Libertyville's Dos Amigos full of delicious Mexican home-cooking, wide smiles
Even though it's only been open for six months, Dos Amigos in Libertyville is quickly becoming a local favorite for quality Mexican food in a friendly atmosphere. We went on a Wednesday evening, and the small restaurant was packed, with a line, and the tables outside were full as well.
The menu at Dos Amigos is standard Mexican fare that doesn't favor any one region -- though owners Sergio Casillas and Oscar Garcia plan to feature different areas of Mexico on a rolling basis in the future. Currently, diners will find staples like tacos, burritos, tortas, fajitas and other specialties. There's a small breakfast menu as well and a short list of typical American foods. The bar serves five Mexican beers (with chilled glasses and lime wedges on offer), some American standards, and a selection of wine and margaritas, as well as Jarritos, horchata and tamarindo.
To start, we ordered the guacamole and chicken tortilla soup. We loved the guacamole. It was an extra-fresh chunky blend of avocado, tomato and cilantro, served with warm tortilla chips. It seemed homemade, though I couldn't see over the counter to verify -- but I'm 99 percent sure. Either way, I highly recommend it. It was also served with a medium-heat red salsa. The chicken tortilla soup was equally good, with large pieces of shredded chicken, cheese, cilantro and a crunchy tortilla topping. I would have preferred more crunch and a bit more spice, but on its own, it was smoky and not overwhelming. There was a mystery flavor we couldn't decode, but that lent a lovely creamy robust quality to the soup; it seemed like a mix of refried beans, polenta and a mild mole sauce.
Our entrees were the Camarones al Mojo de Ajo, Dos Amigos Chile Relleno and flautas, which weren't on the menu but they made for us upon request. The camarones, as the name suggests, were shrimp sautéed in a garlic sauce and served with rice, grilled vegetables and a mango salsa. The sauce was slightly spicy with what seemed to be a tomato base, spiked with chili powder flavor. The shrimp and mango mixed well together, but expect a kick from the salsa -- it was pretty spicy.
I ordered my chile relleno stuffed with vegetables and was pleased with the result. It was one large poblano pepper cut in half and stuffed with corn, bell peppers and onions, and covered in cheese, sour cream, cilantro and tomato. The pepper itself was cooked al dente and easy to eat with a fork and knife. The whole dish tasted of fajita spice; a good thing because that was the other dish I was craving. On the side, I got more vegetables, but these were big pieces smothered in a lemony butter sauce. They were delicious. Refried beans came with the dish as well -- they were pretty standard. Both the chile relleno and camarones were served with piping hot corn tortillas.
Our third entree was the flautas. They aren't on the menu, but it's a table favorite, and the owners offered to make them for us. We got them stuffed with pork, which was seasoned well inside the crunchy shell. Overall it was a successful dish and great of the staff to make them for us.
On the side, we ordered the Mexican corn, which was served off-cob in a bowl and topped with mayo, cheese and chili powder. The ratio of corn to toppings was nice. It wasn't drowning in mayo and allowed everything to blend together with a nice creaminess. This was one of the most-loved parts of our meal.
For dessert, we ordered everything: the flan, the churros con nieve and the capirotada. The flan was a surprise -- it was strawberry-flavored. The custard itself was refreshing and smooth with an occasional crunch from strawberry seeds. The churros came with ice cream and were covered in an ample amount of cinnamon sugar (be careful of breathing in the powdered spice when you eat these, but it's definitely worth it). They were cooked perfectly, crispy on the outside and pillow-soft in the middle. Capirotada, as we found out, is a type of Mexican bread pudding. It was the first dessert to go. We loved it -- smooth and creamy, very dense, and tasting almost like a cinnamon tres leches cake.
We were already pleased with the food, but the service was impeccable, too. Everyone was incredibly nice, and we felt like we were dining in an old friend's house, full of home-cooking and wide smiles. We will definitely be back.
• Restaurant reviews are based on one anonymous visit. The Daily Herald does not publish reviews of restaurants it cannot recommend.
Dos Amigos Mexican Restaurant101 W. Rockland Road, Libertyville, (224) 206-7282, dosamigosmexrestaurant.com/
Hours: 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily