We drove up Hillsborough Ave tonight and ate dinner at Mi Bandera Restaurant.  I can’t even tell you how many times I’ve driven right by it and never even noticed it was there.  It’s in a small shopping center on the opposite corner of the Ranch House Restaurant.  The dominant language for both staff and customers is Spanish and the whole place had a very community type feel to it.  You could tell it has a lot of regular customers just by the greetings and smiles.

Our waitress started us off with some bread which was quite awesome.

Let’s face it, bread is one of my favorite things, and when it’s served warm smothered in butter and garlic, I’m one happy gal.  We ordered a couple of appetizers, some calamari and an empanada.

The enpanada was very tasty.  It had a mixture of potato and beef in it.  It was very crispy on the outside and the flavors were excellent.  Loren really liked the salsa that came with it.   At $1 each, we should have just gotten a few of them. 

The calamari, unfortunately, was the downfall of the meal.

Completely overcooked and totally inedible.  It was like trying to bite into rubber.  Luckily our meals came out pretty quick.

Have you ever watched Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives?  Do you remember the episode where the guy was making mofongo?  Well, they had mofongo on the menu and how in the world were we supposed to pass that up after Guy Fieri was so enthralled by it?

Loren ordered it with fried pork.  It was interesting.  Fried green plantains smashed with lots of garlic, plus a whole bunch of other stuff in it.  It was very unique and tasty.  He said the pork was good too.  It came with another sauce on the side, a green chimichurri sauce that he really liked.

I wasn’t feeling very adventurous tonight, so just ordered the chicken breast with mushroom sauce which came with three sides.   I got rice, red beans, and boiled red potatoes.

The mushroom sauce was just like a marsala sauce.  It was very good.  The chicken was pounded very thin which made it a little tough.  The red beans had a lot of flavor to them.  There was enough food on this plate for 3 meals.   We both ended up taking a lot of food home for lunch tomorrow.  Our waitress was very friendly and seemed genuinely sincere about us having an enjoyable meal.  Overall, the flavors were very good throughout the dishes.   Total bill was $31. 

Mi Bandera Restaurant
7748 W Hillsborough Ave
Tampa, FL

Mi bandera on Urbanspoon