Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Late Brunch at Bandidas Taqueria

A late brunch replaced plans for a walk, and the sous-chef and I headed to Bandidas Taqueria, a Mexican restaurant on Commercial Drive and Granview/12th to meet up with some friends (who were planning on making us brunch before I informed them that the sous-chef is vegan!)


This spot is funky with antique, hipster d├ęcor, bright flowers on the tables, bikes near the ceiling, and water served in mason jars (love this!) It was the tail end of the typical lunch rush (1:30pm) but the place was packed and we had an approx 15 min wait (made more pleasant with trivial pursuit cards)before we were seated in the cozy/semi-cramped restaurant.
The menu is pretty big and full of delicious sounding option (pretty much all of them can be made vegan with soy sour cream, vegan gourmet cheese, and eggs replaced with a butternut squash/tofu mix) so even though we were all starving it took us a while to decide. Service was decent but not exceptional (a bit slow with water re-fills and not overly friendly). On to the food!


Greg’s order:
Huevas Rancheras ($10.50) came with 2 free-range eggs on hand-made tortillas, ranchera sauce, pinto beans, purple cabbage salad, and roasted potatoes and yams. Everything on the pate was really good and each item had its own distinct flavor and texture. The sauce was light, it had just enough spicy hint for a breakfast plate.


Linda’s order:
Lester's Benny ($10.50)Two poached free range eggs, roasted yams and onions, feta cheese and your choice of tomatillo or spicy tomato salsa on top of fresh cornbread muffin tops, served pinto beans, roasted yams and potatoes & purple cabbage salad. Linda ordered this with a side of guac ($1) and really liked her meal. She was able to try both salsa toppings and dubbed the tomatillo salsa superior and was pumped about the cornbread.
The sous-chef’s order:
Ronny Russell Burrito ($7) Roasted yams and onions, fresh guacamole, black beans, green salsa, purple cabbage, & pumpkin seeds wrapped in a whole wheat tortilla. This burrito was huge (a plus) and was given a light grill to seal it up for easier eating (a touch I always appreciate). He enjoyed the burrito and really dug the hearty amount of guacamole and the flavour of the yams.He would’ve appreciated some salsa inside and perhaps a bit more effort in the plating department.
I ordered:
The Breakfast ($7.50)
Free range eggs (soft poached), pinto beans, roasted yams and potatoes, purple cabbage salad, and fresh salsa, served with cornbread and honey butter. I was torn between this and ordering the Mexican breakfast which comes with tortillas (I’ve had it before and loved it) but the server told me that the customers go crazy for their cornbread….so I pretty much had to try it. Another great Bandidas brunch. This plate is so satisfying and well proportioned. I left satisfied but without feeling like I was going to bust a gut. There is so much going on with this busy plate but everything is fresh and well executed. The eggs were perfectly cooked and the oozing yolks on the cornbread was delightful smothered in their hot sauce. The cornbread was moist, not oily, with a subtle sweet flavor, and the edges were a little bit crisp. The crispy, charred yam/potato mix was peppery, smoky, and garlicy (look out for the clove of roasted garlic mixed in- it’s tasty but you’ll smell for the rest of the afternoon) and a definite improvement on the typical hashbrowns. The purple cabbage was crispy, crunchy, with a slightly spicy, vinegar-y flavor with balanced out the creamy pinto beans quite nicely.




2781 Commercial Drive
www.bandidastaqueria.com


Bandidas Taqueria on Urbanspoon

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