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Dolores goes west

The place that revolutionized Berlin fast food with awesome California-style burritos seven years ago has opened a second store. The new location serves their best classics and several great new spicy combos.

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Photo by Sigrid Malmgren

Dolores in Mitte has long been an EXBERLINER staff staple; we know their menu by heart and not a deadline passes without multiple runs for their massive, delicious hand-held Californian burritos. Despite being in the middle of Mitte, there’s no fast food that can compete.

Now, after seven years, they’ve expanded with a new location on Wittenbergplatz, directly opposite KaDeWe, and more appropriately, next to American Apparel. A bold move, as the crowd promises to be a great deal different from the usual mix of über-cool transient Berliners and Mitte media workers you find in the first Dolores. The new store, also with the signature wallpaper map of San Francisco’s Mission, is roomier, with more tables and space to stretch your legs.

More exciting are the latest novelties cooked up by the Dolores creative crew, who seem to have had a fun time experimenting with ingredients and colours: neon-fuchsia pickled onions, bright orange habanero peppers, the deep velvety reds of the fleshy-fiery tomato salsas (guajillo chilli with garlic, intense habanero) and the verdant greens of cilantro and tomatillo. Cilantro is all the rage at the new Dolores, with a flashy green rice (instead of the old yellow-lime one) and a new delicious mixed-herb salad dressing (parsley, coriander, etc – the Dolores Green). Mix colours and indulge in the fresh ‘salsa cruda’ (tomatoes, onions, lime juice, chillies and cilantro).

Real-meat eaters see their options increased with two fine additions: a mouthwatering ‘Pibil pork’ made with slow-cooked, marinated Bioland (organic) meat, citrus juice, achiote seeds and habanero chillies, and a very Mexican-tasting Guajillo chicken – spiced up with the famous Guajillo chillies for a nice hot finish.

Fake-meat eaters and vegans see their tofu replaced with soy-meat with a texture more adequate for overnight marinades: smoky chipotle or lime cilantro.

Our tips: owner Philip’s favourite extravagant combo of pibil, pintos, green rice, cheese, pink onions, guacamole and a new wickedly spiced chipotle mayo. Or if you’re scared to go home overfed, opt for a salad with one of the three new dressings Dolores has dreamt up for us. We used to swear by the honey chili, but we were bowled over by the chipotle vinaigrette (smoked Jalapenos, perfect hot mouthfeel).

Our only grievance: it’s so far from the EXB HQ! And now that we’ve tried the new grub, we’re dying to stuff more of those great new salsas into our good old burritos. For the happy few who dwell in ‘City West’ – run! It opened in March and is still undiscovered. If you go now, you won’t even have to deal with the long queue Mitte customers have to endure at lunchtime… But that probably won’t be for long.