It took a bit of internet detective work to figure out “Bandito Catering” was connected to “Bandito Taco.” The only sign at the event we attended had the Bandito name and logo, but no phone, or URL, so I scoured the internet until I found that the caterer and the taco shop had identical logos. Voila!
So Mrs. BDB and I were at this event, hanging around waiting for the food, natch, which was a bit delayed — I’ll give him the benefit of the doubt, and blame “airshow traffic.”
As I watched the guy set up, I was fairly impressed with his “meticulousness.” He was attending to the smallest of details at his two tables, prepping the chafing dishes and other crap getting ready to lay out his spread. We had been told it was to be a “burrito bar of sorts”, and I watched him set out nine chafing dishes and wondered? Hmmmm, 1) tortillas, 2) beans, 3) beef, 4) chicken, 5) rice, 6) vegetables — what would go in the other 3?
The attendant place large bowls of salsa, and surrounded them with corn chips place directly on the table cloth.
Finally, all was in place, plates and cutlery out, and people started to queue up for the
food, helping themselves to chips and salsa first, before moving on to the hot chafing dishes. I was only right on one guess – the first tray had rice in it – the second, a layered enchilada dish, corn tortillas, chicken, peppers, cheese……what lies ahead, I wondered? Dish 3: layered enchilade dish. Dish 4: layered enchilada dish. Dish 5: layered enchilada dish. Dish 6: layered enchilada dish. Dish 7 (drum roll, please…….) layered enchilada dish. They all looked the same, and there was no signage to show any differentiation. Some people in the line opined that some were plain cheese, and some were chicken, but you wouldn’t be able to tell from just looking at them.
I took the “chicken”, and sat down at the table to bite into this Mexican version of lasagna.
Ugh. It was really dry. Some recipes call for a dousing of the layers with sauce, but this one didn’t, and it was corn tortilla chewy, the chicken was dry, and it was for the most part, flavorless.
I was more impressed with the salsa, but I would guess he used canned diced tomatoes. Nice cilantro flavor, tho.
In the course of researching this online, people generally have fairly good things to say about the restaurant, at least for what it is, Americanized inexpensive Mexican food. And I suppose that a safe thing to have at a catered event.
But if I want quality, flavorful, authentic Mexican fare in Portland, I’ll have to look elsewhere. Andelay! Andelay!