Dos Amigos, a down-to-earth New Mexican restaurant at 2039 Fourth NW, has only been open about a year but by the looks of the steady stream of regulars flowing in and out, the place could have been there for generations. Co-owner Michele Bernard talks about what gives the place that old-time feeling.
I understand Dos Amigos was started by former employees of Los Cuates?
Yes, that's right. The four owners have been doing this for over 20 years, and we decided when our boss passed away we wanted to do it on our own. And that was it, we found a place to start it. So far so good, we take it day by day.
When did Dos Amigos open?
About a year ago, on Feb. 15, 2003.
What did you originally want to offer your customers?
We just wanted to basically have a nice place where families could come and eat for a decent price, nice portions, nice atmosphere. And yes we have a menu, but we'll substitute, I'm willing to make anything I can to make you happy. And that's just what we do.
What are some of your most popular menu items?
Our carne adovada. And we get a lot of compliments on our red chile. We knew what people like and we put it on a plate.
And you cater?
Yes. We offer our whole menu, and we're full-service. We work on a first-come, first-served basis, and we'll go anywhere in New Mexico. Our catering helped carry the restaurant in the beginning.
The restaurant does have a very family-oriented feel.
When we moved here the walls were all white. One of our customers said "Your place is too white," and they recommended a local artist named Debbie Feerer, who would work on trade to come paint the walls. The Virgin Mary was painted by Leopoldo Romero; he painted it in two days.
Have you made any changes since opening? Are you planning any future changes?
When we started we did a breakfast, we used to be open at 6:30 a.m. for breakfast, and it wasn't working, so we started opening at 9 a.m. and doing breakfast all day, which a lot of people liked. We're going to have beer and wine, we're in the process. We wanted to make sure the restaurant would go before getting into another avenue. Now that it's going we want to add something more, and we decided beer and wine.
And do you plan to open other restaurants?
Yes, I want to go to the Heights. When that works, I want to go to the Westside.
When can people drop by and see what you're all about?
Right now our hours are Monday-Thursday, 9 a.m.-8 p.m., Friday, Saturday and Sunday, 8 a.m.-8 p.m. But they'll be changing on April 2 to our summer hours, to Monday-Thursday, 9 a.m.-9 p.m., Friday and Saturday, 8 a.m. to 9 p.m., and Sunday, 8 a.m.-8 p.m.