Durham >Food & Dining > Bandido's Mexican Cafe
4711 Hope Valley Rd, Durham, NC | Directions 2770735.920921 -78.956422
Monday 11:00 AM - 2:30 PM
Tuesday 11:00 AM - 2:30 PM
Wednesday 11:00 AM - 2:30 PM
Thursday 11:00 AM - 2:30 PM
Friday 11:00 AM - 2:30 PM
Saturday 11:00 AM - 2:30 PM
Sunday 12:00 PM - 9:00 PM
We have been going to this restaurant for almost 14 years, and it has always been a favorite. The food and service have always been excellent. They have the best salsa around! My favorite dish is the Confetti Chicken. They now offer a Sunday brunch, with a nice selection of tex-mex inspired "brunchy" food. I highly recommend Bandidos!
Consistently good – Didn't have a great first impression with Bandido's, but after trying at least 15 other Mexican restaurants in the area, we came back and glad we did. Just have to accept the fact that no one in the Durham area can make a great chile relleno. Apart from that, the other dishes are good, service is friendly and attentive. I feel they nickel and dime you on the sides, but that's offset by the inexpensive entrees. Margaritas are too sweet, too sour, and watered down. The place is clean and always busy, a good indication of overall satisfaction.
Yuk, Yuk! – I have eaten here twice but will never eat there again.
Not only was the food disgusting but the service was equally poor.
I won't be returning.
Great FOod – This place has great food! I love everything they serve. I will definately be back and their service is always quick!
long-time favorite – I've been going to Bandido's for over eighteen years and have spent many birthdays here. The food is absolutely incredible. The salsa is perfectly spicy, the chips salty but delicious, and the service very friendly. They recognize me every time I come in, and even seem to remember friends of mine if I bring them more than once. There are gorgeous murals on the walls and the food comes piping hot. Whenever I want to go out but am not sure what I want, I always go to Bandido's. It's a failsafe.
So torn about this review. Read on. – Bandido's has long been one of my favorite Mexican restaurants. While they have a few locations in the area, they are family-owned and not a typical franchise. The menu is different from the standard Las Palmas/ Torero's kind of place. The salsa is excellent though I'd love to see an expansive salsa bar like some others. The San Antonio Burritos, as an example, with choice of steak or chicken, are huge and flavorful. Not crazy about their version of fried ice cream, because they basically take some ice cream and drop some cereal and honey on top. Here's the real problem though. In 2007, health inspectors found a goat being butchered (I don't think it was slaughtered there) in the Woodcroft Shopping Center location by an employee. There was a story run in the Durham Herald-Sun about this and it even made a national news outlet if I recall correctly. At the very least, it was in the Herald-Sun and verified by an employee at the neighboring West 94th St. Pub. Goat is traditional fare in Mexico and it might indeed be very delicious. I've seen foodies rave about goat as an excellent culinary aspect of real Mexican food. But nonetheless, we don't eat it here or expect it to be secretly prepared even for personal use in America in general. My guess is that it was probably nothing more than an employee using the kitchen to prepare the meat for his personal consumption. I doubt it would be served knowingly to customers so that's not an issue. The issue is deception. Health guidelines are in place for a reason. I've been to Bandido's before with high sanitation ratings on display, and had many a great meal there. But I've turned around and gone elsewhere on a couple of occasions when I noticed their sanitation ratings had dropped into Grade B range. When the goat thing made the news and conincided with the Woodcroft location's lower ratings, I decided to take an extended break from them. Everything's probably fine. Just can't get beyond the goat now.
Nice Food at a great price – This restaurant is probably my favorite Mexican restaurant in the area. The atmosphere is casual, the food is tasty, and the prices are affordable. Unlike other reviewers, I actually like the enchiladas much better than those found at other restaurants in the Triangle. This is a great spot for a quick and casual lunch or dinner.
Yuck – When we ordered queso, the waiter looked at us funny and said, "Oh you mean cheese dip." Any Mexican restaurant that calls queso cheese dip is NOT OK. I'm from Texas people- believe me this is NOT Mexican food. The margaritas also taste like they are made with Gatorade...very nasty. Don't go here.
Excellent Mexican food with great drinks! – The price is right, the food is excellent (try the shredded beef for a change!). The drinks are flavorful and strong but won't break the bank. The chips and salsa are excellent way to start the meal, be sure grab the few heavily seasoned ones in the basket for a nice surprise.
Mexican, but not quite right – My husband and I went to Bandidos after reading the reviews expecting it to be our new hangout for Mexican food. Although the prices were right (both beer and food), the meals weren't very good at all. My enchiladas had an orange sauce which didn't taste like enchilada sauce at all. The beans and rice were very bland. His chimichanga was only lightly fried and not very tasty.
However, the beer was cold and the chips and salsa were fantastic. With their outdoor seating, I recommend going there for a drink and chips, but not for dinner!
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