Leo and Oliver Kremer moved to New York from Berkeley one year ago. Their reason for moving? “We want to change the burrito landscape,” Leo says simply. The brothers (whose last name is pronounced “Kray-mer”) soon found themselves exploring the commercial landscape of Fourth Avenue, where they set about renovating the former home of the Ultimate Yogurt Cafe into Dos Toros Taqueria, which they plan to open later this week.
The diminutive space, located at 137 Fourth Avenue between 13th and 14th Streets, has been designed by Hecho, the firm whose imprint can be found on establishments including Spitzer’s Corner, the Box, Boqueria, and Hill Country. Although the Kremers have made the burrito their cause celebre, their menu also encompasses tacos and quesadillas.
While the New York metropolitan area has its fair share of superlative tacos, the burrito, the brothers believe, could use a bit of a makeover. In its traditional form, the burrito, which is native to the Northern Mexican state of Chihuahua, contains only one or two ingredients, such as meat, potatoes, chile rajas, and asadero cheese. A far cry, in other words, from the gutbombs stuffed with rice, sour cream, cheese, beans, and salsa. So the Kremers are hoping to raise the bar a bit, perhaps joining the ranks of Calexico’s Vendley brothers, that other fraternal order of Californians who’ve come to save New York from lackluster Cal-Mex. In the process, they’ve been learning their fair share about how to run a restaurant, something neither has done before. “Everything we do, we have to ask ourselves, how do we do this,” Leo says. “It’s sort of like reverse engineering.”
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on October 26, 2009