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Removing the Spin on Mexican food: Dos Perros Stays Authentic

By Kelly Church

Dos Perros is a Durham, NC restaurant serving traditional Mexican food in a "warm" environment. At its core, Dos Perros believes in producing authentic Mexican dishes. They don't participate in the Americanization of traditional meals from south of the border. Head chef of Dos Perros, Charlie Deal, says he doesn't believe in the "watered-down nature" of Mexican food.

"You can always get a good taco, for instance, in any city with a decent Latino population, but oftentimes, if you go to a nicer place, then you're getting something made more mainstream," Deal says. "Mexico does have a very rich culinary culture and makes their own version of fancy food. It doesn't need to be messed with."

This is where Dos Perros comes in. They stay true to Mexican cuisine while providing a nicer environment for their customers to sit in. That is, the restaurant staff does not consider it formal dining, just a step up from a taco stand. They don't sacrifice flavor for comfort or vice versa like Deal says most Mexican restaurants do.

"Dos Perros, because of its open floor plan, can be rather boisterous," says Deal. "I do think it makes a great date night spot, even if it's not that intimate. It is a good place to bring the family. Dos Perros is not the place where people expect everyone to be quiet and behaving themselves. It's a place to have some fun."

Fun, with great food. The menu features classic dishes including Chile Relleno and some lesser-known dishes such as Birria de Chivo, a slow-cooked and chile-rubbed goat with chili sauce, pickled onions, rice and beans. The menu also features a Pollo al Mole, a chicken breast stuffed with goat cheese and wrapped in bacon served with mole poblano sauce, rice and green beans.

"It's not just about tacos and burritos," Deal says. "There are fabulously complex dishes, like the many moles they make, that deserve their place on the tables of even the fanciest restaurants."

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