New York City has a popular alternative to Chipotle — and it could be expanding soon

Posted on September 05, 2016 by UNITED PHOTO PRESS MAGAZINE

It's a brisk evening — perfect to warm up with some Tex-Mex food at this Dos Toros on 23rd Street and Park Avenue.

With Chipotle fumbling lately, the fast-casual Tex Mex sector is shaken. But in New York City there's a chain that could steal the limelight.

Dos Toros, founded in 2009 by brothers Leo and Oliver Kremer, is looking to carve out a chunk of the market.

The New York City chain is self-funded – no outside investors or nest eggs, just a business loan and family and friends— and reported to be on track to earn $20 million in 2015.

And considering its popularity, the brothers are looking to expand elsewhere as soon as possible. "We can open five a year for the next five years, and move to multiple cities," Leo told Entrepreneur.

With 11 locations in Brooklyn and Manhattan and plans to saturate Midtown, Dos Toros seems unstoppable.


The interior feels cozy and rich with vibrant red walls and natural wood everywhere.



I'm hungry, so I step right up for my order. I'll choose a chicken plato — their name for a burrito bowl — and a steak quesadilla.




You heard right: Dos Toros serves quesadillas, a big difference from Chipotle. The prices are similar, except adding guacamole is much cheaper. Adding guac costs $0.92 — except with tacos, where it only costs $0.42.




The set up is exactly like Chipotle's, with the line moving down as you choose what goes into your delicious meal. Another difference, however, is their rice. It's a richly flavored yellow rice that tastes much more savory than Chipotle's signature cilantro lime recipe.




A quick and easy ordering process, and I have my pollo-asado plato and my carne-asada quesadilla — which is rolled up, essentially making it a loosely packed burrito.




While Chipotle's burritos and bowls generally have a light, crisp overall taste to them. Dos Toros goes for rich and savory. This is where Dos Toros' sauces come into play: With choices of verde, smokey, or habanero, there are a few ways your burrito experience can go.



I chose the smokey sauce, which is precisely that. It's rich with a smoked barbecue taste, and with a slight but noticeable spicy kick to it as well. It melds perfectly with the cooling crema and guacamole as well as adding additional smokiness to the tender and well-seasoned chicken.



The steak quesadilla is pretty packed with ingredients. I expected a flat, classic quesadilla, but this is really a loose burrito with extra cheese in it, which is far from a bad thing. That being said, very difficult to eat as it falls apart quickly.