Where to Dora Taqueria in Woburn.
Why For counter-service chimichangas, birria tacos, and churros, served quickly and with a smile.
The backstory Owner Kelmyn Mejia is a longtime restaurateur. He came to the United States from the Dominican Republic as a teenager. Twelve years ago, he opened Attika restaurant in Lawrence, serving his native Dominican food.
In February 2020, he expanded with Dora in Dorchester alongside his daughter, Kimberly, inspired by a Mexican friend.
“We opened right before the pandemic, on Valentine’s Day. My father’s dream was always to be an entrepreneur or be a business owner. He always had big dreams for us and for our family,” she says. “The first few months were a little scary with COVID. But, thank God, everything went very well. And then we got the opportunity to open a second location in Woburn.”
Dora is named for Kimberly Mejia’s great-grandmother, who died of cancer.
“I think that was a way to keep her alive, by putting her name on everything,” she says.
What to eat The service is warm and efficient, and the food goes beyond standard-issue burritos.
“Every day ... we put everything out nice and fresh for everyone, because I think everyone can tell the quality of the food. You can tell when something’s fresh or not. We also make our food with love. We just try to give the best quality of food and the best customer service, and I think that will make everyone happy and come back,” Mejia says.
The family is justifiably proud of their birria tacos: crisp, fried corn tortillas lined with savory stewed beef, cheese, cilantro, and onions, served alongside a thin beef consommé for dipping.
Another hit: a fat chimichanga stuffed with juicy shrimp (pick your favorite protein), splashed with a garlicky salsa verde. Tamales are soft and steamy, overfilled with pork or chicken; guacamole is clearly fresh, not too chunky and not too smooth. My son, who fancies himself a salsa connoisseur, loves the smooth, peppery roja version, without pesky tentacles of sliced onion or mealy tomatoes.
“This is the best salsa I’ve ever had!” he declared.
For dessert, get a sugar-laced churro with a small tub of sticky-sweet grape jelly.
What to drink Creamy, cinnamon-scented horchata, so rich that it gets stuck in the straw; lemonade; and Mexican sodas.
The takeaway A welcome, family-run addition to Woburn’s restaurant row, with modest prices — portions are generous, and nothing on the menu is over $15.
Dora Taqueria, 446 Main St., Woburn, 781-203-7007, www.dorataqueria.online