There’s another new restaurant in town that’s a must try for fans of tacos and burritos: Dos Dos. Owned by brothers Jason and Kris Wallenta, Dos Dos is a fast-casual spinoff of their popular Dos Santos. The two have their similarities, but the new double Dos leans more toward the traditional than Dos Santos’ fusion flavors.
The new Dos adds burritos to the menu, as well as tacos and breakfast. The Al Pastor is a star, but we also found the pollo asada to be especially flavorful. The cocktail menu is reminiscent but more streamlined than Dos Santos, featuring several margaritas, an especially fresh ranch water and more.
The stylish Dos Dos has transformed the corner of N. Tejon and Bijou (131 N. Tejon St.). What once was a cramped Subway now boasts an open kitchen and bar with chic lighting and exposed brick. Newly added glass-paned garage doors on the north wall face Acacia Park and add lots of natural light. They will allow the bar to serve directly outside onto the patio in warm weather. The corner is sure to be a hot spot come summer when the Uncle Wilbur Fountain is running across the street.
We wanted to know more about the new taqueria, so we caught up with owner Jason Wallenta.
Springs: Your tacos and flavors at Dos Santos are unique. How do the flavors and ingredients at Dos Dos compare with what we’re used to at Dos Santos?
Jason Wallenta, owner: Dos Dos focuses on marrying the chef-driven flavors and preparation we provide at Dos Santos with the more traditional style you would find at a taqueria in Mexico. We grind all our own masa in-house and make fresh corn tortillas daily. Dos Santos is a more modern take on Mexican cuisine, while Dos Dos follows a little more tradition.
What else is different from Dos Santos?
Another difference is that Dos Dos offers counter service takeout. This will likely help the downtown neighborhood where a lot of patrons don’t have the time to sit down and enjoy a full-service meal, but still want the quality of a small scratch kitchen. The vibe is also more reminiscent of a taqueria found in a beach town such as Tulum, Mexico.
What’s your favorite burrito?
I love all things wrapped in a tortilla, but my favorite at the moment is the Al Pastor burrito. Al Pastor is pork that is marinated in our secret family recipe for over 24 hours, then put on a rotating vertical spit with a pineapple placed on top, where it is cooked to crispy, juicy perfection.
Are there any different cocktails or drinks at Dos Dos?
We still use fresh-squeezed juice in all of our drinks, as we do at Dos Santos. This is something we will never change as you can taste the difference. We have a house shot that is cilantro lime, that pairs perfectly with our house mule. There are slight variations on a lot of our house favorites from Dos Santos, with a more condensed menu. Our bar manager, Renee, is always mixing up something new, and we’re looking forward to her monthly specials.
You and your brother owned your first restaurant in Cozumel. Is that where you developed your recipes and style for the Dos concepts?
Yes, Cozumel is where we opened our first restaurants. The flavors of our Dos concepts are definitely inspired by the Yucatán region, as well as our childhood summers spent in Mexico.
What prompted you to open a new restaurant?
We’ve always wanted to create a spinoff of Dos Santos that is a fast-casual environment. Dos Dos is both a sit-down experience and a takeout one, depending on your preference. As we have reached a new chapter in our lives with kids, school, sports, work, etc., we have needed more flexibility in our own dining out experiences, without feeling like we are compromising. I think a lot of people can relate to that. This is the inspiration for Dos Dos.
This is your third restaurant in Colorado Springs. Does that make more in the Springs than Denver now? What is most appealing to you as a restaurant owner in Colorado Springs?
Yes, we have two restaurants in Denver, one in Castle Rock, and now three in Colorado Springs. My family moved to Colorado Springs when we opened our Dos Santos here in 2018. We loved it here, so we stayed. There’s definitely a sense of community in the Springs that we appreciate as restaurant owners, but honestly, we’re just selfish and wanted more options for ourselves in our hometown.
There’s no denying that Denver’s food scene is bigger and more mature. How do you compare the scene here in the Springs?
Yes, Denver is more advanced, which has allowed us to take more risks there — and which is why our concepts have grown into what they are, since that’s where we got our start in Colorado. With that being said, I think Colorado Springs has fully embraced our concepts, and we couldn’t be happier to be part of this growing culinary scene.
Do you have any more restaurant concepts planned for the future?
Future concepts are what excite us. We love planning and creating. As of right now, we have a few projects in the pipeline, but nothing I’m ready to publicize yet. Stay tuned though because we have more to come in the Springs.
Check out the menu and more at dosdostacos.com.