The Burrito Brothers
Californians Oliver and Leo Kremer build a burrito empire in New York City, one stuffed tortilla at a time.
WORDS BY Vekonda Luangaphay // ART BY Vekonda Luangaphay
Five years ago, Berkeley, Calif., natives Oliver and Leo Kremer wandered the Big Apple looking for a burrito that tasted like the ones they grew up eating at Gordo Taqueria: their go-to burrito joint back in the Bay Area. Sadly, they never stumbled upon it.
Inspired by Gordo — and despite the fact that neither was a chef or attended culinary school — the pair moved to New York City to become the guiding light for kids in need of a good burrito. In 2009, Oliver and Leo opened their first Dos Toros Taqueria near Union Square and were determined to make their eatery a local favorite.
Since then, their food has been hailed by The New York Times as “simple and succulent.” It’s also been featured in USA Today Travel and The Wall Street Journal. Oliver, the younger of the pair, even earned a spot in Forbes’s 30 Under 30’s Food & Wine section.
“The thought that there are people on Earth that could think of Dos Toros Taqueria the way I think and feel about Gordo Taqueria, that is rewarding,” Oliver Kremer says.
These guys are bonafide burrito masters. Instead of tuning up all the ingredients — like cilantro and lime marinated corn or spicy garlic and paprika black beans — the brothers scale back on the extra jazz and let the natural flavors do their own singing. The result is a burrito masterpiece. All the elements are wrapped in steamed tortillas, which lend a velvety casing of soft fluffiness, orchestrating a symphony of melodic taste sensations.
They keep their menu simple with only three ways to bundle up: burrito, taco, or a quesadilla — all under $9. You’ll spend less time deciding and more time enjoying, but just a couple questions before they get your burrito started: black or pinto beans? Which sauce? And it’s always “yes” to guacamole. The Kremer brothers will tell you to “Guac it out daily,” and they have a music video devoted to this philosophy.
On a nice day, you might catch Oliver Kremer on his bicycle delivering napkins and plastic utensils to the five Dos Toros scattered throughout the city. With the opening of their fifth location in June and negotiations for a D.C. location in the works, the Kremer brothers show no sign of slowing down.
Every ingredient sings on its own. PHOTO FROM DOS TOROS.
Oliver Kremer swings by Dos Toros Taqueria in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. PHOTO BY VEKONDA LUANGAPHAY.
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