04 June 2012

managing expectations.

you know what i am shit at?  managing expectations.  wether they are super duper high, or stupid low, they are inevitably extreme.  it's just the way i am.  i cannot help it.  it gets me into trouble .... a lot.  i should know better.  i really should.

so two weeks ago when bandolero finally announced their opening i was through the roof excited.  isabella's graffiato is one of our go-to dinner spots.  it's close, it's tasty, THEY HAVE PROSECCO ON TAP (and pony beers).  it's decently priced, the food isn't fussy and as long as i remember to specify a table downstairs i dig the atmosphere.  then you add to that margaritas and tacos.  it might as well be my version of the best place on the planet.

so we went and it was so underwhelming it's ridiculous.  i hate to give a review two weeks in, because lets face it, a new place needs TIME.  it always boggles my mind when people split hairs because the service wasn't spot on in the first month. it just doesn't seem to be a fair burden to place on EVERY restaurant. but then you add on to this that bandolero is not the first venture for anyone involved (i assume our waitress had in fact been a waitress before, but i might be wrong) and then they do something so asinine that it is in fact cause for a least a question if not a complaint ... they offered a tasting menu.

you guys when someone tells me that isabella is in the kitchen making my favorite foods this weekend and he has come up with a tasting menu you better fucking believe we are ordering it.  mas and i are firm believers in trusting the people that make the food to tell us what to eat.   so we agreed and they dropped plate after plate after plate in such rapid succession we couldn't wrap our heads around what we were eating...

we liked the guacamole, and were ok with the margaritas.  there was a suckling pig taco that was pretty good and the pork rinds they threw down with the chips at the beginning of the meal were a welcome surprise (dc, i like this trend).  but the thing of it was, we received regular order sized portions of everything, nothing was off the menu or special, and when tallied up individually everything was in fact cheaper when ordered separately.

i can give them that the fried fish tacos came out a bit not warm, and that the margarita was a touch watered down and our waitress was beyond weird because not every day is going to be a good one, and to be fair, i had expectations through the roof.  but making a big deal out of a random assortment of menu items and then up-charging for the service of not telling you what you're eating is kind of lame.  and i expect more from any decent restaurant.  i think we'll go back once summer really strikes (the rain did not help the entire ordeal) and drink the fancier than just a margarita drinks and eat food that we pick.  i think then we will enjoy it.  but for now, if you go and you are offered a tasting menu, save yourself and don't do it.

images via bandolero


  1. Oh no, not good. I actually had a conversation about Bandolero on Friday (with a group at Rogue 24... YEAH, I SAID IT). A couple we were with live just over from Bandolera and have already been twice - the first time they walked straight into the kitchen to deliver hand-written "tips" for Isabella after their meal, and the second time they just drank/snacked. I'm giving it some time, but I hate to hear this because I was excited, too. The upcharging deal is inexcusable, though. No doubt.

    1. oh rogue 24.

      and what exactly were these hand written tips? because honestly, they sound awesome.