I'd heard about Mission-style burritos being served at a Mexican joint in Mitte called Dolores for a while. I wasn't all that eager to get there, since burritos had never really been my thing. But one night, after a movie at Babylon and starved for dinner in those darkened streets where food can be very hard to find, we found ourselves looking into the bright, colorful Dolores.
It turns out that Dolores doesn't just do burritos. Their menu reads like a souped-up version of Chipotle's, with burrito bowls, salads, agua frescas and soups rounding out the offerings. We put together our burrito bowls, which came topped with homemade tortilla chips and sat down to dig in. I was underwhelmed. The iceberg lettuce piled on top skeeved me out a little and the food beneath it was just okay. Eh, I thought. Another disappointment. Par for the course.
But my friends Margue and Daniel, whose tastes I always trust, raved about Dolores whenever I saw them and when we found out that Dolores was opening another location on Wittenbergplatz, far closer to all of us than the Mitte location, they could barely contain their glee. What was I missing? I had to go back and find out.
I am so glad I did. For one, the Wittenbergplatz location is lovely. It's airier and bigger than the original one in Mitte, with a lovely view out onto the square, the fountain and KaDeWe.
Second of all, the food was really good. According to their website, the Wittenbergplatz location is offering some new items that the Mitte location doesn't yet have, like soft tacos. I saw pork pibil on the menu, made with organic meat, achiote and habañero peppers, and I practically did a double take. They must mean business, I thought. After all, there's no way to tame down a habañero, right? So that's what I got in my burrito bowl, along with a couple different spicy salsas (if you eschew sour cream and cheese, they'll let you get two salsas).
The meat was saucy, complex, spicy and falling apart at the poke of a fork, while the salsas were fresh and delicious and as spicy as they promised to be. In other words, just right. I ate up my entire bowl, even the iceberg lettuce. (Which still skeeves me out. But I'm willing to look past it now.) And couldn't get over how good it was, especially after I'd been so underwhelmed the first time. (I blame it on the chicken?)
I've been back a number of times since. I even ordered the chipotle soy meat once and you know what? Combined with the fajita veggies and the three-chile salsa cruda, it wasn't half bad. In fact, I could get kind of used to it. But the pork pibil is still the thing to order here.
Long live the habañero! Bless you, Dolores, for keeping things spicy.
Bayreuther Strasse 36
(030) 548 21 590