By Anna Walnoha | Staff Writer
If you’re in the mood to excite your taste buds with exotic flavors of Mexico and to be intrigued by bright and rich colors, take yourself and maybe a friend or two to Condado Taqueria located in the Cultural District. The restaurant opened recently; it has been up and running for 19 days so far. It is a place where you can have a few drinks with friends or meet up for a quick bite to eat, but it is not like the humdrum Chipotle or Moe’s. Condado has personality and is a place where you can feel relaxed with exceptional service.
When you first enter the building, you can sit on the main floor, or they have a second floor upstairs where you can seat larger parties.
No matter which floor you go to, you will be surrounded by an easy-going atmosphere and helpful staff. When you arrive you are able to seat yourself, but there is still someone to greet you and let you know what is available.
While there, it wasn’t too busy, but the staff was constantly walking around making sure the patrons were taken care of and happy. If you are new to Candado, they will explain the menu to you, since it is not your usual restaurant where there are numerous dishes to pick from. There are plentiful options, and you are able to build your own personalized taco.
The menu is structured where you can customize your own taco with a choice of what kind of tortilla, protein, fresh toppings and all the cheeses, salsa and house made sauces you would ever want on a taco. They also have vegetarian, vegan and gluten-free options. All of their traditional and unique ingredients are from its “scratch kitchen,” and their house made tortilla chips, queso and guacamole pair well with their margaritas and craft beers.
If you are craving Mexican earlier in the day, you have the option to have brunch at Condado starting at 11 a.m. There is also happy hour from 4-7 p.m. Monday through Friday, and you can also get $1 off a taco and half off margaritas.
They also have a fully stocked bar, but why shouldn’t they when their drink menu is front to back? They are also known for their whiskey, margaritas, and the many beers they have on tap.
On both floors you will see Dia de los Muertos (Day of the Dead) artwork adorned on the walls of the restaurant; it looks as though the art was spray-painted on. They have other modernistic artwork of monsters and monstrous tacos as well throughout the building. The music playing in the restaurant is upbeat but not in your face, and it pairs nicely with the carefree ambiance.
You can have a nice relaxed time here and feel the spring weather with the big open windows they have, sipping on a cocktail that’s served in a mason jar and dining on your tacos placed in a brown cardboard container.
The prices are not too bad when you are having a meal for two. One taco is $3, and knowing how good their food is, you will want to get more than one. If you and a friend each get one taco and a side of chips and quesos, you will spend about $20 on the meal, but if you split it that shouldn’t be too bad for a meal out. However, if you want to drink, be ready to see the bill.
They also have a fun fact on the front of their menu: If you have 1,000 or more followers on Instagram, Twitter or Facebook, you can get a free taco.
Condado isn’t far from campus either. It’s right in town, a little walk from Market Square. You could get an Uber or Lyft, but why waste the money when you can walk in the warm spring weather that is arriving? It is about an 11-minute walk from campus to its location at 971 Liberty Ave.
If you’re bored of Taco Bell or Taco Tuesdays at Duquesne and want to upgrade your Mexican experience, you should take yourself to Condado on your next outing to be in a lively atmosphere where you can get great food and drinks that are made with fresh ingredients. If you don’t believe me, go there and try it for yourself.