Matt and Cat\'s Isle of Wight Eating Out Guide
Matt and Cat love living on the Isle of Wight. It’s a great place to be, particularly in the summer with its temperate climate,...
Dos Amigos

Matt and Cat love living on the Isle of Wight. It’s a great place to be, particularly in the summer with its temperate climate, lively visitors and beautiful countryside. However, off season, it can be a bit, well – closed. At least that’s the experience Matt and Cat had whilst trying to find somewhere to eat on a Monday night in winter. Closed was the Culver Haven, the lights weren’t on at Fultons and Ganders was definitely not open for business. Gradually, the intrepid travellers made their weary way back to Ryde to discover that even Wetherspoons was closed for refurbishment. Trickling their way down Union Street, the neon-lit Dos Amigos finally offered them room at the inn.

Delighted to find somewhere open in Ryde that they haven’t reviewed, M and C burst through the doors of this, the Island’s sole TexMex restaurant, straight into the very smoky bar. Apart from two old stagers puffing away on barstools the place was nearly empty, except for a vast selection of cowboy and Mexican artifacts. Matt and Cat were welcomed by the friendly waiter and chose a seat at the back of the restaurant, as far away from the smokers as could be managed, as there was not a no-smoking area. The waiter, noting their discomfort, kindly put on the air conditioning.

Once settled at their table, the waitress delivered a complementary plate of carrot sticks, tortilla chips and a flavoursome dip for Matt and Cat to nibble whilst perusing the menu. There was plenty of TexMexery to choose from, including fajitas, enchiladas, chilli beef and Cajun chicken as well as the less adventurous burger and chips.

Their orders placed, Matt and Cat sat back on their raffia-seated chairs and examined the guns, cowboy memorabilia and a photograph of a dead outlaw taken in 1862. The bass-heavy speakers blasted out some foot-tapping Mexican music which Cat particularly liked. She was getting worried that she might be turning into an intolerant old biddy, with her views on smoking, raw onion and piped music in restaurants. However, at Dos Amigos she realised that it is not piped music per se that she dislikes, but Phil Collins. The Mexican music was great!

Matt and Cat cleared their plates, which drew congratulations from the waiter.

And soon the food was delivered. Cat’s Cajun chicken arrived noisily, sizzling on a hot platter, with chips and salad on a separate plate. Matthew’s chilli beef enchiladas were topped with a salsa sauce on a bed of basmati rice, with a side salad. Both meals looked very good.

The chicken was very tender and its sauce was delicious, although it looked unexpectedly like chicken korma and tasted more Asian than American. The chips were lovely and piping hot, and the salad had a good mixture of leaves – and no raw onion!

Matt’s tasty beef enchiladas were generously stuffed with good quality mince and plenty of cheese. Cat had a taste and liked them very much. Matt and Cat cleared their plates, which drew congratulations from the waiter.

The sting in the tail of Dos Amigos is the prices. It is not a cheap place to eat; Matt’s enchiladas cost the best part of £10, although the Cajun chicken was cheaper. However, if you don’t mind the smoke it’s an interesting-looking venue and is obviously pretty successful as it has occupied its position in Union Street for several years. Certainly somewhere for Matt and Cat to revisit after 1 July.

  • Peter says:

    Hi – noticed that Dos Amigos has closed some time ago. New people are painting the building blue – hopefully a new place to try!

  • Sean says:

    Wow, what a bad experience, we had planned on tapas in Blacksheep Bar outside but it shuts on Sundays so just wandered across road…big mistake!

    Photo (c) Sean

    Drinks took ages to arrive, poor lad serving was literally running about, lots of tables in and he was only person doing bar & waiter, clearing tables and he was in kitchen a lot.

    Food abysmal, some really burnt – I mean black – what chef would serve this? Ribs were all fat and gristle, everything swimming in oil, really quite nasty looking! (Image shown right)

    Refused to pay for stuff we deemed we could not eat, which was quite a lot, had bill reduced, left very unhappy!! Will never return.

    Wish I had read latest comment from Peter on M&C before eating here on Sunday lunchtime, but like your review (2007) I had eaten here years ago and it was good mexican cuisine.

    I would say it needs an updated visit from M&C…but I would not inflict that kind of punishment on anyone!

  • Peter says:

    Absolutely awful. Service not good. Waited an eternity for food. Nothing we ordered cam out correctly. Asked for nachos for 2 with chilli. Got plain nachos which had a paddling pool of
    oil included. Asked for 2 chilli steaks medium. Both looked looked like they had
    been microwaved. The chips, onion rings, and sliced tomato were drenched
    in oil. Also no chilli topping. Couldn’t wait to get out of there so paid bill. Toilets not clean. Definitely will not be returning, and would ask Matt and Kat to do a re-review
    ASAP as I went by this!

  • da yw wyth says:

    Presumably Michelangelo’s as Olivios is up..?

    Had a great evening here today, following my own personal tradition of a Mexican meal to avoid street-level mayhem at home on Hallowe’en. I’d avoided the place up to now, as the frontage is so offputting and the menu gives pride of place to American burger options.

    Welcoming, beautifully prepared, and a massive portion – pricey? For the mount served I think not!

    Better than any of the Mexican options I ever tried in Wales over 20 years I have to say – Ryde is lucky to have this place – try a listing under “Mexican” in Yellow Pages and you may get a few more customers!

    Place looked a bit tired, as if someone had moved in, started decorating it, then never got round to doing anything more. Also only one staff member, who although superb, would have been hard put to manage, had there been a sudden surge of new diners.

    All in all a thumbs up – a pleasurable and good value option 🙂

  • Paul Carder says:

    It’s my girlfriend’s Birthday!…she’s Brazilian, so I think a South American restaurant would be very apt. We’d just arrived in Ryde and I was onto a winner!….
    We turn up and order some beers, and are seated within minutes. We order two starters – Calamari and I dunnno…something with cheese – I don’t remember!
    But what I DO remember was that we waited just under 30 mins for our starter, and I was downing beer to try and ignore the fact that my missus was looking upset.
    The starters arrive, and we finish these in minutes, and order some more drinks. Our 2 year old son was getting restless, so we decide to ask for our main to be delivered in a doggy bag. The staff agree, and about 30 mins and two pints of lager later…it arrives. Just in time, we’re getting angry stares from the adjacent table of single people.
    We go back to our hotel, and open up our food……….AHH!….disaster!
    My Fahitas consist of a crushed and cold mixture of Guacamole and grated cheddar (very Mexican!)…and a couple of wrinkly old tomatoes.
    But, to finish this negative review….I have to tell you about the ‘icing on the cake’.
    My girlfriend’s ‘Mixed Grill’ consisted of….Cumberland Sausages (not Mexican)….bits of shrivelled Beef (not Mexican)…and wait for it…….CHIPS!!!!!!!
    Now, I have a message for ‘Dos Amigos’….and that’s “Ciera La Porta”…..your food is as South American as I am! Luckily my girlfriend was forgiving, and I salvaged my Browny Points the following day with a fantastic Italian just down the road!


    Matt and Cat respond: Thanks for your comment, Paul. Your experience sounds a bit dismal. Which Italian did you go to? Michelangelo’s or Olivo?

  • the Greens says:

    Have eaten here with both family and friends visiting the Island and have always had positive feedback, the food is delicious and the service is amazing nothing is ever too much trouble and they make our little ones very welcome.Wonderful atmosphere. will use it often.

  • Kelly Cassar says:

    Me and my partner was at Dos Amigos on the 27th July 2011 and found it absolutly wonderful, we were greeted by friendly staff. The food was beautifuly cooked we had the chicken fajita and the pile of ribs never known meat so tender and full of flavour. Will go again next time we are on the island

  • paul maguire says:

    me and my partner went to dos amigos with friends for a birthday meal and we cant praise them enough for there friendly service. we were made to feel very welcome and the food was exceptional we all had a different variety of food and everyone said how nice there meal was. Many thanks for a very lovely evening.

  • Alex Wilson says:

    Think its about time for an updated review!

  • jane grimaldi says:

    I love mexican food and struggle to see how this restaurant can call itself mexican.
    We visited as a family and none of the six dishes ordered were worthy of rstaurant status, our 12 year old could have rustled up far better

  • lish says:

    went to dos amigos on carnival having booked in advanced we were regulars when the previous owner cath had it and it was mine and my husbands fave place, having gone there several times since the new owner has taken over and percervered again in sept i had severe food poisoning from the prawns and will not step in there again, it needs a complete overhaul of staff and cleaniness

  • H x says:

    We ate here last friday evening, it wasnt to busy which was nice. The service was good, very helpful. The food – i had the ribs which was a huge portion and very very tasty, the meat just fell of the bone, my partner had the chilli which again was a good size portion and he was very happy with it. It wasnt overly expensive and was a nice atmosphere.

  • Andy says:

    I was in this place last Monday night.
    The “Pile of Ribs” was a heap of overcooked, inedible bone and gristle in a sickly sweet sauce accompanied by a plate of oven chips. My partner was served up a dish of (frozen) prawns and microwave rice.
    Absolutely awful and I walked out in disgust.

  • Madeline says:

    I have long been a fan of this place but it has changed hands recently and I don;t know if they have changed their suppliers but my last meal there was disappointing. A friend who just about lives there has agreed that the food standard is not so good and she is looking for a new favourite place to eat.

  • laura says:

    I love Dos Amigos! Always friendly and the food is great. You get a huge amount of food for the prices and we are always surprised when the bill comes how low it is, considering how stuffed we are! It will be even better after July 1st though 🙂

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