A wave of colors and distinctive southwestern sensibility hits you as soon as you step into the new Dos Coyotes Border Cafe, signaling this is far from your ordinary taqueria.
The new restaurant in Turlock’s Monte Vista Crossings shopping center opened this week and brought with it its fresh, Santa Fe-inspired approach to food. This is the first Northern San Joaquin Valley location for the small Northern California chain, which has nine other sites in the Sacramento and East Bay areas.
Turlock Dos Coyotes husband-and-wife owners Ray and Shamiya Hussain said they were attracted to the chain’s fresh, flavorful food.
“We were out in Sacramento one day and went into Arden Fair Mall and ate at the Dos Coyotes there,” Shamiya said. “For us it was definitely the flavor that attracted us.”
The southwestern twist to food means more roasted chiles and Native American influences in the spices and preparations. Popular menu favorites include the loaded Border Burrito (choice of meats, cheese, guacamole, salsa, black beans, rice, sour cream), the Yucatan Chicken Salad (charbroiled chicken breast, lettuce, black beans, red onion, carrot, sweet peppers, cabbage and corn) and the Rachero Cheese Enchilada (choice of meats, melted cheese, ranchero sauce).
I would be remiss if I didn’t recommend the green chile stew, a seasonal special that is just in time for the snap of chillier weather here in the valley.
The fast-casual dining allows customers to order at the counter and have the food brought to them in the colorful dining room. A large, equally colorful salsa bar offers more than a dozen varieties. If you choose to dine in food comes on brightly colored (sense the theme yet) real ceramic plates. The owners are in the process of getting a liquor license, too, which means soon you’ll be able order a margarita with all that food.
Entrees run around $8.50 to $10.95, and there are plenty of healthy (so many salads) and more indulgent (hello, Santa Fe Nachos) to choose from.
The Hussains are established area restaurateurs, and also own the Denny’s in Turlock. They also are opening the adjoining PizzaRev, in the same building as Dos Coyotes. The pizza spot should be open in early 2018, in the next three to four months.
The new Dos Coyotes opens with a staff of about 50 and has room for 174 inside. A covered, outdoor patio will allow shared seating with PizzaRev next door.