Restaurant Review: Carniceria Dos Amigos

taco-bell

Date Dined: 1/12/17

We’ve been having some weather in Reno. Snow, rain, flooding, more rain, more snow. During the second bout of snow, my car slid down a hill and into a curb. The car was still drivable, but I could tell something was wrong. I took her to the dealership, but because of the weather, they weren’t running a shuttle until they found a car with four-wheel drive. Three hours later, they finally found a car (you’re on a car lot — how hard is it to find a car?) With my car being still about an hour away from “ready,” I asked if they could take me to lunch. When they asked what I wanted, I responded as I always do, “Tacos (or burritos).” I was told that there was a great taco place just down the street. Five minutes later we pull into…Taco Bell. That’s right, someone recommended Taco Bell, as if I had never heard of the place. Fortunately, there happened to be another Mexican place in the strip mall behind the Taco Bell, Carniceria Dos Amigos.

Attached to a Mexican market, Dos Amigos was far more authentic than Taco Bell.  The chips and salsa were okay; the salsa had the right amount of onion/cilantro mix but very little in the way of spicy heat. I ordered the Steak Burrito. I should have worried when there wasn’t an upcharge for ordering steak – the steak wasn’t the highest quality. Its carne asada marinade was good, but not enough to overcome the poor quality of the meat. I also probably would have left the burrito on the grill another minute or two to give the tortilla a little more oomph.

Carniceria Dos Amigos wasn’t great, my meal needed more heat in the salsa and better quality meat, but it was still better than Taco Bell. I wasn’t planning on returning, but I had to that same day to pick up my credit card, which they forgot to give back to me.

WWYT Rating: 6.0

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TV Review: Emerald City

emerald-city

Airs: Fridays on NBC 9/8c

Review: 2-hour Pilot episode

I like clever shows, but sometimes shows can be too clever. Emerald City, a “reimagining” of Wizard of Oz, borders on the latter. I hope this is a limited-run series, rather than a multi-season show, because if they try to extend this show, it will become a white-hot mess that will be nearly indecipherable (think LOST without any direction or cohesion). It may hit that point by episode three anyway.

The most confusing scenes come at the beginning, with a 20-year old Dorothy in Lucas, Kansas. Like why does a town of 393 have a massive hospital? Why is someone trying to kill her seemingly birth “mom?” Why would she need to run as her “mother” says? I imagine at some point they will attempt to answer these questions.

The more clever bits are in Oz. For example:

  • Dorothy runs over the witch in a car, not a house.
  • Toto is a German Shepherd police dog, not a little cairn terrier.
  • The yellow brick road is really opium.
  • The scarecrow is a former wizard guard who Dorothy saves from crucifixion. The problem is that he has lost his memory (thus would need a brain).
  • The flying monkeys are drones with recording devices.

These are just off the top of my head, there are probably more. There are characters from the books (e.g. Ojo, Tip), but I am not familiar with them since I didn’t read the entire series.

I look forward to seeing what twist is next – how are they going to incorporate the Cowardly Lion? The Tin Man? Other positives include Vincent D’Onofrio, who is brilliant as the Wizard (much as he was in Daredevil). The question is, can the show runners keep their focus over a ten-episode arc and give us a satisfying conclusion? It is very easy to get too creative and try to extend your run and not answer anything. The only way they can get a successful second season is to wrap up this story completely then focus on the other (fascinating) characters of Oz.

WWYT Rating: 7.0 (Though if it is multi-season lower this to 4.5)

Nielsen Rating: 1.0 I’ve seen reports that it is cancelled already, but I haven’t seen confirmation yet. It was already delayed a year before it even aired, so it already has a strike against it. It dipped to a 0.8 for its third episode, which makes it an unlikely renewal, 30%.

Restaurant Review: Bawarchi

bawarchi

Dined: 1/3/17

A new Indian restaurant opened near my office a couple weeks ago. As we turned the page on a new year, it was an excellent time to try a new place. We had hoped that Bawarchi might be a buffet-style lunch place, alas, it wasn’t meant to be. Nevertheless, come with an appetite, because the portion sizes are mammoth.

The menu, with over 100 items, was overwhelming. I asked the waitress for recommendations – she said they were “known for our Biryanis.” I’m not sure how they could be “known for” something after being open less than two weeks, but I did get the Hyderabad Chicken Dum Biryani (it wasn’t the specific one she recommended though). Our waitress was kind enough to warn us that everything was a la carte – naan and rice were separate (Biryanis, however, come with rice). She did not warn us that the dishes come in a giant urn, which would be a challenge to finish in a single sitting (especially for lunch). All the Biryanis were served with a side of curry sauce and a yogurt sauce (the latter which had a much more Indian name, but I don’t remember what it was other than “yogurt based”).

The flavor of my dish was fantastic, with a perfect spice level for me (be forewarned that I like my food spicier than most). I did have to dig to the bottom to find the chicken (as did my colleagues). My first complaint is that I only had two small pieces of chicken – a leg and a thigh – the rest was flavorful rice. My next complaint is the price tag – nearly double the prices of our normal Indian buffet.

If I were rating Bawarchi solely on the taste quality of their food, it would get an eight or higher. Overall, however, I have to lower my rating based on: The price tag, the lack of ice in the water, the food taking awhile, not enough protein (in mine), and awkward portion sizes. If we had to do it over, we probably would have split two separate dishes between the three of us – but then we would need to agree on what we would want to share. In the end, I would not recommend this place for lunch, but instead for a large group splitting several dishes for dinner, or date-night where you share one dish.

WWYT Rating: 7.5