Tuesday, April 24, 2018

DINING | Olas Banditos: Decent Mexican fare in San Juan, La Union

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The writings on the wall.

After some disappointing dining experiences at San Juan, La Union, it was such a relief to stumble upon something relatively good. Here's a rundown of our experience at Mexican restaurant Olas Banditos.

Design and ambiance
Olas Banditos picks up after Surf Town's laid-back vibe with its open-air setting, varied sets of tables and chairs, murals, and use of decorative hollow blocks, mismatched patterned tiles, and rusty galvanized iron. It sure looks like a happy place.

Sitting right along the highway, it's not very noticeable during daytime, maybe because the restaurant sign resembles some roadside workshop. At night, however, when the sign is all lit up, this spot is hard to miss.

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Doesn't the sign remind you of some workshop servicing vehicles with flat tires and all? But it's all part of the charm of course.

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Tables and chairs are painted by sets of different colors.

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Nice tiles!

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Look at that wall! Ain't that a beauty?

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Viva Mexico!

Food and service
As if it's not already obvious, Olas Banditos serves Mexican grub like burritos, tacos, quesadillas, nachos, and more. And oh, beer plus margarita, mojito, and sangria by the pitcher! It's a self-service, pay-as-you-order kind of place where diners order from the counter and where the entire menu is written in chalk. You also pick your order up from here when it's ready.

Service was pretty much okay and we didn't have to wait long for our food to be ready. Just a caveat, though, there weren't many diners at the time, so I don't how a packed restaurant will impact on their efficiency. Nonetheless, we were happy with our experience.

We ordered cheese and chicken quesadilla and some cheese fries, which were fairly good. I mean, they may not be something that will blow you away but they're good enough. I have yet to try those burritos, though.

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Cheese fries.

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Chicken quesadilla.

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In hindsight
Olas Banditos is a welcome departure from other San Juan, La Union restaurants that offer nothing but lousy service. It also is a nice place. And although what they offer is pretty much simple fare, at least they deliver. Given that food prices are also fairly reasonable, this place is worth at least a try if you happen to be in Surf Town.

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