Today worked out fairly well since I missed my normal Wednesday post. I was too busy at work to take a lunch but able to head out a bit early and immediately hit up Dos Coyotes for a late lunch / early dinner. This location, next to what was Borders Books, has been there as far back as I can remember.
I stopped to look at the black board with seasonal specials before walking in. I don’t eat here very often, maybe a few times a year, but I tend to always order off this menu. Usually I go when they have the asparagus quesadilla which is awesome. Today they did not have it but after quickly skimming down the list I jumped back up to the Green Chili & Carnitas Burrito. My experience at Freebirds World Burrito was valuable because I may have otherwise quickly dismissed a burrito as a valid option.
Inside, the cone of beverages greeted me, but I continued past it to the ordering counter. Off to the left they have a very small counter, but I’m pretty sure I’ve never seen anyone but employees on their break eating at it. Ordering was quick and painless, and I went with a soda which you get further back in the dining room from the fountains. They give you a little number on a stick to put at your table, but for some reason I spaced picking it up. Luckily they didn’t have many customers so the person that brought out my order a few minutes later didn’t have too much trouble figuring out it was mine.
I went back and grabbed a table near the salsa bar. When I turned around to fill my soda, I found a fancy new dispenser that I’ve never seen before! It featured one opening for both ice and all the different drink options, which you choose via a bright touch screen. Also awesome, I noticed once I got home and looked closer at the picture, Mello Yello is back!! I’m not sure I’ve ever actually had it, but I vividly remember it from Days of Thunder. Seems they’re re-launching the brand and expanding in to areas like the west and northeast that haven’t had it for some time. I’ll be looking for some next time I go out for groceries.
The salsa bar is impressive and has something for everyone. At first I got some of the hot salsa on the end that looked evil. It was very sweet but with a kick at the end. About halfway through my chips I went back and tried some of the green kind that was also labeled hot. This wasn’t nearly as hot, in fact the more I had the smoother is seemed to get. Both were great.
Moving on to my burrito, I didn’t have the foil that kept it from coming apart on me like at Freebirds, but somehow I managed to not turn this handheld meal into a fork and knife affair. It was touch and go a couple times when I balanced it on one end to get photos of the inside, but in the end it was a victory over the food format I’ve been intimidated by for far too long. As for how it was, I can’t say anything other than fantastic! The carnitas was perfectly tender and juicy, and the pablano chili added a great heat. There were quite a bit more onions than I was expecting, but they were delicious from start to finish. Rice was also in abundance but it had taken on much of the flavor of the green chili salsa so it wasn’t just a filler.
If I had to come up with anything against Dos, it would have to be the seating. The chairs are miserably uncomfortable for any length of time, and they have the tables arranged in such a way that getting to the soda machine and salsa bar from some areas is a hassle at best. Besides that I can’t think of a single bad experience here. I’ve never had anything but minimal interaction with the staff, and in that they’ve always been friendly, fast and efficient. I really should come here more often.
On a related note, I recently flew out of the new terminal B at Sac International and ate at the Dos Coyotes there for breakfast (I just checked online and it doesn’t seem like the other locations do breakfast, so this is kind of an isolated thing over at the airport). I had a spicy chorizo breakfast burrito which was pretty damn good. I recommend it.
-0.5 for the chairs 😉
2 thoughts on “#37: Dos Coyotes Border Cafe”
What an awesome drink dispenser. It must be pretty expensive. So was the touch screen pretty responsive such that you could measure out careful proportions of a suicide drink? If I recall correctly, Mello Yello tastes kind of like Squirt, doesn’t it? I’ve seen it around at some grocery/convenience stores late too.
Mello Yello is Coke’s answer to Mountain Dew, they are nearly identical. As for dispensing, you use a largish circular mechanical button below the touchscreen. It’s about as responsive as any other fountain dispenser.