Casa de Bandini had a 20 minute wait so we tried this restaurant and were not sorry. There are some nightmare reviews on one of the San Diego restaurant sites, but we enjoyed the simple homey setting and found the service more than acceptable.
Favorite Dish: The food wasn't gourmet, but it *was* very tasty. I had a chicken mole enchilada and was very pleased.
It does claim to serve foods that would have been eaten in the early days of Old Town -- and includes some non-Mexican fare on their menu. From their website:
El Fandango is a historically interpretive restaurant reflecting the changing patterns of food preparation in California during the time period of 1846 to 1856, the years of great change in California.
The restaurant is one of three original adobes that have been restored. It is located in the Old Town and was built on the site of the Machado home destroyed by fire in 1858.
When you visit El Fandango you will notice the ornate structure of the building as it reflects the style of the Mexican period. If outdoor seating is what you prefer in the beautiful weather of San Diego, that desire may accommodate, or enjoy your sumptuous meal on the shaded patio.
The restaurant is famous for its ghost story on a sad and sometimes angry Victorian lady dressed in white. She is seen passing through walls and closed doors or simply sitting at a table in a dark corner, but never interacts with anyone that sees her, but just appears then vanishes.
Maybe the restaurant is still currently haunted but I think the story is a clever tourist scam only.
Favorite Dish: The food is absolutely exquisite. Once you visit you will understand why it is the best Mexican restaurant serving Original Mexican Dishes. From the appetizers up to the entrée and dessert, you get a great culinary experience.
The menu include Empanadas, which consist of two homemade empanadas (stuffed bread ) filled with picadillo (savoury mince) and served with fresh salsa (fresh vegetables, olive oil and lime juice).
The front of Fandango.....Very paintable, and when you look into the doorway you can almost hear someone inviting you in.
The photo below shows the front of Fandango from the north.
I recommend it!
Favorite Dish: Everything is worth trying.
It was our first night in San Diego and as we were staying in Old Town we decided to have a look around and check out somewhere to have dinner close by. This was pretty much the last restaurant we came to, as it's right at the end of San Diego Road and in the Old Town State Park.
The establishment looked very inviting, with outside tables mixed in with beautiful gardens and fountains. As we sat and perused the menu some musicians starting to play some authentic tunes which also added to the atmosphere.
First we ordered some margaritas, I got an alcoholic one and my wife a non-alcoholic and I'd have to say I liked the non-alcoholic one better, a lot tastier. Maybe I'm a bit soft but mine seemed to be very strong, couldn’t taste much fruit only the tequila ;)
The food was okay, we had burritos and enchiladas, but because this was our first real taste of Mexican food in the closest restaurant we have been to Mexico (unfortunately we didn’t make it across the border this time, maybe next time), I think I expected better. I’m not saying the food wasn’t good, it just wasn’t anything that special.
Lovely place to eat, and the staff are warm and friendly.
Their faces were a picture when they handed my mother a hot plate and she held it in her hand with nothing between here and the heat. All those years as a school meal supervisor came in handy after all.
The general atmosphere was good and authentic.
One place we intend to revisit.
Favorite Dish: Fajitas. We all had them. Even our lad who was 3 1/2. They had some really nice Non Alcholic cocktails which was good as I was driving.
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