Posted: by Speider Schneider in

The BEST of my WORST eatery reviews!

Chino Bandido (Mexican-Asian fusion)
1825 W Chandler Blvd. Chandler, AZ 85224 (480) 889-5990

As much as the interior set up of the place resembles the community tables one might find in prison, or so I'm told, the food is fantastic and the shower rape almost never happens, at least during lunch hours.

Depending on the crowd, or lack thereof, you might have to fill out a little form with codes for the different dishes. Sure, it sounds like passing messages in a North Vietnamese prison camp, or so I'm told, but the staff will always patiently help you to choose whatever you want, before you are tortured for information on troop movements.

The combos are the real treat and the Jade Red Chicken as a quesadilla and the roast pork as a burrito are the best! Yes, it's Chinese food wrapped in quesadillas or burritos and the Snickerdoodle cookie you get with your meal caps it all off better than a dock strike clearing out the scab workers and importing more prostitutes, or so I'm told.

I can never eat a whole combo, or so I'm told, so having a second meal makes this a real bargain as well as delicious.

©Speider Schneider

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Tacos Jalisco (Authentic Mexican)
7150 E Thomas Rd. Scottsdale, AZ 85251 (480) 423-3437

Taco Jalisco Is SO Authentic, It Should Be Deported!

My friend Mike always told me I should check out Taco Jalisco on Thomas, just west of Scottsdale Road (you have to be traveling west to get into the parking lot). I trust Mike's tastes, but not in women, so with an afternoon errand we had to run, we stopped at TJ for lunch/brunch.

The outside is unassuming and probably hiding for "La Migra" so don't blink or you'll miss it. It's right next door to the "Smoke Shop."

As Mike says, "it's like you've crossed the border without a passport." You step into a place that was airlifted from any town in Mexico and the number of Mexicans eating there tell you it is authentic, frightening to timid white people and due to be raided at any moment.

The menu is laid out right in front of you. Have a second choice as they cook only the freshest household pets and not everything might be available that day.

My first choice of the fried steak torta was not available or they were just playing with me, so I got the taco, torta cobination. Mike chose the breakfast eggs with something and it looked really good. I'm guessing the Chorizo is the best in the city. When I have a day to spend close to a bathroom, I'll give it a try.

You won't walk away anything but full. With sides of rice, refried beans and vegetable garnishes, bring an appetite.

Aside from leaving full but not bloated, it tasted fresh and I had that, "I ate something healthy" feeling. I'll certainly be returning soon. Don't forget the salsa, chili and limes that sit in a side bar but you might want to ask how spicy some are because this is Mexican food that isn't dumbed down for Americans.

©Speider Schneider

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YC's Mongolian Grill (Mongolian BBQ)
3206 S McClintock Dr. Tempe, AZ 85282 (480) 820-8880

YC's? Because!

When I first moved to the Phoenix area, I discovered the most beautiful Mexican-American woman in the world...working at YC's Mongolian Stir Fry. In fact, having sampled several locations in the valley, the owner seems to be fond of hiring the most beautiful Mexican-American women. I don't really care but it is distracting when I eat there twice a day.

If you've never tried Mongolian Stir Fry, basically you put raw ingredients into a bowl, add sauces and it is cooked on a big, hot surface. After a couple of minutes, BING! Lunch and dinner and another lunch, if you know how to "play" the system at YC's.

There are no "going back for seconds," so plan accordingly. You get your bowl and pay $10 (children are charged by age or just get them a small bowl).

Your first step is loading in the meat. Huh-huh! The meats are sliced and frozen. Place a good amount in the bowl and press it down with the papers at the end of the bar. I like to then go to the fry station and load some peanuts in the bowl and put on some hot chili oil. Then I load on assorted vegetables, tofu and noodles. Then I add the sauces. Some locations have "sauce experts" who take a brutal ribbing for having that on the back of their shirts. Imagine a beautiful Mexican-American woman with that on her shirt. It gives you ideas. Impure ideas.

Honestly, the line method is meat, veggies, sauce, then step up to the fry station, add sesame seeds, peanuts, pineapple and/or assorted oils and such and the chef will cook it for you. I do it by jumping around (when there's no line of people behind me) so the sauce sits on the meat (huh-huh!) and isn't all sitting on the noodles. Don't worry about overloading the bowl a mile high of your food choices. It cooks down and the idea is taking stuff home. They actually encourage it (take out boxes are 50¢, so it's a profit scam...deal).

Add a bowl of all-you-can-eat-and-stuff-into-the-baggies-in-your -pocket rice (white or brown) and soups (always two kinds) and you are in heaven...with beautiful Mexican-American sauce experts! Huh-huh!

Please don't forget to tip the cook a dollar per bowl and leave a couple of bucks for the girls who have to clean up the table...scrubbing and bending. Cleaning up after such a dirty, dirty boy. Mmmmmm-ah!

©Speider Schneider

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Fry Bread House (Native American)
4140 N 7th Ave. Phoenix, AZ 85013 (602) 351-2345

While the white man still struggles with getting the native population to die so Uncle Sam can take over the casinos and cigarette sales, the tribes smile and continue to wave their tribal lawyers at the government but there is a secret plot to kill the white man and it's plain delicious!

Yes, if you don't notice from the size of the workers and other tribe members who eat there or sell jewelry out front, fry bread is not a diet item. Seldom is the mana from heaven good for you but why question the powers that be?

Start with the chili (red's my favorite) and fry bread and finish off with the butter and chocolate fry bread. A quick trip to the emergency ward for some artery cleaning and you are ready to go back for more.

Seriously, one of the better fry bread places and it's clean, inexpensive and the staff is friendly. You will need to wash your hands after your meal or your car keys will slide from your hands and forget trying to steer. With such a small parking lot, one does not want to navigate out of a spot with greasy hands.

*I had to laugh at the Yelp form when it asked about "reservations." ;)

©Speider Schneider

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Maui Dogs (Hot Dogs)
3538 E Indian School Rd. Phoenix, AZ 85018 (602) 464-3063

I had read a review by a friend of mine and was intrigued. At the least, it could only be the second worst thing I've ever had in my mouth.

Maui Dog is a quaint "beachside" place on Indian School, between 35th and 36th Streets. Surfer decor and a raw ceiling of asbestos and water stains create a charm not seen outside the area with the highest murder rate in Phoenix.

Trusting the counter girl, who was confused at my "aloha," she suggested a straight "Maui Dog" with Tater Tots and I also wanted to sample the "Spam Slider." I'm still not convinced it wasn't a sexual-act list she was offering me for $10. What a bargain THAT would be!

The dog is quite tasteless which allows for the mix of spicy chipotle mayo and the coconut-mango-pineapple dressing on top to take over...except for the large-ass bun masking that, too. The bun was bulky and dry and felt like it would revert to sawdust at any moment. I'm guessing it's authentic to the islands, where old hippies move to only discover toilet paper is $12 a roll.

The Spam Slider was a teaspoon of meat on a bun the size of my head and some island mix thrown on the top. I will not be ordering that again. Best advice...get the three-slider special and put all the meat and topping on one bun...and hollow out the bun...and still count on a lot of bread after that.

What was left of my tots, which weren't dropped on the filthy tray by "Shakes" the friendly waitress, who I believe had just sampled some Maui-Wowee out in the parking lot, were okay. Crispy but it's hard to ruin tots.

Get a "Shave Ice" for desert and ooze sticky sweat for two days. BTW - it's "Shave Ice" and not "Shaved Ice." If you'll excuse me, it's my day to shaved my "lower 48."

All in all, I'd go back!

©Speider Schneider

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Nogales Hot Dogs (Sonoran Hot Dogs)
1945 E Indian School Rd. Phoenix, AZ 85016 (602) 527-0208

Many may think eating at a restaurant that sets up in a parking lot after the car shop closes might be dicey as far as the health code goes but as we all know, the city health inspectors are crooks and hired usually through nepotism and political graft (how else would Denny's remain open?), so I say forge ahead and experience Nogales Hot Dogs!

My friend, Mike, had spoken often about me trying a heavenly wiener, and as he's heterosexual, I assumed it was a food product. To my delight and relief, it was.

Mike and I arrived just as they set up and with a little bit of everything on the bacon-wrapped dogs and glass bottles of Coca-Cola, I was scarfing down the delicious mystery meat and considering having another, even though it would be too much to digest and I'd be throwing up from the acid reflux.

I can't recommend this place highly enough. Get there early because it fills up fast. As for the next morning, depending on how much hot stuff you put on your dog, you might not want to make any early appointments.

©Speider Schneider

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Classic Red Hots (Chicago Hot Dogs)
41 Forum Shopping Ctr. Chesterfield, MO 63017 (314) 878-4687

Forgive me if I have to cut this review short but the explosive diarrhea I'm suffering from the "Falafel Special" (feel-awful?) is still killing my morning. Unfortunately, it started at 5 am while I was still sleeping.

It's rather hard to mess up a falafel but somehow they did it. Perhaps it was that the sandwich sat out for about ten minutes before they remembered (after my having to ask) to add the fries, which had ben sitting in a bin for who-knows how long. All of this cost me $9.14 -- including a too syrupy soda.

I chatted with a man and his wife who expressed their disappointment at the Chicago dogs. I have to wonder how their morning went?

©Speider Schneider

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Tottie's Asian Fusion (Asian Fusion, Sushi)
7901 E Thomas Rd. Scottsdale, AZ 85251 (480) 970-0633

I wish there was a half star more I could give Tottie because it is really my favorite place for Chinese or Thai (haven't tried the sushi) but there have been one or two slip ups on the part of the staff. Aside from that, Tottie, I love you long time!

Good, dark and elegant place for a date, or affair, Tottie, and you could make a great meal from just the appetizers. Order a Pu Pu. Huh-huh!

The Tottie Rolls, with sauce and lettuce wrap are great and if you're lucky and it's late, Tottie will prepare them for you and feed them to you while her womanly chest heaves with desire, using food as one would join in human sexual desire. But I digress.

All the dishes are terrific but I wish the Pad Thai was not as mushy. If you do have any complaints, Tottie is always the lady and restaurateur and will treat your complaint with patience and kindness or perhaps a spanking and some rough stuff before she forces your head into the plate of Pad Thai by lying prone on your back, squirting that Scrimshaw sauce, or whatever they call it, into your nasal cavity and belittling you in Chinese because you've been a naughty, naughty boy. But I digress

For dessert, I highly recommend the coconut ice cream with fried honey bananas. Your banana will be surprisingly hot and Tottie likes it that way. That's how she serves the bananas in her place.

I didn't care for the incredible wait at the Paradise Valley location, but hopefully Tottie will have more openings for us all. But I digress.

©Speider Schneider

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