Los Banditos Mexican Bar and Grill – review

Adam and I recently went away to the Belfry for the weekend (not hugely recommended unless you happen to be going there for golf) and wanted to find a decent restaurant in the area for the evening.

This turned out to be quite a bit trickier than anticipated, not sure that Sutton Coldfield is a real foodie paradise but we decided to try a place called Los Banditos as neither Cheltenham nor Gloucester have a good Mexican restaurant so the promise of fish tacos seemed like a good option. It’s a popular place and most of the tables were booked but they do have a walk in table at the back and a few places at the bar. The advantage of the walk-in table is that you can see all the food coming out of the kitchen and base your choices on that.

There is a good selection of beers and cocktails at pretty reasonable prices, we would recommend the draft IPA. A nice touch on the tables is the vast selection of sauces to go with your meal, all with varying heats, we tried a few before ordering just to make sure they wouldn’t blow our heads off. We ordered the coconut shrimp and the pulled beef nachos to start.

Had we known how big the nachos were we may have just ordered them to share. They were really delicious, it’s rare to get a proper nacho (i.e. one from a fried tortilla) that’s not dripping in oil but these were perfectly crispy without leaving a slick in your mouth. The beef was great too but we could have done with more cheese, sour cream and guacamole. The shrimp were really good too and it was nice that you didn’t have to worry about the shells. I couldn’t taste the coconut however and you need to use the sauce sparingly it’s very smokey and has a kick so could overpower the shrimp.

I went for fish tacos as a main with pico de gallo and banditos rice. These are in soft taco shells and are really fresh and tasty with the addition of a little bit of lime sour cream (I recommend putting a little bit of the pickled cabbage from the side salad on top for an extra zing). I was worried about it not being enough as they are quite small and you only get two but the banditos rice is piled with beans and chorizo and so I had nothing to worry about (which meant that some of the skin on fries we ordered didn’t get eaten despite being brilliant).

Adam had the steak fajitas which came with a mountain of peppers and onions and little pots of cheese, sour cream and jalapenos. The best thing about these (and I think we both looked genuinely surprised when the waitress asked) was that they cook the steak to your liking. It’s quite common with fajitas to just get thin slices of well-cooked steak but when it arrived it was thickly cut and perfectly rare. Adam found that the addition of the jalapeno barbacoa sauce added an extra dimension of flavour.

The whole bill including drinks and service came to around £50 including service which we thought was really reasonable as we now had to buy new clothes to fit in to. If you are even in the areas it’s definitely worth a trip.

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