M and I finally made it over to Dos Perros the other night. The space looks great, and is a welcome addition to downtown Durham's small--but scrappy and growing--restaurant scene. We sat at the bar, and (being a Monday and fairly late) had our server more or less to ourselves.
The requisite chips and salsa were good: chips cooked on premises, and the salsa (I think a roasted yellow pepper concoction of some sort) was pleasantly tangy, though M's super-sensitive taste buds quickly discerned that it needed salt. Once some salt was added, the salsa was great.
We shared an order of ceviche, which was very fresh and pleasantly subtle in flavor. Also, it was nicely layered (rather than mixed to homogeneity) with large chunks of seafood on a tostada and a more salsa fresca-like component on top.
For entrees, we had the chicken in mole poblano and a baked corn pudding topped with asadero cheese and garlic sauce. The poblano was competent, but not terribly interesting. Far too timid for my tastes, really, and the chicken was actually a little bit dry. The rice and beans that came with it, however, were both cooked to perfection and packed with flavor--I'd say about as good as rice and beans can be expected to be. (I realize this may sound like damning with faint praise, but I really don't mean it that way...attention to detail on "sides" that people tend to take for granted is the mark of a great cook, in my book.)
The corn pudding, however, was sublime. The melding of flavors and textures was really superb, and well complemented by the vegetables served with it. It isn't often that my eyes are drawn to the "vegetarian" section of a menu, but I am very glad that they were in this case. This dish will be hard to pass up in favor of trying something different on the next visit.
Also, I was very happy to be able to have a Dale's Pale Ale on draught with my meal. Hoppy pale ales and IPAs are the perfect complement to spicy food, and it's great to see restaurants catching on to this.