We were a little hungry, and hearing about the shared plates concept plus knowing that this might be our only visit, we decided to order a variety of things. First, we started with the guacamole. Though fresh, it was pretty standard, but was elevated with the crispy chicharones that Keith loved. Next we ordered a few tacos - most came with three small ones save for the Mahi Mahi that came with only two. The Mahi Mahi tacos were comprised of a large crispy fish stick with avocado and pickled vegetables, served with a chipotle mayo dipping sauce. I really enjoyed the thick white fish meat and would have liked more fresh lime juice (the limes we got were a bit old/dried out), but would definitely order these again. The suckling pig tacos were more traditional looking with large dollops of meat covered with julienned apple pieces and a HOLY HOT habanero mustard. The shredded pork meat was juicy and bit too fatty for my liking, but Keith thought they were the best of the tacos. They needed more apple to balance out the intense mustard that wiped out my palate. Additionally, Keith ordered the skirt steak tacos that were less packed with meat, yet cooked well and had a different flavor profile.
I wanted to try one of the vegetarian dishes, and chose the Enchilada Verde stuffed with a delicious and satisfying blend of wild mushrooms and oaxaca cheese drowned in a mole verde. The combination here was delightful and earthy, with a brightened aftertaste from the fresh cilantro. My only complaint was that it could have been a bit warmer. Keith ate an order of the sopes, a mini deep dish pizza looking item with a stew of lamb picadillo topped with a chipotle goat cheese sauce. He found these the most filling of all the dishes due to the thick crust and chunky meat stew. We could have stopped here, but decided to try the Chicken Torta - a traditional sandwich of chicken, refried beans, lettuce, tomato, avocado, and pickled carrots. Though stuffed with great ingredients, our full stomachs did not fully appreciate the torta and could have done without it.
Overall, I was pleased with my meal at Bandolero, yet would have been more pleased with a smaller bill. The prices are a bit high for the small plates/sharing concept, but was acceptable for the quality of ingredients used, service and notoriety of a Top Chef restaurant, and location in yuppie Georgetown. The drinks are strong and the food was flavorful - a great combination for a fun night out!
Total Rating: 3.98
Food: 4.5, Price: 2.5, Service: 4, Ambience: 4, Accessibility: 4
What I ate:
masa crisps, chicharones
Crispy Mahi Mahi Tacos
chipotle, avocado, lime
Suckling Pig Tacos
apple, habanero mustard
wild mushrooms, oaxaca cheese, mole verde
chicken, refried beans, lettuce, tomato, avocado, pickled carrots
Skirt Steak Taco
refried beans, avocado, salsa, crispy onions
lamb picadillo, chipotle goat cheese