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In the heart of Tangletown, Bandolero (2253 N 56th St.; 206.633.5828; bandoleroseattle.com) specializes in tequila. Opened in August by former Pour House co-owner Jay Farias, the bar keeps the margaritas flowing for thirsty amigos.
THE VIBE: Bandolero is a dimly lit space with a Southwestern feel. Cowboy hats, bronze lizards and miniature clay pots hang from the walls, while dozens of tequila bottles shimmer in front of exposed brick behind the bar. The lounge wrangles in 30-somethings dressed in business attire or fleece, who cluster at the high tables near the entrance and likely discourage real-life bandits from entering.
THE FOOD: The menu is filled with affordable entrées such as pulled pork tacos ($8) and chiles rellenos ($12). For a hint of the sea, order the prawn quesadilla ($9): tequila- and lime-marinated black tiger prawns bathed in oozing layers of cheddar and jack cheese.
THE DRINKS: The bar offers 60 kinds of tequila—a delight for serious spirit connoisseurs. In addition to the usual Patron and Jose Cuervo, sample the gold-hued Espolón Reposado ($7.50 per shot), made with rich, roasted agave and tropical fruits and ending with a spicy finish. If money is no object, try a shot of the Porfidio or Casa Noble (about $13). The Sauza Gold house margarita ($7) requires two hands to lift it.
THE BATHROOMS: Narrow but stylish, with long granite countertops, dark woods and pomegranate incense sticks, the baños seem more spa than bar.
Published December 2010