All Articles
All Articles

Dorado Tacos and Cemitas

by Ami Kealoha
on 12 October 2009

The joint effort of a former Californian and a Boston chef, the new taco spot Dorado brings authentically fine-tuned Mexican to Boston's Brookline area. When myself and two other former Californians (credit one of them, photographer-savant James Ryang, for these pics) were invited to visit recently, we left longing for a similarly well-priced and delicious restaurant in NYC—no small compliment coming from a group with higher-than-average standards for tacos.

Dorado takes its cues from Mexican street food and keeps the menu pretty simple, focusing on fish tacos (four styles in all) but offering other fillings too, as well as hearty sandwiches called cemitas, rotisserie chicken and sides that include rice and beans, guacamole and pickled vegetables. Drink options also keep it real with Jarritos, Mexican Coke, other sodas and aguas frescas.


Co-owner Michael Brau explains that their food "is about spicy, sweet, acid and salty" and from what we tasted, his chef-partner Douglas Organ (already renowned in Boston) nails it every time. Our favorite of the tacos, the Ensenada, takes on the battered fish taco. Wrapped in a soft, locally-made tortilla, the crisp but not greasy fish comes dressed with a lime wedge, pickled onion (thanks to research the owners conducted in the taco's namesake town), shredded cabbage, crema and pico de gallo. Like everything we tasted, the freshness and quality of the ingredients kicks the classic up into a category you might expect from a more formal place.

In fact, Dorado puts off a decidedly laid-back vibe with unpretentious and helpful staff, bar seating and citrus-colored walls. Eco-friendly utensils, napkins and plates, recycled wood floors and reclaimed tables are yet another example of how to do it right—but back to the food.

Other tacos, like the piquant chicken and tender steak (both feature a habañero salsa with a pleasant heat), also benefit from the perfectly-sized tortillas and winning flavor combos. A meal consisting of a couple tacos (for $6 you get two of your choice with rice, smoky black beans and grilled jalapeño) satisfies, but for those looking for something new, the cemitas introduce a little-known Mexican sandwich hit.


Layered between a disc of soft bread (the owners worked with a local baker to create a lard-free, sesame seed-topped roll) a combination of fillings, like pork milanesa and house-made chorizo team up with Oaxacan cheese, black beans, chipotles and cilantro, will convert most. While cemitas originated in Puebla, Mexico, Michael Brau initially checked them out in Boyle Heights, L.A. and chef Douglas Organ tasted his first cemita when Brau's son (and CH contributor) Seth Brau took them to a place in the back of a Sunset Park, Brooklyn deli.


While the sides succeed as much as the more substantial dishes, we especially recommend the corn and guacamole. Accompanied by white corn tortilla chips (crisp and perfectly salted), a tangy lime flavor lends the fresh guac a welcome layer. The corn, seizing on a traditional street food dish popularized in the U.S. only recently, uppercuts them all by only serving it during its peak season and keeping the cotija cheese dusting light. (For those already obsessed, following Organ's twitter will alert you to other seasonal dishes, like a current and already well-received chicken tortilla soup served with avocado slices.)

All in all, Dorado's white-napkin worthy food, served in a no fuss setting with prices to match, perfects the taqueria concept. It's as ideal for a two-taco lunch or a cemita before a movie as it is for takeout rotisserie and a few sides picked up on the way home from work.

See more images after the jump.

Dorado Tacos and Cemitas
401 Harvard Street
Brookline, MA 02446 map
tel. +1 617 566 2100

The CH25 is a showcase of creators and innovators from a broad range of disciplines who are currently working to drive the world forward.

Eelke Plasmeijer

The locally driven restaurant that’s upending Balinese food culture

Read More
We really try to keep things simple and let the produce do the talking

Matt Kenyon

Fusing art and technology to disrupt concepts of corporate America

Read More
I want the work to live in the world and circulate, so it can generate more dialogue

Sabine Seymour

A future where smart clothes are as ubiquitous as zippers

Read More
In the future you will not buy a piece of 'functional' clothing without SoftSpot

Leopoldine Huyghues Despointes

The young filmmaker and non-profit founder who just wants people to follow their dreams

Read More
I feel confident and ready to accomplish so much more, the movement is on

Dan Barasch + James Ramsey

A quest to make the future brighter—underground

Read More
We both share a passion for groundbreaking technology and a shared love of New York

Alex Kalman

The tiny museum in Manhattan that’s redefining museums

Read More
The mission is to put this small simple and powerful tool into the hands of as many people as possible

Tal Danino

The bioengineer who’s programming DNA to fight cancer

Read More
[Manipulating genes] is very new, people are just learning how to program these organisms

LaToya Ruby Frazier

Documenting the slow, troubling change in Braddock, Pennsylvania

Read More
I am not a journalist, I am a conceptual documentary artist using my visual expression for building narratives that are unseen and unheard

Kathleen Supové

The NYC performance artist who’s radically reinventing the piano recital

Read More
I like pieces that are virtuosic, that show off the piano and what it can do, and are awe-inspiring

Lulu Mickelson

A civic leader bringing change to NYC through design

Read More
Human-centered design is one of the many tools that we can use to better engage the public

Meredith Perry

How searching the Internet helped a 22-year-old invent wireless electricity

Read More
It’s not about where the information is, it’s about how you use the tools

Roxie Darling

From un-shampoo to transgender identity, the NYC colorist boldly defining the next chapter of hair

Read More
Hair color is as much a science as it is a craft

Pauline van Dongen

The Dutch designer blazing the wearable technology path

Read More
I’m fascinated by concepts of change, movement, energy and perception; since they are closely related to the way we experience the world

Kegan Schouwenburg

Revolutionizing orthotics through 3D-printed insoles

Read More
What orthotics do is they effectively change the geometry of what your alignment is like

Corinne Joachim Sanon

The chocolatier bringing social change to Haiti and bean-to-bar chocolate to the world

Read More
Seeing the poverty surrounding me and the lack of jobs and opportunity bothered me

Cynthia Breazeal

How an emotional, empathetic robot named Jibo stands to revolutionize communication

Read More
The thing that's so provocative about social robots is that it's fundamentally a community technology

Douglas Riboud + Justin Guilbert

How a mission to create great coconut water led to a whole new way of doing business

Read More
We’ve made a conscious decision to be as transparent and honest as we can, and let people decide for themselves

Marcus Weller

Using technology to turn motorcycle helmet design on its head

Read More
I was taken aback both by the number of people that doubted it, and by the equally large number of people that got behind it

Jonathan Sparks

Reinventing electronic music by inventing multi-disciplinary instruments

Read More
Recorded music is becoming so cheap, so the value of music is now in live performance

Tarren Wolfe

The next-generation appliance making kitchens greener—literally

Read More
Our goal is to provide food for everyone in the world, and the best place to start is in our very own community

George Arriola and Monohm

An heirloom electronic for the post-smartphone era

Read More
We agonized during the design process as all hyper-obsessed craftspeople should

Joshua Harker

Pushing the boundaries of sculpture with intricate 3D printing

Read More
My intent was to explore and depict the architecture of the imagination, to interpret and share forms evident in the mind’s eye

Sarah Kunst

The entrepreneur single-handedly changing the landscape for women in tech

Read More
People who live on a planet that is half women but can never seem to find any when they need one, I have solved your problem

Melissa Kushner

Addressing the needs of orphans and vulnerable children in Malawi through microenterprise

Read More
Poverty is complicated, there is an increasing temptation and pressure in the development space to oversimplify things

Vanessa Newman

Redesigning pregnancy for the post-gender generation with Butchbaby & Co.

Read More
I want my customers to feel comfortable and unchanged, in that becoming pregnant didn't take away from or compromise their identity
Loading More...