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Sep 16, 2007 06:20 PM

Mexican place in RTP

I friend of mine just told me about a Mexican place on Miami Blvd. in the old Bossman's location that is always packed at lunchtime. Has anyone been there that can report on it?

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  1. It's a Bandidos, which means on the one hand that it falls into the laminated-menu, lunch combo #5 (the "Speedy Gonzales") category, but on the other hand, I've always heard OK things about the folks who own the Bandidos around Orange County (and I wasn't even put off by that story about the kitchen worker who butchered a goat in the kitchen in Hillsborough, although I would've been *more* excited if it had turned out they were serving the goat at the restaurant, which they apparently were not).

    I ate at the new one in RTP with some coworkers when it opened a few months ago, and while they all had yr standard enchiladas, burritos & quesadillas (I didn't hear anybody complaining, and it all looked fine on their plates), I had the chicken mole enchiladas, which was actually better than it had any right to be, probably. I remember thinking "I'd come back here again." It was perfectly agreeable American-style Mexican food, which hasn't been one of my fave subgenres in years (certainly not since the rise in availability of real Mexican food), but I still have a soft spot for it on occasion.

    Here's a photo of my chicken mole enchiladas. . .

    Bandidos Mexican Cafe
    2806 S Miami Blvd, Durham, NC 27703

    1 Reply
    1. re: rossgrady

      Thanks. Bandidos had a table at the salsa and chili contest in Durham back in the spring and I was impressed with their hot salsa. I am aware that they have other locations so standing in line at the RTP one probably doesn't make sense. I also used to hit that strip mall from time to time but haven't in years. The taqueria is good to know about.

    2. I should also mention, while we're talking Mexican in RTP, that last week I went to the little taqueria inside the carniceria there in that weird sunken stripmall on Highway 54 just before 55 (the one with Akashi, China Express, Bombay Grille, Sal's, etc). I hadn't been there in years (and I don't really know why not . . . I used to like it but stopped going for some reason).

      I had 3 tacos: pastor, barbacoa, and lengua. The pastor was tangy and citrusy, and had bits of pineapple in it. The barbacoa was rich, and oily enough that they wrapped it in 2 tortillas rather than the single tortilla the other 2 tacos got (yes, I know 2 tortillas is the norm at most places, but these singles held up just fine, although I think that's due primarily to their non-homemade-ness). The lengua was OK, but wasn't as distinctive as the other two, nor did it have as much good beefy flavor as the best lengua I've had. When I go back, it'll be for the pastor & the barbacoa, and to take another shot at the carnitas (they were out when I went).

      5 Replies
      1. re: rossgrady

        Isn't the food always better in the weird sunken strip malls? Some of the best food is available in those strip malls that are a bit run down. Maybe there's a correlation between tasty, inexpensive food and those yellow Goodwill drop off bins?

        1. re: Tom from Raleigh

          How much longer until Mez opens just off I-40 at Page Rd? While eating at 411 last night, I was reminded that their Mexican restaurant "opens fall 2007."

          1. re: jsb23nc

            I read in the Triangle Business Journal Dec 07 for Mez opening.

            1. re: snapjack

              Any updates?! We finally found the location on Sunday evening but it looked like there is still alot of work to do inside. We apparently had the correct building when looking for it in the past but there is still no marking on the exterior other than a listing of stores on the construction site which includes Mez. What is taking so long?

              1. re: jsb23nc

                According to the restaurant openings report on Carpe Durham, Mez is now open.