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Apr 8, 2008 11:56 AM

PHX: Chino Bandido on Diners Drive-ins and Dives on Food Network

For those interested, the new ep last night, titled A World of Flavors, featured Chino Bandido. I'm sure it'll be re-run exhaustively this week.

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  1. We saw this when it ran on Monday. Guy's genuine enthusiasm amused me. You could tell he REALLY liked this place.

    I've mentioned before it's not one of my favorites but my husband does love it. After seeing it Monday he was craving it...with no dinner planned tonight and with the Chandler location just down the street I relented and agreed to go(he can usually talk me into going about every 4 months or so....)

    We were surprised to not find a crowd actually. At least for dinner at this location the show didn't seem to have made a difference. It's always empty when we're there(admittedly not often but it has been consistently empty), they must do a good lunch business to survive in this location?

    There was a large poster of Guy on the wall, signed "This is the best place in the US. If I lived here, I'd eat here 3x/week!" Wonder if every place he goes to gets the same message?!(though he really was enthusiastic on the episode).

    As for the food, it was as always which for most everyone means delicious. I'm boring and always get the same thing: emerald chicken, white rice, black beans. These are the things I've found that I do like. No exotic combinations, sorry but it does hold down the grease factor as best as possible! (plus I will admit those beans are pretty tasty! don't want to know why)

    Did you catch the owner making the jade chicken? No wonder it feels like a gut bomb! LOL

    Wonder if the other location has benefitted more from the TV showings?

    10 Replies
    1. re: ziggylu

      The one in Phoenix on 19th St. does a pretty good lunch crowd business.

      1. re: ziggylu

        The few times we've been to the Chandler location, it's been dead. The owners were there once and while talking to them (this was months and months ago) they were at the time thinking about closing that location. The stayed open though. We live close to the 19th Ave location, so we go there if we feel the urge for ChinoMex fusion.

        1. re: Firenza00

          I think it's a terrible location (the Chandler one, I mean). It's really hidden back there...I think if they moved to a better storefront, closer to the street, they'd do much better. I hope they don't just give up and close because I really enjoy being able to stop in there once in a while.

          1. re: boingo2000

            I agree it's a terrible location. I said that when they first opened. You can't see it from the street, or even from the Walgreens right in front of it. Plus the space is enormous! Always feels like an airplane hangar especially since it's so empty. I can't understand why they picked this location and designed it they way they did...

            Hopefully the show drives some business in this location....they've been here for 2 or 3 years at least now and it's still always so quiet at night.

            1. re: ziggylu

              The Phoenix location is ALWAYS busy. I was surprised to read that that's not the case in Chandler. I'm really surprised.

        2. re: ziggylu

          I caught the re-run tonight - can you get a side of oil with that jade chicken? I love chorizo and eggs as hangover food and don't mind the grease, but that just looked overboard. Perhaps they should offer grocery store service - "would you like help out with that?" :)

          I can't say this concept of "ChinoMex" appeals to me, but I applaud their originality.

          1. re: azhotdish

            no kidding :D they didn't make any mention of their famous snickerdoodles that they used to hand out in the dining rooms - do they still do that?

            i haven't been there in forever, but i really love their whole wonky concept :)

            1. re: winedubar

              The last time I was there they had the snickerdoodles. I believe they do/did a chocolate cookie on weekends. I usually save my snickerdoodle for Tara. She appreciates it more.

              CB definitely isn't for the healthy lifestyle, but for an occasional binge, it does hit the spot. The machaca and carnitas are both really good. The jade red chicken is good too. For some reason, their refried beans and fried rice taste great mixed together.

              1. re: winedubar

                As far as I know they still do the complimentary cookie. They do the Chocolate Volcano cookies every other weekend, and then they do other cookies on the weekends they don't have Chocolate Volcano. If you're itching for the Volcano, call them and they'll be glad to tell you which one they're doing that weekend.

              2. re: azhotdish

                Yup - They still hand out snickerdoodles ! I was at the Phoenix location last night !! Can't wait to try out the Chandler location --- it's closer to home !!!

            2. Nothing like their Jerk Fried Rice.

              3 Replies
              1. re: Chandavkl

                Unless you can't eat spicy food and they give it to you by mistake. :) That happened to Tara once. Now she's scared to get their fried rice. :)

                1. re: Firenza00

                  had lunch @ the PHX location today...emerald chicken and egg foo yung w/ the jerk fried rice and the black beans....couldn't eat the snicker doodle due to the dental work I am having done...gave it to my dining partner...who devoured both! YUM!
                  Was all good!!!!!

                  1. re: Firenza00

                    The regular fried rice is actually super good. I ordered the jerk fried rice and the spicyness became a bit overwhelming, but the regular fried rice is super flavorful and doesn't have any of the heat.

                2. Ate at the N Phoenix location twice during a recent stay. What a unique experience! Eddie is a supernice guy, welcoming to newbies, joking with his loyal regulars... The order form itself is a subject of intrigue -- absolutely bewildering to a college graduate. Look it up on line and see if you can figure it out. All these circles and abbreviations. Who designed this thing, the IRS?... Black beans some of the best I've ever eaten. Wow... Jade chicken delicious but does sit a wee bit <<belch>> heavy. Excuse me... Cookies (only on weekends) melt in your mouth good... Chino chow doesn't travel very far very well. Nor do I recommend bringing it home to your motel fridge to eat cold for breakfast the next day. Eat it there and try to eat slowly. This joint is a must for anyone who worships at the altar of the ethnic dive. This place really is, um, bananas.

                  5 Replies
                  1. re: markp

                    thats a great review, markp!! what else did you try while you were in town? :)

                    1. re: winedubar

                      Thanks, winedubar. Your superb PHX postings were the text of my food itinerary. Unfortunately, I ended up stuck in long meetings most of the time, livin on hotel sustinance and bags of In-N-Out. Stay tuned for my detailed review of the vending maching in the La Quinta lobby... The highlight of my trip was the carne adovada at Richardson's.

                      1. re: markp

                        np - thanks for making my day :) you can never go wrong at richardsons, i say :)

                        let us know if you'll be out this way again - there are lots of great places to try!!!

                        1. re: markp

                          That carne adovada is killer, isn't it? The complexity of the flavors is amazing. I'd just take a bite and keep it in my mouth to experience the range of sensations. I think my g/f was getting irritated I was eating so slowly. :)

                          1. re: markp

                            wise choice. Probably the best thing I put in my mouth in my time in phoenix.

                      2. I need to get away from the Chino Bandido board. I must get there food out of my head. I really love this place.

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