Dulce Patria is a fairly large restaurant that appeared to have a second level available also. The lighting was low and quite colored which muted many of the food tones. The first room we entered was lit with red diffused lighting but our room was lit with a green light. Unfortunately this affected some of my pictures until I had my husband use his phone to light the food. However on a couple dishes I’ve included how it looked to me sitting there vs with proper lighting. All the color was sucked out by the green and made it much less interesting. Our room looked like it could be opened into a patio, based on the plastic covering the other side of the partitions. This allowed a bit of traffic noise and horns as well as cigarette smoke to invade our dining space which was not a good thing in my book.
The place was fairly empty when we arrived but most of the tables were filled as the evening progressed. The waitstaff was pretty helpful but communication was mixed at times. For example the server came by after our first main dish to see how we were doing and we replied that we’d like to cancel the next course if it wasn’t too late. She replied that was fine but then the staff brought it to the table, after all our plates and flatware had been cleared. Our cancellation was partly because more beginning courses were served than we expected. Not that I’m complaining – the guacamole was very good but I didn’t think we ordered it. Overall the service was a bit too “hovering” with many staff standing around watching and leaving me as the diner with an uncomfortable vibe.
We started our evening with a couple house cocktails that were different and pretty good. Two appetizers arrived quickly – the guacamole was really good however the chips that accompanied it were just okay – they didn’t have a good crispness. There was an accompanying tray of hot sauces in 3 levels of spiciness. The four quesadillas were each different fillings and with them was an additional hot sauce. With the better light you could see the different colors of the quesadillas but without they all looked brown and their fillings did little more to distinguish them. Overall they tasted too similar to me but the variety of sauces allowed you to have varying tastes.
The last appetizer was the traditional corn, presented in a cup with a seasoned lime on the side. Adding broth and shaved parmesan finished the dish. It came with warm corn tortillas. The instructions were to squeeze the lime into the cup and eat by digging into the bottom of the cup. It was good but very mild in flavor. The tortillas were very nice.
They then brought the bread selection which included a couple breads that were stuffed with some fillings like blackberry or chipotle . None of the breads wowed me and seemed a bit of overkill with starch.
The duck mole was and outstanding. It also came with warm corn tortillas, which they continued to replace with new warm ones. It was served with a pitcher of sauce and rice and I think you were supposed to place a little duck in the tortilla and rice and then dot with the sauce. It was rich, the duck absolutely tender, very well seasoned and really heavy. We wanted to quit then so there’d be room to try a dessert.
We chose the churros with cajeta sauce, ice cream and Atole. Their Atole was made with rice purée and habanero ashes and their ice cream was also rice based with caramelized nuts. The cajeta sauce was thinner than expected and a bit too sweet but still nice although it dwarfed the taste of the churros which were crispy and well seasoned with sugar. I liked the various things in the ice cream but it seemed like there were too many ingredients inside it. The meal was finished with a cute Ferrris Wheel that had candies of apricot and traditional nut marzipan on the base.