July 21, 2005
Located across the street from Nordstrom's on Michigan Avenue, you might miss the entrance to the second-level restaurant. The atmosphere is immediately noticeable. Live, light jazz music in the background, Bandera was humming, but not too busy for us to get an immediate seat on a Monday evening. The lighting is dim, and the large, round booths are secluded from one another. It could very well be a romantic spot, but it's not so overt so as to make others feel out of place.
The menu has mostly American fare, and though not advertised as comfort food, it turns out that the food is quite comforting. I don't claim to be a foodie, but I can tell you that we liked everything that we ate - from the fresh, homemade cornbread, which is their specialty, to the pork chops with a sweet sauce (another specialty). The portions are generous, and I broke all dieting rules by eating too much of the garlic herbed mashed potatoes. While I had the pork, my coworkers both had filet mignon, which they both said was really good.
Lest you think I'm whitewashing, I will admit that our waitress was a little slow in refilling our drinks and clearing our plates. I believe, though, that this is the type of restaurant where you go when you're not in a hurry. Everything in Bandera is meant to be savored, slowly.
From journal Chicago in the Summer