Los Banditos is a restaurant and cocktail bar located on Boldmere Road, and has been open for business since late 2016.
Our first visit was one evening a week or so ago, but we were unable to get past the front door as the venue was full to capacity and we hadn’t made a booking. Our second visit, which this review is based on, was for lunch.
Once we were seated we had a look round and found the venue to still be quite busy, with the bartender hard at work mixing cocktails, of which the menu boasts thirteen varieties, including mocktails.
The interior décor was in the popular urban/ industrial chic style, with spray painted lettering, lizards, cacti etc adorning the walls, and bottles decorated with patterned skulls arranged on shelving around the main room.
Customers were seated at tables to eat and also at the bar for drinks, and the atmosphere was enlivened by the music and friendly front of house staff who offered multi-coloured sombreros to customers to wear.
The food menu included all the favourites; several varieties of Nachos, Tacos, Burritos and Quesadillas, together with one or two other Hispanic/South American dishes such as Brazilian Fish Stew and Steak and Chimichurri. There is also a small selection of tapas/starters.
While waiting for our orders we took a look at the food coming out of the kitchen, and it all looked promising. Portions looked generous, especially the starters, but as we were out for lunch we just opted for a main course and kept the dessert option open.
Our food was delivered in a timely fashion and it was nice to have a choice of sauces. Some came with the meal or there were a few more at the table, including three from Birmingham stars Pip’s Hot Sauce. Pictured below are the Smoked Beef Burrito, Slow Cooked Chicken Quesadilla and a side order of Sweet Potato Fries. The sauces accompanying the Burrito were sour cream, avocado and a rather good smoky tomato salsa. The Quesadilla just had the sour cream. Food quality was very good. Portions were generous and we were not over faced after finishing, which was good news as we were keen to try out the dessert menu.
We were advised that the kitchen don't offer everything on the dessert menu during the day and inevitably one of the choices which was off-limits were the Alfajores. It wasn’t a huge problem as there were enough alternatives, and it was good practice that we were given advance warning rather than being told after we’d ordered. Our dessert choices, pictured below, were the Churros with Caramel Sauce, and the Quesilo, a South American take on a crème caramel garnished with honeycomb crumbs and raspberries. These were nicely presented in smaller portions than the main courses, but both were enjoyable.
What turned out to be the most pleasant surprise of our lunch here was the price. The total for two courses and a large bottle of sparkling water which we shared came to £28.15. This represented excellent value for money and along with the previously mentioned friendly staff, certainly gave the impression that this venue cares about its customers and wants them to return.
In conclusion, this is an ideal venue for a relaxed and informal outing with friends. It seems to be a popular addition to the local area, especially in the evenings, so booking in advance is recommended.
We will be returning to sample a few more items from the menu soon.