With more and more Chipotle Grills popping up in suburban America, people are starting to re-think their Mexican food options. (A Chipotle recently opened in Rye Brook, bordering Port Chester). The chain of Mexican restaurants is big on calorie conscious eaters and fresh ingredients, if not authenticity. With its popularity growing, Chipotle gives people craving a burrito a new option. For those yearning for an authentic Mexican experience, Los Gemelos on Westchester Avenue, has yet to succumb to the Chipotle craze.
Not only does Los Gemelos prepare authentic Mexican dishes, it offers exotic flavors. The not-so-average menu boasts meat choices including veal head, veal brains, beef tongue, and pork stomach. American-style Mexican dishes – burritos, tacos, and quesadillas – are present, along with more unconventional options – honey comb tripe soup in a guajillo broth.
Los Gemelos puts as much effort in to the taste of the food as the presentation. Rustic metal skillets carry neatly assembled entrees with miniature Mexican flags and tortilla chip bowls of beans. Deep metal bowls support tiny football size burritos. The guacamole and chips come with a pit of an avocado in the center for visual effect.
Intrigued by the presentation of plates around us (we all gawked at a skillet holding a tower of sizzling meat and veggies), and the not-so-common meats, our table took time making a final decision.
Nobody proved adventurous enough to try veal brains, or beef tongue. We asked the waitress what they tasted like and she laughed.
“I don’t know, it’s not for me,” she said with a smile.
Between the four of us we ordered two entrées, two burritos, and guacamole and chips. The only dish wiped clean was the appetizer. The main dishes were enough for two people each.
Each burrito came fully loaded with beans, lettuce, sour cream, cheese, and jalapenos, and a choice of meat. In addition, we ordered mole enchiladas (Enchiladas de mole poblanos), and sautéed shrimp in spicy chipotle sauce (Camarones a la diabla).
The mole enchiladas were plentiful and sapid – as long as you like mole sauce. Mole is a dark, thick sauce with hints of chocolate and chili - an acquired taste for most ‘gringos.’ The meat comes covered in it, with lettuce, onions, and feta cheese (that’s right feta) on top.
The contents of the dish alone are enough, but small tortillas, beans, and rice are added for do-it-yourself wraps.
The Camarones dish came dowsed in a skillet full of sauce as well. For those looking to fill up on meat instead of spice this dish might not be the best option.
The inside of Los Gemelos has two sections. The dining area is to the left, and the semi-open kitchen and tortilleria are to the right. Not only does Los Gemelos cater to diners, it makes its own tortillas, which it sells wholesale and to the public.
Besides two TVs playing Telemundo, the only noticeable decorations are a wall of framed magazine and newspaper articles featuring the establishment
Overall, the service was good and workers were friendly
If you are not in a rush, and find yourself in need of some well-prepared Mexican food, then Los Gemelos on Westchester Avenue is a good bet.