Thursday, December 23, 2010

Phoenix: Chino Bandido

Location: This particular Chino Bandido, one of two in the Phoenix area, was located in a strip mall. It was a poorly lit strip mall when we were there, and it was after dark, so I can't tell you what else may have been close by. But regardless, after this place has been featured on television, location doesn't matter as much as it may have once.

Cuisine: This is a fusion of Chinese and Mexican. And they actually pull it off better than one may imagine.

Atmosphere: Again, this place is one that doesn't get people here by offering great atmosphere, but rather, it's the food that's important here. Therefore, dining is very reminiscent of a food court setting.

Ordering: When you go into Chino Bandido's, you may be a little overwhelmed by all the different ways to order your food. There are many different items that you can select from, and you can get your food in just platter form, burrito form, or quesadilla form. For more details, Chino Bandido has instructions on how to order on their website. Of course, that doesn't do you a lot of good when you are actually present at the restaurant. Fortunately, there are two areas you can go to when you first walk in. At one location, you can go and actually sample some of the various sauces and meats that are available to you. This can take some time, as the workers behind the counter are sure to point out some different meats and sauces that they think you may like. If you've never been to Chino Bandido's, make sure that you get into this line if you can. And once you're ready to order, they will help you fill out your order slip properly with the different foods. If you know what you want and know how to order it, you can skip this line and go directly to the ordering counter. You order your food and pay for it in advance at the front counter.

Service: Service once you get your food is your typical food court service. It just isn't there. However, friendliness is the name of the game at the counter as you learn how to order--they are patient with you in this regard, as well as getting up to the ordering counter and handing them your slip.

Food: If you find that you want refried beans with chicken fried rice, along with carnitas (pork) and jade red chicken all in one meal, this is the place to go to. And if you order a combo, you can get all of this, and more. And you will definitely get a lot of it--as in an 8-inch aluminum pie pan filled with food. You won't be leaving hungry. And it's good enough that you'll probably find that you ate it faster than you would have thought possible. Yes, it's that good. If you like Chinese and Mexican foods, this will undoubtedly be one of your favorite go-to places.

Verdict: Go here. Don't hesitate and don't question this directive. Just go here. You'll be glad you did.

Chino Bandido (Chandler) on Urbanspoon

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