1. re: chickendhansak

                        I'll confess I have not tried the new El Pelon yet. My references above were to the old one. Hope my assumption that they carried the quality over is not mistaken.

                        -----
                        El Pelon
                        2197 Commonwealth Ave., Brighton, MA 02135

                        1. re: chickendhansak

                          I've had the new El Pelon Fish tacos. Pretty good, but light on the portions for the price. I wonder if they will still do a Fish Guapo... I will definitely find out on my next trip there

                          -----
                          El Pelon
                          2197 Commonwealth Ave., Brighton, MA 02135

                        2. I disagree with this post. I think Dorado's is great. Their portabello mushroom tacos are really great and so is their corn. My husband loves the fish tacos, but agrees that the mushroom are better.

                          I also really like the manager/ owner of Dorado's. He's always there and he seems to putting a lot of effort into the restaurant.

                          Dorado's isn't fancy food, it's more street food/fast food, and its the best Mexican option in the Boston area.

                          3 Replies
                          1. re: idealist

                            Haha you are so going to get nailed for that last thing.

                            1. re: idealist

                              Hmmmm, what other places are you comparing to? Have you been to:

                              El Pelon

                              Taqueria Mexico, Waltham

                              Taqueria Jalisco, Eastie

                              Cafe Angela, Eastie

                              Tacos Lupita, Somerville

                              Taqueria El Amigo, Watertown

                              All of these I believe make FAR superior food pretty much across the board. Heck I'd even hit Anna's before going to Dorado again.

                              -----
                              Taqueria El Amigo
                              196 Willow St, Waltham, MA 02453

                              Taqueria Mexico
                              24 Charles St, Waltham, MA 02453

                              1. re: StriperGuy

                                Point of order: Taqueria El Amigo is also in Waltham.

                                -----
                                Taqueria El Amigo
                                196 Willow St, Waltham, MA 02453

                            2. i too have been numerous times and was totally dissappointed each time-thank god el pelon reopened!!
                              the fish tacos were boring and small....and i got a chicken taco one time that was severly undercooked. everything was also really spicy!!
                              i had high hopes but wont be going back anytime soon.

                              1. I like Dorado's cemita done with the fried fish from the fish tacos. I think that's a tasty combination of their best ingredients. I do agree that the beans and rice are quite bland.

                                As for Kuppel's, I like the whole wheat bagels- not many places have toppings options for whole wheat as many seem to regard "whole wheat" as a complete flavor of its own. But their baked goods are abysmal. They all have that hydrogenated oil feel that sticks to the roof of your mouth.

                                24 Replies
                                1. re: Parsnipity

                                  Yeah, the bagels at Kupel's are tolerable if not terribly exciting, but I've never had one of their baked goods that I've ever been able to finish more than two bites of. Straight up revolting.

                                  1. re: BarmyFotheringayPhipps

                                    I agree, it seems like nothing there is made with real butter, it has that food service kind of feel to it.

                                    1. re: Luther

                                      Can't use butter if they are serving chopped chicken liver etc with the bagels. The whole milk with meat kosher thing.

                                      1. re: StriperGuy

                                        They aren't- obviously, the cream cheese is dairy. However, I believe they are certified as pareve outside of the spreads, meaning they make all the pastry with shortening so people will feel comfortable serving them with either a milk or meat meal.

                                        1. re: Luther

                                          Duh, (to my own comment above) you're correct of course.

                                        2. re: StriperGuy

                                          They are certified kosher and don't serve any meat there, due to the dairy present. The baked goods don't have to be pareve, since they have dairy there they could use butter if they so chose to. However, the strictly kosher clientele probably prefer pareve so they can serve them at home after a meat meal. BTW, no one even remotely Jewish would put chopped liver on a bagel!! Rye bread, matzah....now you're talking! ;)

                                          1. re: Science Chick

                                            Of course the business logic of serving pareve makes sense, it just don't make a very good pastry.

                                            I thought I saw chopped chicken liver there, but maybe it was some funky cream cheese, because it certainly doesn't make sense given their focus on keeping the shop kosher.

                                            In general terms, not sure I agree on the chicken liver on a bagel, though I like a nice bit of rye bread as much as the next person... half a toasted bagel with a nice schmear of chicken liver, sounds pretty tasty to me, and last time I checked, I was (at least remotely) Jewish ;-)

                                            1. re: StriperGuy

                                              Cream cheese that looked like chopped liver.....??? MY that *is* funky!!! I agree, though, about the pareve pastry. I'd rather serve fruit after a meat meal, than eat that stuff!

                                              1. re: StriperGuy

                                                You sure it just wasn't the lox spread in a bad light?

                                                1. re: Bob Dobalina

                                                  Dude, that was some seriously nasty lox spread if it was the color of what I saw. I'm thinking maybe cream cheese and black olive...

                                                  1. re: StriperGuy

                                                    Ok, here is their list of cream cheeses from their website..which is the best candidate? Horseradish does get a funny color when it oxidizes.... (have we strayed too far off topic here or what????)

                                                    Cream Cheeses

                                                    Regular
                                                    * Plain
                                                    * Chive (Scallion)
                                                    * Vegetable
                                                    * Salmon (Lox)
                                                    * Garlic & Herb
                                                    * Green Olive
                                                    * Strawberry
                                                    * Honey Walnut
                                                    * Dill
                                                    * Horseradish
                                                    * Miami Lox (Scallion)
                                                    * Egg Salad
                                                    * Tuna Salad
                                                    * Whitefish Salad
                                                    * Hummus
                                                    * Tabouli

                                                    Light
                                                    * Plain
                                                    * Chive (Scallion)
                                                    * Vegetable
                                                    * Salmon (Lox)
                                                    * Garlic & Herb
                                                    * Green Olive
                                                    * Jalapeno
                                                    * Miami Lox (Scallion)

                                                    Tofu
                                                    * Plain
                                                    * Salmon (Lox)
                                                    * Chive (Scallion)

                                                    1. re: Science Chick

                                                      Wow that was diligent of you. Maybe what I saw was honey walnut. Whew, can't say, but I saw a little kid eating it out of a tiny cup and smearing it on her bagel. It was DARK brown... who knows...

                                                      1. re: StriperGuy

                                                        I just remembered I have a deliquescent remnant of honey walnut spread from bagel's best in Needham in the fridge. It definitely could be mistaken for chopped liver. Or at least it could, before the likely topping of mold.

                                                        1. re: StriperGuy

                                                          Hey, I'm a geeky scientist.....I *live* for researching tedious factoids. Anyway, based on nsenda's observations, I think the mystery is solved!

                                                          1. re: MC Slim JB

                                                            I have not tried any chopped liver since I left New York. Do you know where there is some good quality chopped liver in the Boston area?

                                                            1. re: babka eater

                                                              Boston has a gaping hole where good Jewish deli should be. I get my occasional fix at Ruben's Kosher Deli in Brookline.

                                                              http://mcslimjb.blogspot.com/

                                                              1. re: MC Slim JB

                                                                Oops, sorry: that's Rubin's Kosher Deli.

                                                                http://mcslimjb.blogspot.com/

                                                                -----
                                                                Rubin's Kosher Deli
                                                                500 Harvard St, Brookline, MA 02446

                                                              2. re: babka eater

                                                                During season where chopped liver is used (Passover??) the Cheese Shop in Wellesley often has chopped liver that they get from a deli in Brooklyn. Very delicious.

                                                                1. re: emilief

                                                                  Thanks. I realized I had tried the S&S chopped liver a few years ago and was disappointed. I'm looking forward to trying your recommendations.

                                                                  1. re: babka eater

                                                                    S&S hasn't been a real Jewish deli since the 1970s. It's just Friendly's with lox.

                                                                    1. re: BobB

                                                                      S&S SSSSSux.

                                                                2. re: babka eater

                                                                  Baza in Newton makes an excellent rendition of chopped liver.

                                                                  -----
                                                                  Baza
                                                                  30 Tower Road, Newton, MA 02464

                                                                  1. re: StriperGuy

                                                                    John Dewar's makes good but non-kosher chopped liver during the Jewish holidays.

                                                                    1. re: veggielover

                                                                      No jeers, but WF makes delicious "vegetarian chopped liver" around Passover. It is made with eggplant and green beans. I don't know how, but it really tastes close to chopped liver.....yummy!

                                            2. "And to think I almost hit Dok Bua..."

                                              Ha, my thoughts exactly as I strolled away. I didn' t find Dorado sad on my first try there yesterday, as some have commented. But I wouldn't return. They are true to advertising, so I know that I ordered what I got, but I guess I just don't like my tacos with battered shrimp and battered fish and slathered in creme. I thought the shrimp had too much going on - soggy batter, spice, cabbage, creme, cilantro, pineapple - the combination just didn't work for me. The fish taco was fine, but it too was battered and slathered, two things that are a turn off for me. And the beans do have a prominent, atypical flavor, but I thought it was actually just an imbalance caused by too much cumin. But maybe I'm wrong - one bite was enough for me. And I didn't think it was such a great value.

                                              I can understand why some people would like this type of restaurant and food, so it's great for them. But for me, next time Dok Bua