El Centro Dos does it one more time, with flavor, in Brookline

credit: Erin Baldassari
credit: Erin Baldassari

It might seem like an odd place to begin a restaurant review, but the bathroom at El Centro’s new location, El Centro Dos, bears mentioning. Its design— a toilet painted with a desert scene complete with cacti, some kind of joke about sitting on a cactus perhaps? – is indicative of the Mexican restaurant’s attention to stylistic detail and its artsy, evocative aesthetic.

A couple of years ago, Brookline resident Allan Rodriguez opened El Centro in the South End, to great success. This second restaurant honoring his homeland, Mexico, opened this summer, bringing a chic café/cantina to sleepy Brookline Village. Though it doesn’t rival the bathroom’s bohemian Baja splendor, the dining room is similarly artsy and organic, with brick, wood and the likeness of patron saint of free Mexico, Ms. Frida Kahlo, staring aloofly into the ether from a far wall.

Food comes fast and you’re soon scooping up guacamole – theirs is sprinkled liberally with queso — with some of the crispest tortilla chips this side of the border. As with most dishes at Dos, salt is an afterthought, allowing for subtle, but real flavor. Go for a simple salsa verde-topped enchilada stuffed with grilled asparagus and corn and served with rice and beans or plump fish tacos (though, sadly, they did not arrive in the wheat tortillas the menu promised).

Or, choose one of the more sophisticated dishes such as salmon molcajetes, which is served on a lava stone and is deliciously gooey, with loads of melted queso.

For dessert, there’s the ubiquitous flan – aka Mexican crème caramel – and Dos’s is scrumptious. Dense and sticky, but served with a mean portion of fresh blueberries and bits of strawberry, it’s a better version of the standard Mexican dessert than most. With a bit more fruit, it might have rivaled the bathroom in color.



News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
National

Ex-Bitcoin official to plead guilty to Silk Road…

Bitcoin entrepreneur Charlie Shrem has reached a plea deal to resolve U.S. charges that he engaged in a scheme to sell over $1 million of…

International

China's army changes tactics to prepare for war…

Chinese President Xi Jinping has said China will spur military innovation and called on the army to create a new strategy for "information warfare" as…

National

California passes 'yes-means-yes' campus sexual assault bill

Californian lawmakers passed a law on Thursday requiring universities to adopt "affirmative consent" language in their definitions of consensual sex, part of a nationwide drive to curb sexual assault on…

National

Syrian refugees top 3 million, half of all…

By Stephanie NebehayGENEVA (Reuters) - Three million Syrian refugees will have registered in neighboring countries as of Friday, but many remain trapped by the advance…

Movies

What's new on Netflix in September

September has a supernatural theme for Netflix. UFO "documentaries" and the survivalist reality series "Doomsday Preppers" are among the new series coming to the online…

Going Out

'Friends' coffeehouse Central Perk coming to NYC —…

"Friends" is coming back for a one-off special: "The One with the Free Coffee." Warner Bros. is bringing a pop-up replica of Central Perk, the…

Movies

Interview: 'As Above, So Below' directors: 5 ways…

The fraternal directors of the found footage horror "As Above, So Below" dish on the best ways to frighten the bejesus out of audiences.

Movies

Criterion's new Jacques Demy box mixes the light…

Jacques Demy, the most effervescent of French New Wave filmmakers, gets a Criterion box all to himself, with classics like "The Umbrellas of Cherbourg."

NFL

3 things we learned in the Giants preseason…

The final score didn’t matter — a 16-13 win by the Giants — but it would’ve been nice to finally see Big Blue’s new-look offense get on track.

NFL

NFL Power Rankings: Seahawks, Broncos, Patriots, 49ers start…

NFL Power Rankings: Seahawks, Broncos, Patriots start at top

U.S. Soccer

5 facts about new England captain Wayne Rooney

Manchester United striker Wayne Rooney was named as the new England captain by coach Roy Hodgson on Thursday.

NFL

Jets vs. Eagles: 3 things to watch

A win on Thursday night at the Eagles would give the Jets a 3-1 record and just their second winning preseason under head coach Rex Ryan.

Food

Twitter used to track down sources of food…

When Chicago health officials saw Twitter users complaining about local food poisoning episodes, they reached out on Twitter to those users and often ended up…

Style

Trend: White hot on the 2014 Emmy's red…

White was one of the big trends on the Emmy's red carpet.

Food

Recipe: Samuel Adams beer-marinated grilled shrimp

Summer calls for two things: a cold beer and light food. Sam Adams' Latitude 48 IPA fairly bursts with citrus notes, making it an ideal marinade…

Wellbeing

4 healthy ingredient swaps to make your meals…

When it comes to eating well, everyone knows they could be doing better. But cooking in an apartment on a busy schedule is a recipe…