Dolores - Burritos - Mitte

Dolores is a great place to have in your black book.  Especially in Hackescher Markt where food is usually one of three things; bad, expensive, meant to appeal to tourists.  Dolores is cheap and cheerfull.  A standard chicken burrito is €4.95.  And it’s stuffed with rice  (still al’ dente, not really a good thing for rice but ach well), spicy black beans, guacamole, iceberg and chicken.  I have tasted better burritos then this.  In San Francisco in a suburb where everyone was Mexican and I had to order in Spanish, because no one spoke English.  But we are in Berlin here so considering that, Dolores makes a decent burrito, better than that, a good burrito.

The music is loud, the wallpaper is a map of San Francisco Bart stations (I think), the menu is simple and consistent. The glass door is smothered in a slew of stickers, various recomendations and awards.

My favorite part is how organized they are during busy lunch services.  When I went there for lunch on Friday there was a constant cue of over half a dozen people at any given time.  No one, including myself, had to wait longer than five minutes for their order.  The staff are lined up in an orderely fashion and use ice scream scoops to ensure everyone gets similar and fair portions.  Plop, plop, plop, drizzle of sauce, a rustle of paper and your bundled burrito is ready.  

I like to explore why some business models work and some just bomb. I have had my own businesses in the past and hope that after things get settled on the kiddie family front I can start up my own business again.  A food related one this time.  Something I am so nervous about because I am such a critical person, whatever I opened would literally have to be perfect otherwise I would wither away with shame!

But I have a few years left yet.  In the meantime, if  you find yourself in the area with a rumbling tummy and five euros in your pocket - this might be the place for you…

Rosa-Luxemburg-str. 7,
10178 Berlin

10 Responses to Dolores - Burritos - Mitte

  1. Sasa says:

    I vote for organised cafes! It just makes everything so much better when they know what they’re doing and it’s sadly lacking in a lot of hospo jobs. I know it’s because the pay is generally shite and all but still, I feel like if you’re going to do it, why do a half assed job? I quit front of house because I knew I’d never get better at being nice to customers I didn’t like ;P

    • Too true! Although like yourself, I also struggled to be nice to annoying customers. Also in London at least, there is this perception that if you chose to work in food and do front of house you must have no education or culture - so certain customers believe they are entitled to talk down to waiting staff. Sometimes it annoys visiting friends, but frankly I like that if you are rude to a waiter here in Berlin, chances are that they will march in to the kitchen, come back with a fridge cold raw fish and WHACK you across the face! Well not really but you know…
      There is a balance to be struck between good service as good manners as a customer.

      • Giulia says:

        But…there is no reason for staff to be rude when you were perfectly pleasant…in some Germanic stores/cafes, my home country included, I find they think they are better than any customer and that you being served is an honour in itself, being served politely that will most likely not be guaranteed :)

        BTW, next time you come visit I’ll take you to our Mexican restaurant for Burritos…it’s good, they are friendly, smile and it’s cheap!

  2. leigh says:

    Despite being very organized (you never have to wait very long for your order to show), I have unfortunate luck at Delores. About 50% of the times I’ve been, they mix up my order. Which I find so confusing, given that it’s a simple 1. 2. 3. process that is written down on a receipt right in front of the person putting together the order.

    I also think a lot about what makes some businesses wildly successful & others fail. In the case of Delores I think it’s a combination of a unique idea, a good (or decent - that seems to be an acceptable level in Berlin) product, a fair price point, and some very good marketing. They’ve been covered by so many tour books (which I think is how we heard of them first).

    This seems to be the case for other successful little eateries in Berlin, like the Maria restaurants & Bixel. Good idea, good product, good price point, and it seems like they definitely spend some time marketing. There is a great little Indian that we go to around the corner from us that I’m convinced could do very well with just a little bit of marketing power behind them. It always amazes me that they don’t bother to….it seems like such an obvious next step in a business.

    I’m sure there is probably way more to it. But looking at these places (especially Bixels - I LOVE Bixels), they have me convinced that it might be easy to open up a unique little eatery in Berlin.

    • I know Bixels, it is indeed a nice little place.
      I have yet to find anywhere in Berlin that wows me! A place like The Formagerie in London. I did go to a Korean I really liked called Kimchee Princess in Xburg but only once. I want to try it a few more times before I do a shout out about it.

      • leigh says:

        I agree. We’re consistently underwhelmed by the food in Berlin, and I am by no means a foodie. I’ve even started to wonder if my standards are lowering. The “great” little Indian restaurant probably isn’t great at all compared to Indian restaurants back home (Toronto), but definitely better than anything we’ve tasted here in Berlin. Bixels on the other hand - I’ll definitely miss it when we leave. Now that I’ve discovered you can custom order toppings, I crave it all the time. :)

        Your blog has been really fun to follow…. :)

      • Toronto is supposed to be a great city! I haven’t made it to that part of Canada yet!

  3. hannah says:

    I haven’t been to Dolores in ages. Now I HAVE TO GO again! I have always had a great experience - but maybe they start to confusing things now that they are expanding and so well known. Hm.

  4. I missed this post while travelling, but now that I am back home in Mexico, I can catch up with your blog.

    I get undercooked rice here also. What is so hard about cooking rice, anyway? But Berlin gets extra points for having decent Mexican food of any kind.

    Thanks for the great photos.


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