Arizona Restaurant Review: Bandera


Last week my big brother, Richard and his beautiful wife celebrated their 16th wedding anniversary--which is pretty hard to believe seeing as one might mistake her of looking darn near 16. But alas, she has teenagers, so what seems an impossible is indeed a reality.
Since my other brother and his family were in town, they invited us all along on their celebratory evening. 
We were to meet at a restaurant that none but they had ever eaten, so blindly trusting, we went.
It was located in the quaintness of Old Scottsdale, a place dripping with South-Western character, and a place that I once saw Steve Nash of Phoenix Suns acclaim. (It's kind of fancy-pancy down in Scottsdale.)
Upon entering Bandera, it oozed masculinity with it's wood ceiling beams, dimmed lights, leather seats, and a black and red color scheme. The menu was pretty minimal, but every option sounded mouth-watering. 
As newbies, we relied heavily on the opinion of both the waitress and the celebrating couple. 
Without hesitation Rich requested a couple of orders of their cornbread. He assured us (even if we weren't cornbread fans) that we would die and go to heaven upon consumption. 
It was a true statement. We are dead, but oh-so-happy about our last meal.
It was, however, so very filling, that it made it hard to eat our meals when they came. It also had a gentle sweetness that would let it pass as a dessert were you to order it at the end of your meal, just keep in mind the eminent death bit...
I followed the waitresses recommendation and my brother's example and ordered the Old Town Cheese Burger, but subbed my fries for their mac and cheese. It was ooey gooey goodness. The burger was also amazing, but quite large and I barely made a dent in it. 
Marcus got their Macho Salad (so 'macho' that three people at the table ordered it, but probably could have shared one). It was DIVINE. Truly one of the best salads I've had in my life. A little bit of spicy a whole lot of goodness.
Sterling broke the mold and did not order a cheese burger or a salad, but instead went for the Carnitas Sandwich with Braised Pork, Avocado & Rio Grande Glaze, though I did not taste it myself, he assured me that it was prepared to perfection. 
The only thing that could use improvement in our families opinion was the chicken in the Macho Salad. It was a little to chickeny tasting (and looking). Is that a weird thing to say? It looked a little too jiggly and not quite as 'clean' as us Bagley's prefer (but we are a little OCD in the meat department, so maybe you should just see for yourself and let me know what you think) Also the corn was rumored to be 'way too smokey', but it sure was pretty! 
Were I to go back, which I would very much like to do, I would order the Macho Salad, a lemonade and corn-bread for dessert. In fact, Marcus and I could split that, keep our bill around $25, and still have oodles of it left over.
It was a wonderful night filled with delicious food and even better company!

Here was the overall rating for the night, based on a 10 point system, and determined at the end of the meal:
Old Town Cheese Burger: 9 
(I'd give it an 8, my brother gave it a 10)
Macho Salad: 9 
(10 if you exclude the chicken)
Shoe-String Fries: 8 
(delicious, but a bit salty)
Carnitas Sandwich: 9
Corn on the Cob: 3
Mac & Cheese: 7.5
Fresh Lemonade: 10 
(but sour, so beware if you're sensitive)
Cornbread: 12 
(ya, i just did that)


Gha3736 said...

I can tell he's your brother:) hehe:) Looks YUMMY!

Jess said...

My mouth is watering.

Richard Bagley said...

It was scrumdiddlyumptious.

jenni austria germany said...

this was a really bad post to read while STARVING.

and she so does NOT look old enough to have teenagers!

Johanna said...

Aahh it looks so delicious! I can't believe you can but mac and cheese at a restaurant. USA is weird :)

Mylittleartichoke said...

yum. holy crap, that corn looks perfect!!! 

Christi Brazee said...

bandera is my most favorite! i go everything i go to Corona Del Mar to visit my dad. yum! said...

love the salad and cornbread! Good rating!!

ASUalum2002 said...

Order the macho salad with white meat only. That's the key to making it a 10!! :)

© i believe in unicorns. Maira Gall.