On Tuesday night I had planned dinner out with friends and the usual round of “I dunno, where do you wanna go” started. They suggested a restaurant at Lakeline mall. I said no. They said it was interior Mexican food (really) and that it had received some pretty good reviews. I didn’t want to seem unreasonable, so I agreed (with the knowledge that I had a bottle of antacid tablets in the car).
As it turned out, Dulces was great! The restaurant is located on the exterior of the mall in the space that had been Brick Oven Pizza.
First of all, the restaurant is very attractive, with modern styling and unusual art everywhere you look, together with a beautiful hostess to greet you—a great first impression. The menu seemed to be the standard: empanadas, quesadillas, enchiladas, and tacos, but the simplicity belied the quality.
Our first taste was the trio of salsas and beans that we got with our chips. If the food was half as good as the smoky chipotle sauce, the place was a winner.
For appetizers, we ordered the Beef Empanadas and the Chicken Flautas. The empanadas, though far from health food, were terrific. They were simple—seasoned ground beef and cheese in a pastry pocket—but with a great savory depth of flavor. The beef had been expertly cooked and, together with the cilantro (pesto) sauce, I was already looking forward to having them again soon. I unashamedly had more than my share of these.
The flautas again were a surprise – generously filled with brilliant white meat chicken and served with a slightly sweet pepper sauce with sour cream. Things were really looking up.
My entree was a trio of chicken enchiladas with a verde sauce. The sauce was a bit spicier than other tomatillos that I have had, but, again, the flavors were very good. The rice and beans on the side were fresh and flavorful as well.
I finished with a (made in-house) Neapolitan-styled ice cream of pistachio and strawberry served with a small layer of meringue and brought to the table on fire, à la Baked Alaska.
The overall sense at Dulces is that the restaurant is trying to do something way more than the usual Mexican eatery. There does seem to be particular attention to the quality of the various sauces, and handmade tortillas are always a plus. The staff is a bit young, but efficient, and the drinks are generous.
Dulces has been open at Lakeline Mall for about eight months now. Distinct from its Tex/Mex cousin, it is a welcomed change from the usual.Review by Richard Arebalo Photos by Vicky Garza