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Bandida’s Taqueria, Vancouver

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Posted by : Guest Blogger, Fri, May 08 2009

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It's a pretty good feeling when you find yourself dreaming of last night's dinner. That pretty much sums up how I feel about Bandida's Taqueria, a relatively new vegetarian/vegan Mexican diner on Commercial Drive in Vancouver.

I've already been there a few times for dinner and now that they serve a daily brunch from 10am, I think another visit is order. Tomorrow a Mexican-inspired breakfast sounds pretty lovely.

What I like about this place is that it's comfortable. It's hip without being pretentious. The large windows makes for nice lighting and the interior feels homey with a large wooden bar and a clock made from an old hub cap. Fresh flowers and pretty vinyl tablecloths adorn every table. The wait staff is friendly and they go beyond the call of duty. When I wanted to split a draft pint of local wheat beer with my husband, instead of bringing just the pint I had ordered, the waitress split it into 2 smaller glasses with 2 slices of lemon. It was a nice touch. 

But really, décor aside, what makes this place wonderful is the food. It's fresh, it's healthy and it just tastes really, really good. So far, I've just stuck with the burritos. The "Estelle" ($7) comes loaded with roasted pineapple, black beans, rice, fresh salsa and sour cream. It's not super spicy but it is super flavourful. And hey, if you want hot, you can always choose their hot salsa or just load on the hot sauce. The "Leona Gail" ($8) is chock full of chipotle tofu and pinto beans and is also very delicious. Once, my husband ordered the tacos on house-made corn tortillas and he was pretty happy with his choice since he always chooses corn tortillas over flour ones any day. If you are vegan, you can easily substitute their house-made soy sour cream and vegan gourmet cheese for the dairy stuff.

Luckily, Bandida's is licensed so they serve lots of tasty local beers on tap and in the bottle. I haven't tried their sangria, but their lime margaritas are perfect... not too sweet and super refreshing (and strong!). If you aren't in a boozy frame of mind, they also have some pretty wonderful homemade drinks, like lemonade or a fresh cranberry soda.

The food and drinks are all affordable and a quick look at their website shows that they support a sustainable community. Their company vehicle is a bike and cargo trailer, they have re-used equipment, building materials and furniture and try to buy locally when possible. They even have a blog so that you can keep up to date with their news and read about the struggles and joys of running a restaurant.

So, all told, I am very happy to spend my hard-earned cash at Bandida's Taqueria where in return I know I will be getting quality, quantity and deliciousness. I think it's a fair trade.


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Bandida's Taqueria
2781 Commercial Drive
Vancouver, BC
(604) 568-8224 

Jeannette Ordas is a Vancouver-based Web Designer andFood Bloggerwho is probably right now thinking about what she'll make for dinner.

Bazaar's Restaurantsposts are featured every Friday.

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Posted: Fri, May 08 2009 by Guest Blogger

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