My Uncle was quite a character. A persistent partier that played tennis almost every day with his bottle of Vodka and Gatorade near by. He once told me he’d rather live 100 years in 50 than 50 years in 100. By that yard stick he was certainly playing with the house money. Racking up nearly 70 fun filled years.
Living 3,000 miles apart meant we were never all that close but he did leave me with one very good piece of advice. He told me “There are two people on this planet you never lie to. Your doctor and your lawyer.” I always thought that advice to be awfully sound.
RIP Uncle Brian.
So with a couple days to hang with my cousin in Phoenix we set out to eat like Vikings. Perhaps his favourite place is Chino Bandido and that was dinner my first night. This Mexican/Chinese conglomeration was featured on Diners, Drive-ins and Dives. You can watch the segment here. Just scroll to the bottom.
And yes, you read that right. Mexican/Chinese. The fusion of these seemingly “Nothing in common” foods is further confused by the addition of Caribbean flavours. If all this seems like a complete train wreck let me assure you it’s not. The food is very tasty and while it does seem weird to put Jen Red Chicken in a quesadilla or have Jerk Chicken Fried Rice, once you wrap your head around the idea it seems almost like a natural fit. The other thing that makes this all come together is that the food is very good in and of itself.
They also have a pretty good sense of humour here too. The sign out by the road says (as does the title of this post) “Takee Outee.” Playing on the stereotypical fake Chinese accent of course.
So let’s go through some things about Chino Bandido. It’s kind of a take out place with a dining area.
The ordering area is to the left as you walk in. Basically everything is available for sampling before you order. An ordering form that looks like a parlay sheet is not nearly as hard as it would seem. There's even a demo on their website.
Take it away with you or sit in the fairly decent sized dining room. It was busy with people in line but the dining room was half full.
As per usual we split most things.
The Emerald Chicken Quesadilla. Fresh ginger and scallion with grilled chicken and cheese in a light, crispy flour tortilla. It was crazy good.
The BBQ Pork Burrito didn’t take a back seat either. There was a nice sweet component that always goes well with pork.
The accompanying Pork Fried Rice and Cuban style Black Beans were very good on their own but I found played well in the sandbox if you mixed the two of them together.
The Jade Red Chicken Quesadilla was also very impressive. Much like a sweet and sour chicken then made up quesadilla style.
The Red Devil Pork Burrito was smokin’!! No fooling around here. Pork with fresh and dried chilies that really packed a wallop.
The Jerk Fried Rice was pretty good. It wasn’t like the Jerk I’m used to back home but was still good. Again, mixed with the Black Beans it was better.
A complimentary Snickerdoodle (no picture) cookie replaces the fortune cookie at Chino Bandito. It was perfectly cooked. Crispy on the outside and moist and chewy on the inside.
You can find Chino Bandido at 15414 N.19th Ave, Phoenix, Az.
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You can also find them on the web or become a facebook friend here.
Well that’s all for now food fans. ‘Til next time.