After only hearing good things about Los Banditos in Sutton Coldfield (my hometown, and where my parents and many of my friends live); I thought I’d book a table for my friends and I on a Friday night, to kick off a weekend of birthday celebrations. Why have one birthday shindig, when you can have 3? I walked into a super relaxed and warm atmosphere, and yet I also didn’t feel out of place in my sequin boots. I wanted a hearty, Mexican meal and some drinks to help me say farewell to 33, and ease the transition into 34 on the upcoming Sunday. The 5 of us were given a cosy booth in the middle of the restaurant, and had the opportunity to order drinks while we waited for everyone to arrive.
Does anyone else order a Pornstar Martini because you always get a shot of fizz with it? So, technically; you’re getting 2 drinks for the price of one. Just me then? As you were. There is a decent sized drinks menu, full of the classics, and plenty to choose from if you’re there for a relaxed dinner. I seem to head for the cocktails first, because they are fun and make me feel like I’m having a treat. Treats are what life is all about, especially on your birthday.
I continued with a bottle of prosecco (shared between 3; this was a civilised affair). The glasses arrived with a raspberry in them which I appreciated, and they weren’t flutes; they were coupe glasses. Personally, I much prefer a fizz in a round saucer-style glass; however, I know that some of my besties prefer a flute. When asked; the staff said they were all out of flutes, but would bring one over if it were to become available. I thought this was great service, as they could have easily dismissed us with just that there were none left.
I wasn’t content with ordering just one starter; so I ordered two (treat yo’self). The starters on the menu would be great as tapas, but I wanted a main too, so I thought it best to create a mini-tapas situation to start with, and I was correct. I went for the grilled halloumi which was marinated in chimichurri, and the house nachos. The nachos arrived with a generous serving of guacamole, salsa, and sour cream, and were deep fried triangles of crunchy heaven. I’ve written before about my love of triangular-shaped foods (they are an arrow to your mouth), and I happily inhaled these. I would have liked some more cheese on the top of them; most of mine had fallen to the bottom of the dish and melted down there. As you couldn’t reach the bottom of said dish; I didn’t get the full cheesy hit that I like with my nachos. However, the nachos still tasted great, especially dipped in the dreamy green guac, and I appreciated the jalapeños too.
I also had my halloumi. Hooray for that salty cheese in the shape of chips so that you can scoff them without judgement. The halloumi tasted great; it could have been served a little hotter so that there was less of a squeak as I ate, but I didn’t really mind. It was a great addition to my nachos, and if you’re like me with a huge appetite; you can easily get away with both for your starter, before heading towards your main. Or, I suppose you could share, but I find this challenging and difficult to understand. I’d definitely have shared, as long as the other person had also ordered two starters so that effectively we were sharing four starters. I’m an only child.
Next, it was time for my main. I went with the Salmon Taco. Two soft, flour tacos arrived, filled to the brim with chipotle-spiced salmon chunks, served with cabbage, carrot, coriander, and chilli salad, lime sour cream, and rice. I was so impressed with the quality of the fish; it wasn’t at all dry and packed a flavourful punch. Each element on the plate complemented the next, both in flavour and texture. It was classic and straightforward deliciousness; proper Mexican comfort food, and I ate every bit. I recommend the tacos, and would happily order them again.
The Los Banditos restaurant has a relaxed atmosphere, a menu full of everyone’s Mexican faves, and something behind the bar for any diner. I’d say it would be great for families, a date night, or like me; if you have a special occasion to celebrate, it’s somewhere to enjoy tasty food without the pressure of fine-dining. Think TGI Fridays sort of prices, but with fresher food and no buckets of cocktails. I really enjoyed it, and it was the perfect way to kick off my birthday weekend.
Right at the end of the evening; I got way too hot, had a funny turn, and had to go outside with a glass of water. This was purely me, and nothing to do with the food or environment. The staff came to check on me when I was sat down again, which I thought was lovely. Actually the service was friendly and warm throughout the evening. I will be going back for more of the same, and maybe the Mexican Vegetable Hash.
Peace, love, and pornstars, Fay x
*I paid for my meal. All views and opinions are my own (as always).
**I also wish that grumpy, holier-than-thou Twitter users would get off everyone’s jock.