What’s better than reaching into a warm bag of Dos Amigos tortilla chips on a cold Ithaca night? How about enjoying your Mexican cuisine in the warmth of a new indoor location? Dos Amigos, a flavorfully creative and exceptionally executed late-night Mexican food truck currently situated on the corner of Dryden and Eddy in Collegetown, is expanding into a brick and mortar location at 304 College Ave — previously Stella’s restaurant — this upcoming winter/spring season. Dos Amigos’ most loyal customers are currently Cornell students, but once the restaurant is open in Collegetown, they plan to move the truck to Ithaca College’s campus.
Dos Amigos was started by Jorge Bouras ’17 in 2015, after his sophomore year at Cornell’s School of Hotel Administration. When he first started college, Bouras did not know what he wanted to do. His sister was a graduate of the Hotel School and encouraged him to apply because of his love of food. Bouras, son of two immigrants from Mexico City, was raised in San Diego and experienced no lack of delicious Mexican cuisine before coming to college. He was disappointed when he arrived at Cornell and found that there were no great Mexican joints. He first thought of the idea for a Mexican food truck at the end of his sophomore year when he realized he did not want to pursue the typical internship path; he wanted to throw himself into something he was passionate about that would provide more excitement than a typical desk or restaurant job. So, he started Dos Amigos. Bouras chose to open a food truck, rather than a restaurant, because food trucks typically have fewer barriers to entry and less risk. Bouras still had to go through a permitting process with the city of Ithaca, but the process is much simpler than a brick and mortar location. Luckily, the food truck has been a great success.
When developing the special recipes for the operation, Bouras drew from his childhood culinary experiences and recruited some local help from Gola Osteria’s head chef. Many of the recipes, and especially the sauces, are much more complex than customers expect. The recipes were specially developed for the operation and had many iterations before they became the final recipes used today. Bouras raves about his favorite dishes: The carnitas being the most intricate flavor-wise, and the steak burrito being his biggest weakness. Dos Amigos serves many fun variations of classic burritos, tacos and quesadillas. However, as Bouras says, “Food is secondary to what we try to do. Our primary focus is building a great team,” and that they have. They have expanded from just Bouras and his business partner to seven employees in the truck and hope to protect employees from the Ithaca chill soon in their brick and mortar location.
Along with creating a dedicated and passionate staff, Bouras hopes to foster community within Ithaca as well. “With the new location that can be open consistently in one spot, we can focus on growing our following,” Bouras said. Check out Dos Amigos: soon to be in dos locations.