by Viki Papadakis
While perusing the extensive menu of Dos Coyotes Border Café, one can find a tantalizing list of ingredients such as: charbroiled chicken breast, fresh mango salsa, chiles, herbs, habanero salsa, dawg sauce, melted cheese, guacamole, and…art? For the last four years, Dos Coyotes Border Café has provided an opportunity for their loyal customers to express some of their artistic talents while simultaneously supporting their favorite Tex Mex eatery. This year, however, the restaurant has decided to increase the incentives for their “Kinda Annual, Semi-Occasional Poster Contest”, making this year’s contest even more enticing. The contest is offering over $2500 in total prizes. There are two categories for contestants of the poster contest: high school and adult. Both categories have a “Best in Show” $500 Dos Coyotes gift card prize. For the high school best in show, Dos Coyotes will donate $500 to the winner’s high school art department as well. For second place, both the adult and high school winner will win a $250 Dos Coyotes gift card. For third place, the reward is a $100 gift card to Dos Coyotes. This year, the Dos Coyotes Border Café has decided to increase audience participation, by having a “Fan Favorite” subcategory as well. For both the high school and adult categories, Dos Coyotes customers can vote for their top three favorite submissions. For this “Fan Favorite” portion of the contest, the first, second, and third place winners of both the high school and adult categories can win $100, $50, and $25 worth of gift cards to the eatery, respectively.
The Kinda Annual, Semi-Occasional Poster Contest began when owner Bobby Coyote had a realization that he could incorporate local artwork into his restaurant. Always an admirer of the arts, Coyote would marvel at the artwork of local artists—whether they be novice artworks he would see at “open house” nights at local schools, or professional works. Originally, Coyote’s idea was to have a photo contest at the Dos Coyotes Border Café. We have to admit, however, that this photo contest’s evolution into a poster contest is just as--and perhaps even more--desirable of a competition, due to its flexibility in design. Obviously, Bobby Coyote is very supportive of his community. Mainly, his goal with this poster contest is to engage his guests while providing the areas surrounding his restaurants support and recognition for their artistic creativity. This poster contest is simply a manifestation of his interest in and respect for his community. Coyote describes the customers at his restaurant being almost familial; their constant excitement over ideas regarding restaurant affairs made this poster contest almost inevitable. And what better a way to engage restaurant guests than allowing them to create the artwork that could appear on the napkins, cups, and walls (among other locations) of their go-to dinner spot?
Want to participate? Stop by the restaurant to pick up a 24x36 inch piece of paper. Everyone is welcome to take it upon him or herself to obtain their own paper, but the restaurant asks that it be of this 24x36 inch dimension. The type of artwork that is done can vary—paints, pastels, pencil, and even Photoshop are all possibilities. The artwork should have some pertinence to the Dos Coyotes Border Café, however. It is encouraged that participants act as creatively as they desire! One could even come up with a new slogan for the restaurant! Winning artwork could be focused on traditional Latin-American motif, or incorporate the restaurant’s logo into their own creative design. For inspiration, visit the Dos Coyotes Border Café Facebook page to view past winners.
Currently, the Dos Coyotes restaurants showcase both local and more-distant artworks. If an artwork in the Dos Coyotes Border Café isn’t local, it is typically from Santa Fé, New Mexico. These Santa Fé artists include both Spencer Kimball and Fred Prescott, whose artwork reflects typical southwestern style. In fact, Coyote himself says the inspiration for his restaurant décor comes from this southwestern-USA, Latin technique. Local artwork also resembles this artistic approach greatly. Large metal snakes by local artist Heidi Bekebrede and wooden snakes and geckos by local artist Margo Jameson decorate the restaurant, while still maintaining this Latin flair that is also quite evident in the food of the restaurant.
The food at the Dos Coyotes Border Café is traditional southwestern. They serve everything from burritos to tacos to enchiladas to salads—and all items are deliciously ricos (delicious), if you ask me. The restaurant tries as best they can to incorporate “farm to fork” dishes—giving Dos Coyotes a healthiness level that typically doesn’t exist in many Mexican eateries. The restaurant offers a mouthwatering section of their menu titled “seasonal specials”, which exists to offer guests dish choices that are available only when particular ingredients are. All of the items on the menu are not only incredibly healthy, but they are also extremely affordable. In fact, when discussing with Mr. Coyote why he decided to open these restaurants, he described a void that he felt involving healthy, delicious restaurants that were also reasonably priced. The food that is served at this Dos Coyotes Border Café is made with quality ingredients that simply can’t be found at most restaurants without forcing you to completely deplete the contents of your wallet.
Whether you visit for the artwork or for the food, the Dos Coyotes Border Café provides a unique sense of community and pleasure, which is why I would encourage each of you to stop by for a taste of this business!
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