April 22, 2024


World's finest Food

Chino Bandido outgrows its original Phoenix location after 30 years

On opening weekend in early July, Chino Bandido was an indoor amusement park of jerk chicken and Chinese burritos. The masses crowding into the restaurant’s new location formed a roller coaster of a line that weaved into tighter and tighter circles.

I wound my way past lime green walls and TVs playing Guy Fieri, and even after spending half an hour in line, I still found it difficult to navigate the dizzying array of food options. 

“Would you like plain fried rice, pork fried rice, chicken fried rice or jerk fried rice?” asked the person behind the counter.

The fusion menu, which offers seemingly infinite options to customize, requires diners to choose from 15 different proteins, like Chinese egg foo young, Mexican carnitas and teriyaki chicken, and then decide whether to stuff their selections into a combo bowl, a burrito or a quesadilla. That amounts to 96,420 potential combinations, or so claimed the owner during the restaurant’s 2008 appearance on the zany food show “Diners, Drive-Ins & Dives.”

You can stick to one cuisine, but why would you want to? The menu encourages you to experiment with the possibilities, which come packaged neatly in a tinfoil box with a snickerdoodle cookie on the side.