We’ve lived in the Fulton area for over a decade and have seen the massive growth in the Harris Teeter shopping center in the midst of Maple Lawn.
When we moved into our home in 2012, that shopping center only had the Harris Teeter on one side and the strip of stores across from it, bookended by Sushi Tendou (great place!) and HighStarr Copy Services. It wasn’t until later that the other strip of stores (Maple Lawn Wine & Spirits through to Hudson Coast and, back then, Steel Fire) hadn’t been built yet. Maple Lawn South was still a cornfield.
We’d gone to Steel Fire once when it first opened but not often. I enjoy burgers but not on a regular basis (and usually at backyard BBQs), but it was still sad to see them go.
I was, however, excited to see that they’d be replaced by a taco place – Banditos. Tacos and Tequila.
Since it’s opening in late 2022, we’ve gone a few times to the Maple Lawn location, most recently during a half day for the older kids.
I really like their Fried Avocado nachos and it was the first time I’d ever had warm avocado. When it’s cold, I’m not a huge avocado fan. When it’s been warmed up (ok maybe when fried a little), it’s great. Then, when you add in the flavors of the street corn, cilatro, pico, crema, and the seasoning they already have on the tortillas … it’s fantastic.
For our mains, one of our kids got the Burrito 2.0 (Chicken) and the other went with the Kids Cheese Quesadilla.
The burrito looks small on the plate but that’s only because the plate itself is huge. Our son, who is almost 12 and can eat a lot, only managed to finish half of it. (of course, he did have quite a few nachos earlier)
The quesadilla was also huge! It also came with a side of the nachos, which had the seasoning already on it. Since the seasoning has some kick to it (it’s a spicy lime flavor, probably elote seasoning of some kind), our daughter wasn’t a fan.
My wife and I got three tacos each.
I got the Pork Belly Taco, Barbacoa Taco, and the Rus & Gus Taco:
My wife got the Al Pastor Taco, Pork Belly Taco, and Dynamite Fish Taco:
I’ve gotten tacos at Banditos quite a bit (once I got a rice bowl to try something different, but it wasn’t as good) and the quality of their tacos do have some variation from day to day.
This time, sadly, many of our proteins were overcooked. The tacos were still pretty good (and I’m not one to complain about anything unless it’s something serious).
I’m not sure, because I didn’t look in the kitchen, but I bet the Al Pastor, Pork Belly, and Barbacoa proteins were cooked ahead of time (I can’t imagine they would cook it to order) and then sit in warming trays. Over time, they can get overcooked. I get that.. but we were there for lunch (and early too), so I was surprised that our proteins were overcooked this time.
The proteins that you’d likely see cooked to order, like the Rus & Gus and the Dynamite Fish, were great. Perfectly cooked.
For what it’s worth, this time was the first time we’ve gotten overcooked proteins and we’ve been here probably four or five times, so chalk it up to dumb luck.
They also got new patio furniture, these wonderfully blue chairs and tables, and with the weather getting warmer (and hopefully the pollen count getting lower), it’ll be nice to have an outdoor dining spot nearby.