Bandidos Mexican Cafe
16156 NE 87th St.
Redmond WA 98052
Burritos, Tacos, and More, Oh My
By: Steve G
Usually, Mexican is one of those rare kinds of food that falls in the spectrum of constant quality. You have to look really hard to find a place that makes it pretty bad. While we're sure you probably feel that Mexican joints are usually a dime a dozen, we decided to try out Bandidos to see how it measures up. Bandidos, whose logo brandishes a mean looking green pepper wielding two pistols, a mustache, a mask, and an itchy trigger finger that could make Doc Holiday nervous, can't help but feel a little trite as you approach the door.
As we entered Bandidos, we noticed that it had a very clean atmosphere and friendly staff who greeted us within moments. Bandidos offers its patrons both booth seating along the sidewalls and back, as well as more conventional tables for four. While the decor and ambiance is minimal, the restaurant is tidy and kept in good order. There's also a TV hanging from one of the walls, usually tuned into the current M's game at night.
Most of the dishes at Bandidos can be found at other Mexican restaurants, e.g. Burritos, Tacos, Tamales, Fish Tacos, Tostadas, etc. They also offer combo platters and complementary chips and salsa that has become the standard among Mexican restaurants.
The Fish Tacos ($8.95) and Fajita Burrito ($7.95) we ordered arrived after only a few minutes. And against the advice of the server we started right in, only to have our tongues burned by the scorching hot plate. Apparently the chefs have the same disposition as the restaurant's quick-draw pepper logo, as the food came out fast and furious with the smoke still trailing off of the plate.
The Fish Tacos were made with halibut and cabbage wrapped in a corn tortilla. The tacos were double wrapped, and--being a cheapskate--Steve divided up the halibut and cabbage and separated the tortilla to make four fish tacos out of the two served. The quality of the fish was decent; it is probably best described as being on par with other chain restaurants. The Fajita Burrito was a mixture of grilled beef and vegetables wrapped in a flour tortilla. Served just as fast and as hot as the fish tacos, the meat was very tender and delicious. Both dishes were served with Spanish rice and choice of beans that made for a very filling meal.
At around $8-$11 per plate, you could probably find cheaper deals with similar quality at other places, although they would not be sit-down restaurants like Bandidos. We recommend it as a good spot to grab some quality food before catching a movie at the Bella Botega, as the service is prompt. Bandidos does good job of serving tasty food and quick service, but nothing makes it stand out amongst the numerous other Mexican restaurants in the area.