Chicago’s first Dos Toros, a New York-based fast-casual Mexican chain, debuted today in The Loop, bringing a cheesy-style of burrito that’s popular in the San Francisco Bay Area. That’s where the owners, brothers Oliver and Leo Kremer, learned to love Mission-style burritos wrapped in steamed 13-inch flour tortillas. The Chicago location, 1 N. Dearborn St., is the first Dos Toros outside of N.Y.
The menu is simple, the Kremers didn’t want to overcomplicate matters: “I think most people just want a great burrito,” Oliver Kremer said. “They don’t really care about the backstory.”
But for those still curious in the history, the chain started in 2009 and has drawn comparisons with Chipotle. It’s busiest during lunch and the staffers melt a slice of Monterey Jack in their burritos for extra gooeyness. The Kremers feel Chicago is a good mix of being laid back like San Francisco with the cosmopolitanism of New York. That’s why that picked Chicago as their first expansion market. They’ll also serve Revolution Brewing beer to further endear themselves to locals. The Chicago location is the Kremers’ 14th. At 4,000 square feet and two levels, management said it’s their largest restaurant.
The Kremers want customers to know they’re crazy about burritos (they also serve quesadillas and rice bowls). Oliver Kremer has started a five-step method to ensure burritos are properly wrapped. The most basic mistake? Rookie rollers aren’t patient: “You need to trust the process, and slow down,” he said.
Though most people enjoy a good burrito, it can sometimes be a touchy subject, especially with the culinary world more understanding of issues surrounding appropriation. Do the Kremers catch any flack for being a pair of white men running a chain of Mexican restaurants? Leo Kremer said “not really.” He added that most people understand that they grew up in Northern California, where Mission-style burritos grew in popularity. This style of food is “authentic to where we grew up,” and they just want to spread the joy and say good vibes they enjoyed: “The passion is genuine, and I feel like people respect that,” said Leo Kremer.
Starting today, Chicagoans can discover for themselves if the Kremers make a worthy burrito. Dos Toros is now open.
Dos Toros, 1 N. Dearborn St., (773) 491-1735, open 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. on weekdays; 11:30 a.m. to 8 p.m. on weekends.