Oh! I was skeptical, let me tell you. I was invited for dinner at a vegetarian Mexican restaurant on Commercial Drive and I had no idea what I was walking into. I didn’t even know such a place existed. All I knew was I would be getting no pulled pork tacos, no chicken quesadillas, and no ceviche. Oh dear! But I was up for the challenge – and I am always excited to try something new. So my boyfriend and I headed to Bandidas Taqueria after our friends invited us out for dinner. They had been 4 times previous so I knew I was walking into something amazing.
The restaurant is a cozy and lively little joint on the corner of Commercial and 12th; even on a Wednesday night we had to wait 20 minutes for a table. Apparently I am a little slow to jump on this bandwagon! Foodie fail. Anyways, the restaurant really prides itself in creating healthy and fresh food. They are also very active in the community and sponsor several events, support local causes, and even hang artwork of local artists in their restaurant. Most importantly, they try and be “environmentally low-impact” – serving only local beer and wine and using compostable packaging. Fabulous food and they help strive to help our environment? What’s not to love?
As a main course I ordered the “Connie” as a baked burrito. They have several options that can be made into tacos or burritos. This burrito was huge, one of the biggest I have ever seen. The “Connie” was stuffed with ground walnuts, apple salsa, cheese and roasted red pepper sauce. It also had pinto beans and purple cabbage. I found this burrito to be very filling and substantial. The ground walnuts lent a unique flavour to the dish and I kept joking it was actually meat because it looked so similar! The melted cheese and salsa on top perfected this dish. As a side I ordered a salad. It was quite small but very tasty and held its own against the big burrito! The pumpkin seeds added a nice crunch. For his side my boyfriend ordered “Mary’s Poblano”. This consisted of a baked dish of tofu, pinto beans, enchilada sauce and mozzarella. It was served with two hand-made tortillas and your choice of a side salad or baked beans and rice. Again, this dish was hearty and filling and did not leave you feeling like you needed meat. The tortillas were fabulous and were great for dipping into the dish. A third dish ordered was “Dave’s Enchiladas”. This dish consisted of three corn tortillas rolled with cheese and sweet chilli tofu inside. I did not get a chance to sample this dish. However, my friend who has basically ordered everything off this menu devoured them and was not left regretting having not ordered something else.
Bandidas Taqueria is a cool little joint if you are looking to try something new and unique. The food is satisfying and healthy. As soon as I finished my meal I knew I would be coming back to try other menu items! In fact, I am going next Tuesday! Also be sure to check out their brunch menu. It is available every day until 3pm. I seriously considered becoming a vegetarian after this meal – seriously it was that good! Now, who do I blame for not being informed of this gem earlier?!
By: Micaela Monk