This past Thursday night, I worked late and was hungry, so I decided to try the recently opened Dos Coyotes On the Border in the nearby shopping center off Crow Canyon. It was a very good decision.
I arrived right around 9 p.m., which I subsequently learned was closing time. It was unclear where to go after I entered the restaurant, but eventually I wandered up to what I learned was the place where you ordered food. A really nice young lady asked if she could help me. She explained how the restaurant worked, went to place my order and was told it was after 9 p.m. and the kitchen was closed.
She then took it upon herself to ask the manager if she could still place my order, given that the grill hadn't been cleaned yet and I was inside the restaurant. To my pleasant surprise, he asked the cooks and they said yes, they would make me the two fish tacos ($3.75 each), no problem.
I was delighted and very thankful. She continued by explaining that you order at the walk up counter and you get the salsa bar free as part of the meal. There is also a $5 draft beer and fresh-made margaritas deal right now - I'm not sure if it's permanent or an opening special (I should have asked).
I headed for the salsa bar, which has eight different choices ranging from HOT to mild (I liked the slightly sweet, medium-heat green tomatillo the best - it is slightly sweet because they do add sugar to it, as I learned when I asked about it). However, to my surprise, there were no chips on the bar (I thought that when they didn't provide any right away, that they would be there). I asked a server and was told that the chips come with the entrees and appetizers.
Shortly thereafter, the two fish tacos were delivered with an on-the-plate side of chips. I had already grabbed four different salsas, so I was in good shape.
The tacos were street-size, so more appetizer than entree, but had a nice serving of grilled mahi mahi, slaw, sweet tomato salsa and a mayonnaise-like white dressing. The $3.75 price for each was very fair and they tasted great.
While I was eating, I had a chance to chat with an assistant manager, who was also eating. He was very friendly and informative, letting me know how busy the place has been and how much he's enjoying working there.
And, later on, one of the co-owners (Molly) came by to ask how the food was, if I'd like more chips (turns out you can get more chips for free) and just conversation. I learned that this is the first franchise not owned by the original owners who started the company. She is an English teacher at a nearby high school and just wonderfully friendly, as are just about all of the members of the staff.
The dining area is wide open and has plenty of truly "southwest-style" family-size tables with high-rise chairs. There is a house-made fresh-brewed ice tea and ice water station to the left of the salsa bar, plus one of those new 50+ choices soft drink machines and a bar, so there are plenty of soft- and hard-drink choices. And, there's even covered outdoor seating on the patio in front of the restaurant, which is wonderful at night.
If there were signage letting you know what to do when you enter, and information about how you get the chips, I'd have rated this restaurant Excellent. My guess is that both of these will be remedied, and that my next visit will earn an Excellent!!
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