Joe Bandido’s - 1435 North Main Springville Phone: (801) 853-1500
Mt d ost Mexican restaurants are somewhat formulaic. You get chips and salsa to star t dof f , then opt ions of enchi lada s , bur r itos , tostadas, chimichangas, chile rellenos, and tacos. Variations include beef, chicken, pork, shrimp or f ish and verde sauce or ranchero sauce. Because it’s so formulaic, it’s easy to ask people about their favor ites. t I polled some fr iends about their favorite Mexican food and the clear winner was enchi ladas. Joe Bandido’s does not d isappoint in the enchi lada de pa r tment and they nshine with other menu items.
Fi rst up though – the chips and salsa. This appet izer can make or break a dining experience at a Mexican restaurant.
I don’t like spicy salsa and I make my own bot tled version ever y fall. I thought their salsa was perfect – substantial and fresh. So did Bonnie Wilson: “I like how chunky it is and it’s not too hot.”
Riley Nelson thought differently. “I’d like a little more f ire,” he said.
Even with differing opinions our group downed the f i rst two bowls of salsa and the ref il ls that came l a t e r. Thumbs up on the chips , which come warm, and the f resh made salsa.
I f you order g uacamole a s an appetizer they make it f resh in the kitchen right then. Wor th the wait, which isn’t long. It’s a pure concoction of avocados, tomatoes and spices. It was devoured.
“Thi s t as tes mor e l ike avocados than guacamole – it’s mild and f resh,” Riley noted.
When our ent rees came we wondered how we were going to eat so much food. Joe Bandido’s knows how to serve up pleasing por tions. I always count it as a bonus when I get to take lef tovers home.
Several in our g roup ended up with enchi ladas so my pol l was accurate. Some had pork; other s beef or chicken. All were divine.
I f I go to a Mexican restaurant and I can’t decide what to order I have my default choice – chicken enchi lad a s wi th ve r d e s a u c e. I ordered one so I could see where Joe Bandido’s ranks on my CEDS ( Chicken Enchilada Deliciousness Scale). The meter was fa r to the muy bueno side. The chicken was chunky with pieces of tomatoes and chiles in a nice sauce. The verde sauce had gr illed onions. It wasn’t too spicy and it covered but didn’t drown my enchilada. Joe Bandido’s uses real cheese too, not the fake stuff. You know what I mean.
Roger Wilson was equally pleased with his pork enchilada.
“It’s well presented with peppers and onions on top and it comes out piping hot,” he said. “There’s plenty of ranchero sauce that nicely blends all the tastes together.”
St acy, our s e r ver, told u s the most popular item is “El Bandido” – a sof t, f laky f lour tor tilla “blanketed” with layers of goodness and broiled under cheeses. John Bennion opted for this d ish. He was pleased with ever y aspect f rom the bot tom to the top.
“The f lour tor tilla underneath is f laky and del icious, I’m sure it’s homemade,” he said. He added that the shredded beef was tas t y and tender. I agree, I sneaked a bite and it was f lavorful and moist.
The Maui Waui f ish tacos Stacy brought out were beaut i ful . The tilapia was f resh and hot, with an appetizing blend of chipotle, cabbage, tomatoes and cheese with a tangy lime sauce that gave it just the r ight zest. ( Just so you know, the one I took home heated up beautifully later – it was as good or better than at the restaurant.)
Karla Bennion chose the tostado grande. It was piled with succulent chicken , let tuce, t omat o e s , sour cream, cheese and guacamole. The amazing thing was that the tor tilla was crispy to the last bite!
“The chicken is really tender on this,” Karla said, “and the tor tilla has been crispy the whole time. It’s a skill to be able to do that.”
Joe Bandido’s of fers the whole enchilada – appealing, delectable food; spacious, invit ing ambiance and knowledgeable, at tent ive service. A gem in Spr ingville.
Kaye Nelson, Restaurant Reviewer, grew up in Springville and is a true Red Devil. She knows good food and pays attention when restaurants entice customers with something out of the ordinary.