$12 Tacos For Easily Sunburnt Skin

Finally, San Francisco Has Mexican Food For White People

I was recently thinking there aren’t enough $12 al pastor dos tacos in San Francisco. Sure, there’s Tacolicious and their famously foul beer, but they only flip their tacos for four bucks.

Fortunately for San Francisco’s foodie conquistadors, there is now Bandidos, a Mexican-themed restaurant that proudly trumpets their Caucasian targeting.

Inside Scoop hits us with the preview:

“I know that San Francisco has a lot of good Mexican food, and Tacolicious has taken over that scene in a way,” says [consulting chef Jamie Lauren], adding that she was also inspired by the Mexican food she sees in Los Angeles.

Bandidos will make its own corn tortillas, using masa from La Palma, and tacos will dominate the menu. Beyond the tacos, there will be smaller plates like albondigas, quesadillas, and a wet, enchilada-like version of taquitos, as well as entrees like sizzling fajitas.

“I hate to call it white people Mexican food but it is. And I think the Castro needs a place like that.”

I didn’t know “white people Mexican food” was synonymous with “milking money from milky morons.” Every taqueria worth a damn has a complimentary salsa bar that (taking a leap here) would blow away whatever mild mess salsa flight they smashed up for $5. But I suppose if we’re dealing with people who think that Tacolicious has “taken over” the Mission Mexican “scene,” we’re already fucked.

[Inside Scoop]

Comments (60)

lol “foodie conquistadors”

Actually the drink prices are too awful.  Del Maguey mezcal is good stuff, and from different small village producers in Mexico.  I mean its the Castro, seems fine.  No young people can live there anymore, the gay mecca is now just an aging bland section of the city, though the nightlife still attracts young people.  Once the rainbow flag sidewalks gets put into place this area will become fishermans wharf, ‘come look at the gay people’.  Sad

aren’t* too awful

The prices aren’t the worst, I suppose. But anyone who orders a “Juan In A Million” out loud without wanting to stab themselves with a thousand tiny daggers is suspect as all hell.

… the things that keep Kevin up at night. *sigh*

@Jimmy Foo maybe these same people will open a Chinese restaurant for white people with something on the menu with something like hmmm gang bang chicken or rotsa rice bowl?

Ha yea, I imagine a lot of people will effect their decision with the pointing method

Jamie Lauren is pretty chill. 

The fact that they named their restaurant after a stereotype that is frequently exploited in notoriously insensitive ways, and that they actually have a cocktail on the menu called “Juan in a Million”– tells us everything we need to know about the people responsible for this restaurant.   

Hey folks, if you’re white and you’re appropriating another culture for your own economic benefit, can you at least try not to be so fucking offesive in the process? Seriously, is that too much to ask?  Bandidos, you certainly did not have to go far in SF to consult with some folks from the Mexican/Mexican-American community to get their take on what you refer to as your “Mexican food for white people” restaurant.  It boggles the mind that it either never occurred to you to do this, or it occurred to you and you didn’t actually think it necessary.Seriously. In 2014, white people opened a “Mexican” restaurant in San Francisco and named a cocktail “Juan in a Million!?” It’s shocking.  It’s offensive. It’s ridiculous. What is happening to this city?

I’m pretty sure the city used to be hugely more culturally insensitive ha.  They should open this up in Portland, where everyone is white

I have a black friend in Portland. His name is Sam. You might even be him. Hi, Sam!

Whoah, you found one!

It’s shocking? No, it woul be shocking if somehow this didn’t happen.

Let’s be real here.  We all know there is no ill intention with the restaurants name or a cocktail name. Why so sensitive? And I don’t believe the chef was quoted as saying it’s Mexican food for white people, more she was saying its not the taqueria you find in the mission. I mean come on she’s a white chef making Mexican food.  Before everyone gets their panties in a twist.. stop and come to your senses and realize no one is trying to be racist or insulting. Let’s all just try the place first. 

I usually just read through comments, and see the crazy shit and keep going. Your comment wasn’t “crazy” but it is part of the problem. I have seen and experienced this type of racism. Its racism from people who aren’t racist, from people who are progressive and enlightened, people who have a “black friend” and a “gay friend” a “Mexican friend”. I agree with you that they’re not intentionally being offensive, and that’s the point. People have no clue about what is ok and what is not ok. I have seen the Latin culture in this city become a novelty and a gimmick for people of other cultures. Like, “oh its fun to act Mexican, I salsa dance, ive got to try your authentic Mexican pupusa”. Everyone wants in on it, but much like the owners of this restaurant, their is a lack of understanding and respect for it. So back to there intentions, most racism in the country does not come from blatant racists foaming at the mouth, it comes from good people that mean well, but that are just ignorant and uninformed. 

Thank you for a thoughful, well reasoned comment.

I used to live on Sanchez St. and I wonder if this place will last long. That spot has not worked out well for restaurants for a while now. There was a Thai place there for a few years, then a Mexican place (with regular Mexican food not “white people Mexican food”) The food wasn’t bad at either place, but they never seemed to be very busy. Then they tore the building down, put this new one up and here we have this place.

The changes to that area have not really improved it. You still have a lot of vagrancy, open drug use, crazy people (I don’t mean this euphemistically, I mean the people who are wandering around screaming at people only they can see.) Also, you’ve got human and animal waste on the streets–plus some really expensive housing and overpriced restaurants. Well, I suppose it’s an improvement for…….hang on, there’s got to be someone…..the restaurant owners who are fleecing people. Okay, it’s an improvement for them. And the developers.

Thank you! Well said I’m surprised they didn’t call it Frito Bandito

Kyle-  Are you really going to provide the same crappy response people give when they are called out for their cultural appropriation and lazy racist b.s.?  Clueless.  Intnetion is irrelevant.  

Newsflash:

Chinese people open sushi restaurants. A mega ton of Mexican people across the country are cooking cuisine from all over the world for everyone to eat-and it’s ok!

It’s going to be ok, people. 

White people sometimes make Mexican food and dare to name their cocktails with puns. Drinks all over the city are $10 and over now. Be glad they didn’t call it Bandildos. 

…for all you know, one of the bartenders or a manager could be named Juan.

Actually, it’s the boyfriend of one of the owners!  how offensive! 

They didn’t say they were white folks opening a Mexican spot.  They said it is “for white people” and then they decorate their restaurant with photos of a Mexican stereotype.  You’re missing the problem big time.  Do you know the history of the Bandido stereotype?  Of people using other folks for decoration but serving up the culture for white folks?  Didn’t think so. 

I want to thank the folks at Bandidos for making a place for me and my white friends to go have Mexiblanco cuisine. It is hard to find good Mexican food these days that is made to my white standards and that is not too hot, gross, or well, Mexican.

I am also so glad to see they used some “DIA DELOS MUERTOS” art on the placemats. That’s some real cool stuff and I once had my face painted at a party like that for Cinco de Mayo to celebrate Mexicans being so awesome and Corona being a beer. I love being a white guy who gets to have some art like that under my plate.

I’m not so sure about the Mexican guy on the wall. I mean this place is for white folks, right? We don’t really know him, but I have seen him in movies. So scary, but I guess that’s where Bandido’s gets some of its FLAVA!!!!

I imagine this is a brilliant cultural reclamation of the well-known bandito stereotype popularized by white-made films and sold to white audiences as authentically Mexican. It’s like this restaurant wants to bring that back to show how absurd it is. I get it. SO COOL. I mean 30 seconds of Googling can explain how this is a pretty messed up stereotype. I get it though. Y’all are selling a pale shade of Mexican cultural experience to white folks and being super cute about it and you are showing folks that the bandito stereotype is silly but really good for sales. Very clever and respectful.

Best of all, you named a drink after an ACTUAL MEXICAN DUDE - “Juan in a million!” I will drink that and laugh at your punny way. Very cool to take an ethnicky name like that and sell it to white folks like me.

Can’t wait to come in! Keep up the great work!

Are you my long lost sibling? 

That is incredibly flattering given the issues you raise through your work.  

I honestly think some of you are just bitching to bitch. Honestly..I don’t know maybe it’s because I’m only half Mexican . This is crazy. Call out racism and ignorance where it is truelly necessary instead of wasting your time here. Try the food and if it’s horrible start bitching about it. But this ..you’re making something out of nothing. Its a cheesy name that maybe someone didnt think through or just plain out didnt think in our day and age it would still offend. 

Kyle, are you really half-mexican? Are you sure? If so, and you don’t see the problem in this mode of cultural appropriation, I really feel for you. “Juan in a million”? Are you serious? This place is more of the same problem happening in the Mission. Surprise - There’s already a ton of taquerias in the Mission. Why does the food have to be watered down, or the culture exploited in order to appeal to the new transplants? Tacolicious can go to hell to. Never ate there, and never will. 

There’s also a certain racist element in declaring that only shitholes can have good mexican food.  “What, tacos that cost more than $2, thats crazy!”  Go to Mexico City, and be surprised at actually the lack of good Mexican food that we have in San Francisco, outside of cheap burrito and taco joints.  I know I was.

I guess you’re other half is oblivious

Fuck this place.

Thanks Kyle for making a decision for us all about what is “truelly necessary” and what is not.  I mean, it’s so hard to tell. We really appreciate your brilliant analysis that only some forms of racism and ignorance are worth criticizing.  I don’t care if the food is bad or good at all.  Jamie Lauren can cook and cooks well, so it’s likely going to be delicious. But you are making nothing out of yet another round of folks repackaging culture, symbols, and traditions and selling it back to white folks under the banner of a bullshit stereotype.  No worries if that doesn’t matter to you, but you don’t get to decide what rises to level of critique.  And maybe some folks are sick of this playing out over and over again and would rather speak up then just blow it off.

Not that this will change people’s minds especially in the world of SF anonymous user commenting, but as an owner of the restaurant I needed to at least comment on this thread and posting as a whole. 

The quote was a very stupid one from our consulting chef and while we disagree with saying what she did, it has been taken to mean something very different than what she was trying to say.  Her comment meant that this is mexican food whose menu was created by a white person (nothing shocking there) instead of traditional mexican food.  She in no way meant that it was FOR white people.  While not great at interviews, she’s not THAT bad at interviews.  

We have a latina exectuive chef, Christina Aviles who we are very happy to be working with and a mostly latin staff, so even her quote as intended at this point is quite dumb, we realize.  

As for the comments about our pricing, our name, our theme, I’ll let you guys talk yourselves blue in the face calling us assholes and racists, etc. We hope that people like our atmosphere, our food, our drinks and what we’ve done to activate a corner of Market street that we believe in.  

Hey Jesse,

Thanks so much for clarifying! So good to know you are ready “activate a corner of Market Street”. I hope you also manifest some common sense, maybe talk to your token brown person about tokenism and about making your racism a bit less overt and more covert like it usually is on the west coast. No one here needs to call you a racist or an asshole, your words speak for themselves. I’m sure since there are a ton of racist folks in the Castro (gay and straight) that no matter how bad your food is or how overpriced with the average to bad quality of the majority of places there you will be as successful as tacolicious with thier crap. It still woundn’t change what douche you are but you don’t really care. No doubt in the same course you learn about using buzz words like “activiate” you also learn that rich people like nothing more than having shit wrapped in gold painted paper and you are doing a damn good job at that!

Jesse,

Look at you creating jobs for our Fellow Mexican-Americans. A regualr Cesar Chavez! Is your Latina Chef Single? Can she meet my black friend? The four of us could get together to talk about how not racist we are. And, if that topic doesn’t last long we could bash some more of your employees and try to place the blame on them because clearly, they are the ones to blame for how ridiculous the name of the restuarant is.  When in doubt, deflect, deflect, deflect I always say. Am, I right?   

Sounds like a hell of a night we have planned. I’ll bring the taco bell if you bring the “juan in a millions”. 

Adios! 

Latin staff, eh? What part of latin are they from?

So how is this theme ok again? 

OH Jesse.. Good job trying to push the blame on to someone else. And congrats on having a latina chef in the kitchen.. So so rare.. that just makes everything better.. ITS THE NAME OF THE RESTAURANT!! What were you thinking? YOU.. I actually get your consulting chefs comments. She was probally following your instructions. Mexican food for white people not that stupid.. Maybe a sterotype. I grew up eating a taco kit every friday night. I called that white people mexican.. I wasnt offended by that. I just took it as toned down ,not cilantrofied, and not following your mexican grandmothers handed down recipe.. The only thing “stupid” seems to be you.. Bandidos? Jaun in a Million.. Who was consulting you? Can you call out yourself and say yes I was stupid for not realizing the name may be a bit disrespectful? Sad thing is I’ve eaten at Absinthe and loved Jamie Laurens food. I’m betting you have some good stuff there. But you just made me never want to step foot in your establishment.

Yes, said owner’s blaming someone else’s “stupid” and “dumb” comments…yuck. I get the whole I’m-sticking-to-my-GUNS approach he’s taking (like a Bandido?) but..it reeks of immaturity if you are going to disparagingly offer up your employee as the hapless idiot who is offending people. 

Stupid yuppie technocommies. What do you expect?

SF already has a Chevy’s

How’s that boycott of the Latin American Club coming along? After all, white people own it and they’re appropriating la cultura de la raza!

Some folks in San Francisco get worked up over the stoopidest stuff. Don’t like the restaurant? Then don’t go there! All this crying racism is hysterical - I wonder how many Mexicans are “offended” by the name Bandidos. Maybe we can ask the kitchen staff to see how much a name ruffles their delicate sensibilities. I bed they’d look at you like you just grew a third eye since it would never occur to them to be upset at a “stereotype.”

Mexican food for white people?  Chevy’s has been doing that for decades. Where’s the outrage been all this time?

I’m sure the Facebook check-ins at this place will be off the charts!  

since you’re writing a review of a RESTARUANT, perhaps you should actually EAT THE FOOD and tell us how good it is?

This is not a review of a restaurant.  

All these white people being offended for us folks who are actually Latino… Without even stepping foot inside the place!

yes, I understand how it can be offensive, but Honestly, I’m tired of the fuckin PC police! Fuck you all and just let them run their business!

These miserable fuckers would have been offended by the first McDonalds & the fact that it has a clown! They would have related it to white people being called clowns for fuck sake! 

God forbid someone has a “pun-y” idea! “Oh, it’s offensive; bitch, Bitch, BITCH! whine, Whine, WHINE! wa Wa WA!”

seriously folks, get your head out of your asses and realize it’s all in good humor.

Is anyone offended at the name Hamburger Mary’s and the fact that it puts a woman in the Kitchen, god forbid a white one?! Or how about the misuse of three different languages at every Starbucks (thank you Role Models/Paul Rudd)… No? Didn’t think so!

so unless you’re willing to boycott all the above mentioned places for those reasons as well, shut the fuck up & go try the food, you keyboard “activists.” 

Oh! & Whit E.:

if you’re gonna pretend to be a “know-it-all” at least know what you’re talking about! the word is “bandido” not “bandito”

Hilarious post about folks getting too upset from someone losing their @!#$ and cussing people out on a message board.  You don’t know what we do and don’t do on issues like this.  Bury your head and enjoy this @#$ happening more and more.  Thanks for the spelling tip.  It was the one rational part of your rant.

I guess the owners don’t know some Mexicans are white? Also, as a latino, I guess I should just forego this restaurant when I’m out with hungry non-white friends, the owner admits I’m not their target market.

The owners of the restaurant aren’t the only people who don’t know that fact.

By the way ¡Chino!, brought to you by the white folks at Tacolicious, is doing the same thing as Bandidos only it’s “Chinese food for white people”  with cocktails named after asian stereotypes and pictures of seniors from Chinatown decorating the walls. So f*cking gross. So embarassed for my city. 

Taco-boner!

Food is seriously legit. That is all.

Even apart from the socio-cultural shitstorm that’s been kicked up here, it’s a dumb name, Bandidos. Unimaginative.  But think about it- almost all restaurants in the Castro have shitty names, which never made sense to me because (ready for a stereotype?) gay ppl are supposed to have good taste. Anchor Oyster Bar is one exception in the name dept -are there others? Osaka? Marcello’s, maybe. 

If they are trying to get you to stay for “one too many tequilas”, why not call it Hotel California? Or Gringos’? Or Gringo Starr…

kidding btw. Idk wtf to call it. 

Christina is an amazing chef and person. You trolls can stop bashing now and just got eat your street tacos.

If someone’s comment becomes public record for free marketing in Inside Scoop, it’s not trolling to point out when their comment is hurtful or offensive. Especially if they don’t realize it or understand why. I live in the Mis-tro (oh and my sister’s name is Cristina); Bandidos is on record that their food isn’t for us because we don’t identify as white and that’s just what the Castro needed.

“Bandidos is on record that their food isn’t for us because we don’t identify as white” Um, ok. Take a deep breath and read the original quote before you post again. Did you read it yet? I’m waiting…ok. She didn’t say it’s ‘for white people,’ she said ‘white people Mexican food.’ As the owner pointed out, she was saying it’s Mexican food white people make. Dumb comment, but your spit and vile and outrage is soooooo silly and misplaced and typical of lots of people who spread outrage on the Internet.

It’s hard enough to take people like you seriously, but what’s really sad is your willful negligence to read *carefully* and *in context* (and, often, acknowledge that reporters take quotes out of context *all the time*). Very much like so many politicians and talking heads.

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