Thursday, October 18, 2012

Dairy-Free, Cheeseless Affair at Dos Caminos in Midtown, NYC

As someone who is lactose-intolerant, I don't particularly enjoy Mexican cuisine, which tends to be heavy in its use of dairy like cheese and cream. That is why when I dine with a group who wants Mexican food, I usually browse through the menu to ensure that there is at least one item that doesn't use cheese. On a sunny Sunday morning, I went to Dos Caminos, a modern Mexican restaurant in Midtown East, New York City.

My eyes immediately averted from items like quesadillas and enchiladas. I decided to try the traditional Pollo Tacos ($16), served on warm, handmade corn tortillas with Mexican rice, refried beans, and a trio of salsas.

Unlike tacos from Taco Bells, which are packed with string-y, yellow "fake" cheese, traditional Mexican tacos do not have cheese. Instead, packed inside the warm corn tortillas were grilled, citrus-marinated chicken, pinto beans, chicken chicharron, and salsa suprema. I was a big fan of the marinated chicken because it was tender and juicy. The seasoning was slightly spicy. Chicken chicharron, or fried chicken rinds, oozed a lot of oil and fat to the bottom of the tortillas and made them soggy.

The dish on the left is Mexican Chopped Salad ($11.50), which includes grilled corn, poblano chiles, apples, pinto beans, green olives, tomato, onion, and anejo cheese with crispy tortillas on top and tossed with toasted cumin vinaigrette. The dish on the right is Carnitas Tacos ($16), packed with slow-roasted pork and green chile salsa.

The Carnitas Tacos didn't seem as greasy or oily as my Pollo tacos, but they also didn't appear as filling. The basil on top added a nice touch of flavor.

The Dos Caminos Chicken Cobb Salad ($14) was a colorful array of grilled chicken breast, tomato, avocado, corn, onion, queso fresco, and tortilla chips and tossed with cilantro-basil vinaigrette. Now that I reflect, all of the dishes could be made dairy-free if we skipped the cheese! Mexican cuisine is possible for lactose-intolerant people :)

Dos Caminos Third Avenue on Urbanspoon

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