Taco Tuesday Take Down the semi-finals. Take 2.

Lime Salsa bar copy
Lime’s salsa array: not a substitute for salt or seasoning.

Welcome back gluttonous readers, to the Pot and Pan Handlers trivial blog, where any resemblance to literacy is purely coincidental. Today we’re back on Chapel Hill’s, NC’s famed drunken frat boy playground, more commonly referred to as Franklin Street, in a quest for the area’s tastiest chicken soft taco.

A challenge ripe with frivolity as this is an area that likely many of you will never see. However this is our burden to bear, because we care, or more likely, it’s just a freakin’ excuse to eat tacos. Now that you’re acquainted with the frivolous nature of this endeavor let us assure you that there are certainly other endeavors, more frivolous, such as congressional committees and rebuilding the Middle East. At least our frivolous endeavor results in the consumption of tacos. Political scientists have yet to confirm that congressional committees and rebuilding the Middle East result in anything at all.


Lime copy
Lime’s marketing has suggested that millennials like bricks and green.
Hot sauce Lime copy
Lime attempts to substitute hot sauce for salt.

This is our second to last stop in this scurrilous challenge as we are in the semi-finals. A cleverly hidden local gem Bandido’s verses the hard to miss corporate behemoth Lime Fresh Mexican Grill. Bandido’s, traditional tacos got to the semi-finals by defeating the fusion joint Lucha’s atypical General Tso’s chicken tacos. While Lime got the default nod, when their competitor’s Cosmic Cantina’s taco, couldn’t handle the 10 minute commute to the taco tasting facility, we usually call home, and disintegrated into a well spiced taco salad.

Bandido's door copy
The bars on the windows make us feel safe, just kidding, we hope we don’t get shanked.

So it’s on, with Armadillo Grill waiting for the victor in the finals we set out to find the more worthy competitor. We began at Lime Fresh, where we ordered 2 chicken soft tacos, and eased the wait with a couple of Negra Modelos. Once our tacos were acquired, we navigated the street filled with drunk, gender studies, majors and set up shop in Bandido’s where another Negra Modelo and a Jalapeno, cilantro margarita alleviated the anticipation of tacos to come. Oh yeah, and as usual here’s a couple of links for your ignoring pleasure, because if a blog post doesn’t have a link, they’ll take your blogger license away, then we’ll be stuck doing podcasts. Yuck.

http://limefreshmexicangrill.com/  http://bandidoscafe.com/

Bandido's copy
Having survived the alley, we’re held up by this well hung Chili pepper. Questionable brand strategy? Yes, that’s the flavor of local.

Once we got back to the tasting facility, called the living room, we tore into those tacos with reckless abandon. We started with Lime Fresh and what we found was properly unoffensive, yet uninspired, under-seasoned, pulled chicken tacos with typical taco dive, cheese and factory, flour tortillas topped with the obligatory, salad bar de Americana. These were so bland; it took us a minute to remember how Lime got into the semi-finals in the first place.

Lime taco1 copy
I’m about as bland as I look.

Then we tried Bandido’s tacos, not even a competition, although we typically prefer pulled chicken, the diced chicken breast is well seasoned and tasty, topped again with taco dive, cheese atop of factory, flour tortillas. Not afraid of alienating some market whether real, or imagined, with seasoning and/or salt (like Lime apparently was) Bandido’s is an easy victor. A situation we’re more than comfortable with, because, if I have to type the words Lime Fresh Mexican Grill ever again, it will be too soon.

Bandidos taco copy
Bandido’s tacos: a well seasoned dairy product.

Coming soon: we’re off next week as we pilgrimage to Hotlanta… But stay tuned the week after, as it’s the finals of the Taco Tuesday Take Down, where local joints Armadillo Grill and Bandido’s contest for the privilege of Reigning chicken soft taco supreme. It’s going to be a tasty ride! – Pot and Pan Handler

Brackets finals copy
Bracketology, bitches in two weeks it’s the finals. Whose chicken soft taco will reign supreme?

2 Comments on “Taco Tuesday Take Down the semi-finals. Take 2.

  1. Bracketology picture cracks me up. I have to send this to my son who frequented Franklin Street back in the day when he was at UNC. I am sure he could weigh in on the debate!

    • Ooh I’d like to hear what he has to say on the subject! There is no shortage of taco dives there, Bandido’s has been there since the early 90’s I’m not sure about the others. The rents are real high near campus so restaurants open and close almost daily there. In fact when we began this project there was a Qdoba, but it’s gone now and it’s been replaced by a Mediterranean joint.

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