Los Dos Molinos (Mesa)
260 S Alma School Rd
Mesa, AZ 85210
I ended up in Los Dos Molinos on Cinco de Mayo, eager for what a friend had told me was the best Mexican in town. I walked in the wrong door which caused a small issue with seating, but eventually settled myself in at the bar.
Normally bar seats offer really great service but not at Los Dos Molinos. The servers seemed to be getting their own drinks and were too busy to pay much attention to me. The lack of a dedicated bartender did not bode well for me. When I did get a server’s attention, I asked about the Cinco de Mayo drink specials advertised in the window and was told there weren’t any. Strike one. If you’re going to paint it on the window, try to follow through.
I ordered a house margarita ($7.95) and I have to say it was really nice. It wasn’t too sweet. I could taste the tequila (which I like), and it had a nice amount of booze in it.
A server brought me chips and salsa. I had been told the salsa was hot and that this was a selling point of Los Dos Molinos. I like hot, but I don’t like hot without underlying flavor. The salsa was the latter. Strike two.
Still, I was starving. I sat and drank my margarita, ate burning hot salsa, and attempted to take in the décor while I waited for twenty minutes for someone to notice I hadn’t placed a food order. It was too much time to find the bright colors, Mexican beer advertisements, and replicas of American Indian cultural items anything but jarring.
A man, who I can only assume was the owner/manager was parading an adorable baby around the dining room when he noticed I was lacking food. He took my order, apologized, and promised to get my order right out. He delivered.
I ordered the Relleno Dinner ($12.95), which included two cheese stuffed peppers topped in a green chili sauce, a side of rice, and beans. I was optimistic. The beans were perfectly cooked pinto beans with a ton of flavor. The rice was equally good and had a nice earthy flavor. Unfortunately I was really disappointed with the relleno. Both peppers had a tinny, metallic flavor near the tips. Though it improved further up the peppers, it wasn’t pleasant. I can’t swear the green chili sauce was bland (my taste buds may have been seared off by the salsa), but it at least seemed that way. Strike three.
The lag time continued when I wanted to leave. Actually, what I wanted was another margarita, but I gave up on that entirely and asked a woman who was standing around in fairly elaborate Mexican dress for a box and a check. The couple next to me at the bar, who had been sitting around for an equally long time, jumped in on the request, which led to a series of complaints from the woman, who was apparently just present for decoration. She did manage to bring me a Styrofoam plate and a piece of tin foil (why they don’t spring for a box that is more easily transportable, I have no idea) and my bill.
I would classify Los Dos Molinos as mixed at best. If the service had been a little better, I could have forgiven the low points of the food. Everyone seemed to be hustling; I can only assume they’re just short staffed. The advice “be patient” is printed on the menu, which suggests they recognize the problem and the large crowd would imply most people don’t mind. I did.
This post was from my first experience with Dos. I've been back a dozen times since. I still find the service hit or miss (the food isn't horribly consistent either), and sometimes I have no idea whose food is on our bill, but the truth is, I crave the green chili sauce from this place. Because, and only because, of the addiction factor, I’ve changed the rating from a C to a B.