Friday, August 29, 2008

Dos Caminos: Fancy pants Mexican

Last month, another birthday dinner, this time for JS, whom we hoped to stuff with guacamole until he cursed us all. For six or seven of us we ordered two huge bowls of the stuff at Dos Caminos, which were mixed and mashed on the spot and served with thick, hearty tortilla chips. One bowl was mild and one was spicy, but sadly for the heat fiends, there ended up being little difference between the two.
I ordered a Negra Modela served "Mordida style," which meant there were chilis and a lime wedge and a salt-rimmed glass in the mix. The spiciness of the concoction made me sweat, but it was pretty awesome.
For my entree I got the baby back ribs, which were served with "Mexican street style" creamed corn and a radicchio-bacon slaw. The slaw was overwhelmingly salty, but the ribs were sweet and smoky and tender, and tart from a pomegranate-mustard glaze. The cup of creamed corn—a bowl really—was thick and cheesy, like a dip. I found myself eating it with the remaining tortilla chips from the guacamole; consuming it straight would have been too much, I think.
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I took a few spoonfuls of GQ's camarones en cazuela, an excellent dish of sautéed jumbo shrimp over saffron chorizo rice, the latter which reminded me of a cross between risotto and paella. Not excellent were TC's crab empanadas, which were total clunkers: flaccid, soggy, tasteless, and without any noticeable crab.
After our entrees I went for something coffee-based—I don't remember the name, but it was sweet and milky and shot through with dulce de leche. For me this was dessert in itself, but there were actual desserts to share….
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On the left is the "Mexican banana split," with white chocolate coffee/peanut butter crackle/Mexican chocolate flavored ice creams; cajeta; pineapple and chocolate sauces; bananas; churros; and a sprinkling of jalapeño brittle. The individual parts were good, but altogether it all seemed sort of muddled; maybe this is desirable in a sundae? I fared better with the white and dark chocolate fondue, which came with strawberries, bananas, brownies, passion fruit marshmallows, and mini churros, the last one being my favorite. There was the third dessert, too: the "Oaxacan chocolate mousse cake," which came with pistachio ice cream…and a candle on top. The desserts were good, but singing and humiliating JS was better—we might have been celebrating his age, but embarrassing the hell out of friends is just one of those things that so far, hasn't gotten old.

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