Southwest in the Midwest
Having been to Bandera for lunch several times, I was aware that the restaurant fills up quickly. I had never been for dinner, so the three-piece jazz band playing was an added bonus. My fellow blogger and I started with a skillet of cornbread and a plate of focaccia with black olives. The cornbread at Bandera is an absolute must for every visit. For a lighter carb on the palate, the focaccia is simply a beauty in flavour.
A friend who was visiting Chicago and I ordered entrées rather than starting with appetizers. My friend ordered the ahi tuna with a salad in a vinaigrette. I had that particular dish during previous visits and loved it. Seeing that my friend didn't leave any left on his plate, I took that as a sign off his approval.
I ordered the pecan crusted trout with potatoes. The pecan crust on the trout was a dream. I would like to think that the delectable taste of the gravy contributed to highlight of the trout, but it was only a very good guest star. The pecans had been cooked, baked, prepared such that they weren’t crunchy and being in the gravy, I didn’t get the tree bark aftertaste that I get from pecans.
Always great service and awesome food, Bandera is one my top go-to restaurants for American fare. There is no menu with pages of options to leave you with your eyes crossed. One page, great selections, and what you get from the kitchen exceeds what you see on your final tab. If you want to enjoy some outstanding jazz music while delighting yourself with a beverage and entrée, I suggest making a reservation for a Saturday evening and arrive around 6:00 PM.
Bandera does two things: deliver incredibly modern takes on traditional American cuisine, and fill up extremely quickly. A reservation is a must if you don't want to wait a minimum of 1 hour during rush times. Grilled artichoke for an appetizer was cooked perfectly, and the service was excellent, especially when I mentioned to the server that the veggie burger I ordered seemed a bit underdone. She rushed back only a few minutes later with a perfectly cooked burger that I can say rivaled even the best meat-based burgers I've enjoyed. I would highly recommend this place for their service and the obvious quality of their food.
I was looking for a place with great ribs and people told me to try Bandera. I was not disappointed. Probably the best ribs I have had in awhile. The meat just dripped off the bone. SO GOOD. I had to wait a little while for my food but worth it in the end!
Really enjoyed Bandera. I was in town for a conference and was looking for something unique to Chicago -- Bandera is it! We ordered the salmon, the chicken and the ribs -- all were top notch. If I went back I would likely order the Chicken Kale salad -- it was a side item with the Salmon and Ribs and it was a table favorite. Would also like to try the cornbread -- I sort of regret not ordering it as it looked amazing and was another Bandera specialty!
Bandera Restaurant (Chicago)
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Overall: Bandera is located in Chicago, IL. This restaurant received four out of five stars rated by 1040 reviewers. Bandera does not offer delivery and does offer take out. They do not have outdoor seating and do accept reservations. They do accept credit cards. They are recommended for dinner.
Food: Bandera is a restaurant that offers American cuisine. Many reviewers enjoyed the french dip, cornbread and black eyed peas that are offered here, these were highly recommended by many diners. Some diners found the food to be mediocre in comparison to similar dishes they had consumed elsewhere. Most diners found the prices to be reasonable. This restaurant serves a full bar.
Atmosphere: The atmosphere at Bandera was noted to be classy. It is good for groups and is not good for children. It has an average noise level and casual attire. They offer street parking and are wheelchair accessible.
Service: The service at Bandera was rated by many patrons as friendly and efficient. With a few exceptions, most diners found that the servers were very attentive and helpful. They do offer waiter service.|