A friendly place with savory meals

TAKEOUT

Mexican, Peruvian dishes please eaters at Los Amigos Dos

December 03, 2003|By Tom Waldron | Tom Waldron,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

For those who crave the comfort of a little hole in the wall, the kind of place where a couple of guys turn out savory and surprising meals, Los Amigos Dos in Towson is ideal.

The restaurant and carryout, which features chicken roasted the Peruvian way and Mexican tacos, is friendly and just a bit dingy -- in a good way.

Los Amigo Dos is an offspring of the restaurant by the same name on Harford Road. This one, which is tucked into a York Road strip mall, features the aforementioned chicken as well as a long list of tacos, including fish tacos, shrimp tacos, pork tacos and grilled-chicken tacos. We were steered toward the South of the Border special ($6.99), which featured two hefty fajitas made from shredded Peruvian chicken, generous portions of rice and beans and a soda. Sliced green peppers and melted mild cheese gave the fajitas a pleasant snap. The beans were flavorful as well.

We also ordered Lomo Saltado "Los Amigos" ($11.95), a Peruvian dish made of beef sauteed in olive oil, onions, tomatoes and fresh herbs, which came with french fries and rice. Although the beef wasn't tender as promised, it was a delicious dish. Best of all, perhaps, were the savory onions and tomatoes that accompanied the beef, and the fries, which were permeated with the same salty, rich flavor as the beef.

The beef burrito ($4.95) offered little shreds of beef and onion and was buried in a sea of beans and rice. A green chili sauce came with the meal. We tried this hot, tangy stuff on everything.

The most entertaining-dish award goes to the big, poufy fried things we ordered that resemble giant pop-art french fries. They are actually fried yuca, described on the menu as a "potatolike root." Slightly sweet and nicely textured, the yuca ($1.50) was a welcome departure from the usual spuds, and one helping went a long way.

Too bad Los Amigos was sold out of its desserts. I was eager to try the Alfajor Peruvian cookies, described as "French vanilla ice cream covered with a crunchy coating, fried and served in a crunchy edible flour bowl." Now that's a cookie. Maybe next time.

Los Amigos Dos

Food: ***

Service: ***

Waiting area: ** 1/2

Parking: ***

Where: 714 York Road, Towson

Phone: 410-494-0061

Hours: 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Sunday; 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Monday through Thursday; 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Friday and Saturday

Prices: Mexican and Peruvian entrees, salads and side orders, from $1.50 to $14.95; credit cards accepted

Outstanding: ****; Good: ***; Fair or uneven: **; Poor: *

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