Gluten-free Goodness at Dos Bandidos Mexican Restaurant

By on March 24, 2017

Rich, flavorful, cheesy, and gluten free? This last trendy catchphrase might seem out of place at a Mexican restaurant, but Carlos Lopez of Dos Bandidos shares that it’s something that comes naturally to quality Mexican food. “Most places are using thickening agents and pre-seasoned meat,” he explains, “but we make everything from scratch.” No shortcuts simply means no unnecessary gluten.

Dos Bandidos, located at 134th and Memorial in Bixby, is so versatile that nearly everything can be made gluten-free, and most dishes already are. “The only things on our menu that are not gluten-free are the flour tortillas and one pasta dish” says Carlos.

But enough talk. Dos Bandidos’ food truly speaks for itself! Let’s dig in…

First thing’s first. Dos Bandidos has a great bar stocked with supplies for a variety of margaritas and other tropical cocktails. We couldn’t leave without trying their house specialty “michelada.” These tomato juice beverages are like Mexico’s take on a bloody Mary: zesty and refreshing! Carlos explains that although they are found all over the country, each restaurant has a unique take. Today, ours features a special straw candied with chili powder and tamarind, and the rim is garnished with tajin and other spices. The concoction is completed with a bottle of Dos Equis served upside-down right in the glass.

Having worked up an appetite, we couldn’t wait for our first sampling which came hot off the grill with a sizzling helping of bacon, steak, chicken, and chorizo topped with onion, peppers, and cheese. These are the Bandido’s famous “alambres,” and you don’t want to miss out on this amazing dish! Served with a warm stack of tortillas, the entree somewhat resembles a traditional fajita platter, but there’s something truly unique to be had here. The meat is unbelievably tender and well seasoned with just the right amount of charred crisp from the grill — somewhat reminiscent of “street taco” style beef. The whole dish is incredibly tasty and well portioned.

The Combo Escondido featuring (left to right) a West Coast Taco, Enchilada, and Real Crunchy Taco.

Next we tried the “Combo Escondido” which is a great sampler all on its own (perfect for the indecisive foodie). Ours featured three different items. First the West Coast Taco captured the brothers’ “Cali Style” with a choice of grilled meat, onion, and peppers topped with sour cream. Next came an enchilada smothered in queso, and finally a deep fried “Real Crunchy Taco” topped with shredded beef, sour cream, and cojita cheese. The combination gave us a chance to taste the Dos Bandidos’ versatility and recognize the common flavors that brought everything together. In both the traditional and more unique items, the superbly seasoned meat really shines through. The common flavors of sour cream and cojita queso give the entree a hearty, creamy finish.

Finally, we sampled the Dos Bandidos Chille Relleno, a familiar entree with a delicious twist. While most chefs use the traditional poblano pepper, this dish uses a Anaheim pepper, which is another west coast staple. In lieu of flour-based breading, the pepper is simply battered in an egg mixture, resulting in what’s essentially a stuffed pepper, in an omelet, covered in queso! Sound interesting? It is, and it will have you coming back for more.

Each entree was held wonderful flavor with an overall mild spice level. Spice-fenatics should take note that the Bandidos also serve an excellent house-made salsa upon request, featuring a colorful mix of orange Arbol chilis. It’s got some impressive kick and served as a great compliment to all of the entrees we tried.

So where did all this wholesome flavor come from? Brothers Carlos and Luis Lopez explain that their entrees are a hodge-podge of flavors from all over Mexico the California coast. “The alambres are something I had in Mexico city,” shared Carlos, and the West Coast Taco is similar to a ‘molita’ you’d find in Tijuana. “The Real Crunchy Taco is something that I would eat at my friend’s mom house growing up.”

The result is a curated menu that showcases the brother’s unique tastes and creative spirit. The food is a both fresh and hearty, without feeling too heavy. Carlos says that they have a lot of regulars because of their gluten-free options, and they love appealing to a diverse range of foodies and traditional Mexican food lovers alike.

The next time your on south Memorial, you won’t want to miss Dos Bandidos “Cali Style” flavor. You’ll go home satisfied with some truly unique flavors and excellent food!

13330 S. Memorial Dr.
Bixby, Oklahoma
(918) 943-6787

About Lucas Forsythe

Lucas and his wife Hannah love food! They combine backgrounds in photography and journalism to share stories of great restaurants all over Tulsa. When they're not dining, they run their own creative "micro agency," providing branding, marketing, and photography to small businesses across the U.S.