De­lec­ta­ble Din­ing

Joe Ban­dido’s - 1435 North Main Springville Phone: (801) 853-1500

Serve Daily - - LIBERTY SHALL BE MAINTAINED - By KayeNel­son

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.

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