So torn about this review. Read on.
Bandido's has long been one of my favorite Mexican restaurants. While they have a few locations in the area, they are family-owned and not a typical franchise. The menu is different from the standard Las Palmas/ Torero's kind of place. The salsa is excellent though I'd love to see an expansive salsa bar like some others. The San Antonio Burritos, as an example, with choice of steak or chicken, are huge and flavorful. Not crazy about their version of fried ice cream, because they basically take some ice cream and drop some cereal and honey on top. Here's the real problem though. In 2007, health inspectors found a goat being butchered (I don't think it was slaughtered there) in the Woodcroft Shopping Center location by an employee. There was a story run in the Durham Herald-Sun about this and it even made a national news outlet if I recall correctly. At the very least, it was in the Herald-Sun and verified by an employee at the neighboring West 94th St. Pub. Goat is traditional fare in Mexico and it might indeed be very delicious. I've seen foodies rave about goat as an excellent culinary aspect of real Mexican food. But nonetheless, we don't eat it here or expect it to be secretly prepared even for personal use in America in general. My guess is that it was probably nothing more than an employee using the kitchen to prepare the meat for his personal consumption. I doubt it would be served knowingly to customers so that's not an issue. The issue is deception. Health guidelines are in place for a reason. I've been to Bandido's before with high sanitation ratings on display, and had many a great meal there. But I've turned around and gone elsewhere on a couple of occasions when I noticed their sanitation ratings had dropped into Grade B range. When the goat thing made the news and conincided with the Woodcroft location's lower ratings, I decided to take an extended break from them. Everything's probably fine. Just can't get beyond the goat now.
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