[Shanghai] Dos Locos

[ A+ ] /[ A- ]

Dos Locos | Dianping
Address: 南京西路1515号嘉里中心南区B1楼11室 – B1/Jing’an Kerry Center South, 1515 West Nanjing Rd (静安区 Jing’an District)
Date visited: 2014.02
Total bill: RMB¥370 for four people (yes, I’d say that’s pretty expensive for burritos)
Will return: No
What to get:
– Pork carnitas burrito (or burrito bowl)
– Pot brownie

For me, Mexican food is an idea I get… never (unless it is brunch at Maya, which I do enjoy very much). Those nights after Rick’s in college (Ann Arbor equivalent of Hollywood for my fellow Shanghaiers) were the only times the words “burrito” and “good idea” ever crossed paths in the same sentence. But I went to Dos Locos for the public’s benefit so here we are. Dos Locos is a fast food burrito place located in the basement of the Jing’an Kerry Center. Yes, it is basically like Chipotle (and Panchero’s if that is your thing).

Dos Locos, while overpriced, will fill the Chipotle void for those who seek it. Although I don’t eat burritos on the regular (slash ever), the burrito ingredients seem to be fresh and clean so I do recommend this for those who are looking for something similar to Chipotle back in America. But be warned, the bill will not be light for this fast food joint (this is Shanghai after all).

Dos Locos Shanghai

Here is my dissertation that I would normally say to skip over if service were not a factor but I think it warrants an audience. I normally don’t single people out but I want to point out this terrible person who works at Dos Locos.

The burrito assemblers were very nice–waited patiently and smiled away at my indecisiveness on what to put in my burrito. However, when we got to the end to pay, we were met with an unpleasant girl at the register, presumably some sort of manager by the way she strutted around the place the entire time. After observing her throughout my meal (I creep, I know), I am convinced she thought she was superior to everyone else who worked there and even some of the customers who walked in. I watched her greet foreign customers more warmly than local Chinese customers (p.s. this lady is local Chinese herself with accented but proficient English). She is the epitome of some local Chinese people who think they are too good for their own people. A word of advice for any restaurant trying to survive in Shanghai: your main focus should be on drawing a local crowd, not the expat circle which accounts for like 10% of diners , if not less when you discount the ABCs who can blend in with their Mandarin.

After we started eating, I looked at our receipt and noticed we were charged an incorrect item on our order, which resulted in an additional RMB¥10. I went back to the register and asked if she could correct the receipt and even added that she could double check our order with the burrito assemblers. She answered in a manner that suggested it was petty for me to even ask for RMB¥10 back and then not only did she not offer an apology  but proceeded to lay the blame on the burrito assemblers by saying they were the ones who must have told her the incorrect item to charge. Um, okay:

  • First of all, I don’t care about 10 kuai but I do care that you offer to rectify the error you or someone else made with grace. It could be 10 kuai or 100 kuai but no matter the amount, an error was made and customers don’t need your self-righteous attitude.
  • Second of all, I don’t care who made the error as long as you correct it, again, with grace. Ms-holier-than-thou was quick to blame the burrito assemblers that they were the ones who incorrectly told her the order when she should have simply said “hey, our bad, let me fix this.” You and the burrito assemblers all represent Dos Locos. Take a lesson in humbleness, please, not for my sake but so you can make it through life without people ripping on you this badly.

Anyway, on to the food.

Edit: my friend just told me this was the most polite criticism she has ever seen from me. This doesn’t even begin to describe scary in my dictionary.

Delirium Tremens (RMB¥55)

Dos Locos Shanghai

Burrito (RMB¥55 for pork carnitas or grilled chicken or vegetarian; RMB¥65 for beef barbacoa) + Extras (RMB¥ 10 for sour cream; RMB¥15 for guacamole)
Recommend: yes to the pork, no to the beef burrito.
First, the pre-made tortilla (choose white or wheat)was heated but I didn’t think the tortilla was warm enough (more on that later). What I really like at Panchero’s that is missing here is where they take a slab of dough and press it into tortilla on the spot.

Dos Locos Shanghai

Next, we chose our meat (chicken, pork, beef, or none for vegetarian) and cilantro rice (jasmine or brown). No beans for me.

Dos Locos Shanghai

The burrito assemblers were generous and loaded the burritos with ingredients.

Dos Locos Shanghai
Dos Locos Shanghai

We tried two types of burritos: beef and pork. We really liked the pork (simmered in orange zest, cinnamon, onion, garlic, cilantro, cracked pepper), which had a hint of sweetness and distinct cilantro flavor. We did not like the beef (slowly braised in chipotle pepper adobe, cumin, cloves, garlic, and oregano), which was dry and not full of the flavors mentioned.

The whole thing was lukewarm (and thus became cold quickly) because pita was not warm enough to begin with. Granted, the vegetables, salsa, and sour cream were cold by default but a hot tortilla would have helped overcome that.

Dos Locos Shanghai

Ah the innuendos.

Dos Locos Shanghai

No need to show the inside of my half eaten burrito mess but see burrito bowl below.

Burrito Bowl (RMB¥55 for pork carnitas or grilled chicken or vegetarian; RMB¥65 for beef barbacoa)
Recommend: yes
Basically a burrito using all the same ingredients but without the tortilla. I personally like having everything wrapped up in a tortilla but some people have more carb-restraint than me.

Dos Locos Shanghai

Lime Tortilla Chips (RMB¥15 for just chips; RMB¥35 with salsa; RMB¥55 with guacamole)
Recommend: no
So the chips themselves cost RMB¥15 and the guacamole is a hefty additional RMB¥40. Let’s process this again: that’s RMB¥40 for one avocado, maybe one and a half. Money not well spent. The chips were sprinkled with lime juice but only on a few chips.The guacamole was fresh but too chunky even for my friend who likes chunky guacamole; we did some more mashing of our own and it tasted better. The guacamole used fresh avocado but was missing an oomph (perhaps more lime?) in the mixture. The guac and chips were fine but overpriced for what they were.

Dos Locos Shanghai

Pot Brownie (RMB¥20)
Recommend: yes
For dessert, we shared a pot brownie. Don’t get too excited, they are called pot brownies because they are literally brownies… in a pot.

Dos Locos Shanghai

Dos Locos Shanghai

This was either really raw or intentially gooey. Not sure which, but it did taste delicious. Don’t judge on the first bite; this is one of those things that gets better with each bite. I went from sort of liking it to really liking it by the end. The men were indifferent though (as most guys are with dessert) so perhaps I am better off recommending this to the ladies.

Dos Locos Shanghai

There were also Caffeinated Chocolate Chip Cookies (RMB¥20) that I didn’t try because they were just… sitting on top of the burrito bar unprotected from… anything.

Dos Locos Shanghai

Despite the terrible person who works at Dos Locos, my final thoughts on the food are that the burrito ingredients are definitely up to par on freshness and taste and the pot pie is pretty delicious. There are nuances that could be fine-turned a bit more such as making the tortillas warmer and improving the guacamole texture. If you are missing Chipotle, go for it.