Today's vacation adventure began with a failed attempt to entertain 7 people using Phoenix light rail and blindly exploring the downtown part of the city. For me the chance to wander the unknown is fun but not everyone shares my willingness to walk a lot and chance across interesting sights and enjoy the architecture. I had said in advance that there were no guarantees as I had never been there before but somehow I felt the weight on my shoulders of my less than amused followers! New rule: I am not in charge of anything beyond choosing a restaurant! We ended up at the Phoenix Science Centre which was mildly entertaining but not as good as what we have in Vancouver and everything beyond the basic seemed to come with an extra price.
I was buoyed by the fact that in the pm, we were planning a trip to Chino Bandido. Like everyone else, we first heard about CB by watching Diners, Drive Ins and Drives. Marie and I went a couple of years ago when they had a branch in Chandler. She had such fond memories of the Chile Relleno but alas, it did not seem to measure up on this trip. Don't tell her but I thought the Chile Relleno was
the best thing that we ate. The exterior was seriously crispy. I don't know what they have in the breading. I am inclined to think of corn flakes or something like that. In this case the Anaheim Chile was firm and meaty. It did not get cooked to mush but had some chew to it. And they do not skimp on the cheese! Like any of the fourteen proteins on the menu, you can order it as a bowl, a burrito or a quesadilla (somehow, I don't think that the Chile Relleno would work as a quesadilla or a burrito but everything else would)
|Jade Red Pork Quesadillas and Machaca|
I ordered a combo and this is the only price that I remember. It was $8,90 for a combo of two items with $1.10 for beans. So I had Jade Red Pork as a quesadilla and Machaca on the side with black beans and rice. Both were both quite good. Jade Red Pork is deep fried pork with a spicy sweet sauce (makes me think Korean a bit) while the Machaca is shredded beef, cooked Mexican style. The beans left a little to be desired and were basically mush. Tasty mush with a bit of cheese sprinkled on top.
RN who is a man of few words ordered Machaca and Rice and polished it off. Nuff said.
|Teriyaki Chicken and Pork Fried Rice|
RJ who is a man of even fewer words, had Teriyaki Chicken and Pork Fried Rice and ate all but a few grains of rice. Each order came with a cookie that was pretty good!
If you haven't caught on here Chino Bandido is about an interesting fusion of Chinese and Mexican cooking. It is a humble place a you may guess by the tin foil serving plates but it is popular and has gotten a bunch of awards not to mention Guy Fieri's seal of approval. Line up and order at the counter and your food arrives at your table. It is humble cafeteria style but no one seems to mind.
|Communal cafeteria style|
|Lined up out the door when we arrived|
|No time to level up the accolades. Does this drive you crazy too?|
A unique place and unique, decidedly unfancy, tasty food. Inexpensive and quick. Who could ask for more?
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