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Mexican in Pittsburgh?

Can anyone recommend a good Mexican place? I've been trying to find a place with a liquor license that's between the rivers. It can be authentic or tex-mex, either is fine. So far I'm batting out with either BYO joints or endless suggestions for Mad Mex, which I have tried but was not impressed. Thanks!

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  1. Iguana Grill on the South Side is good. Mexi-Casa in Dormont is a bit far, but non-smoking and very good. BYO is La Fiesta in Oakland or Taco Loco in the South Side.

    1. I wasn't impressed with Mad Mex either. I didn't really thing MexiCasa in Dormont was really Mexican - they had ribs and wings on the menu (just my opinion). I like El Campesino in McMurray. It is really good and everyone I know that has been there has liked it.

      1. not sure of their liquor license status, but mexico city (downtown) is pretty good. i agree with the other posts relating to mad mex; i am consistently unimpressed by the quality of their food. there's a place in leetsdale (right past sewickley) called azul that does some basic mexican food. they make a mean margarita and it has a great atmosphere. i eat there several times a month and am seldom disappointed.

        1 Reply
        1. re: ecs3722

          Azul is very good for Baja/Southern CA style Mexican food. Best fish tacos I've had outside of San Diego, and great margaritas. The owners are southern Californians. It's kind of a haul to get out there though, if you live in the city.

        2. Mexico City or Taco Loco for tacos (I believe both have al Pastor and Lingua among others). Azul in Leetsdale for a respectable non-combo plate dinner. I like El Campesino for enchiladas and chilaquiles. But there's still nothing for good seafood or a solid upscale dinner.

          Also been waiting to try a Nicaraguan/Mexican place in Carnegie - Rivas. Seems like it's mostly combo plate stuff, but a few specialties. And owned by Nicaraguans who were flooded out in Etna couple years ago and relocated to Carnegie last year to reopen.

          1 Reply
          1. re: Panini Guy

            I have eaten at Rivas a few times and it has been good. Usually served by the family and the times I have been there, it has not been very busy. They have been open for over a year and have recently re-opened after a trip to Nicaragua.

          2. I just went to Mexico City (downtown) on Monday again and am still in love with it. They aren't open late but are byo, as far as I can tell. Cheap, with great service, fresh chips, yummy pork, etc.

            I also like El Campesino (which has many locations around the suburbs of the city).

            1. It is BYO, but I really like the Fajita Grill on Ellsworth Avenue in Shadyside -- in the spring and summer, that is. In the colder months you have to settle for inside dining which is not nearly as fun as the charming courtyard outside. The menu is creative and the food is usually well executed.

              1. I like Patron which is up in the north hills, near Wexford. Not great, but good enough.

                1. The best Mexican food in Pittsburgh is at Rey Azteca in Butler, PA, about an hour north of the city. It's run by a nice family from Mexico and, to my taste (having lived in the southwest US), the food blows Campesino, Mad Mex and the rest of them out of the water. Finally, a place to get potato soft tacos (something my Mexican friend used to make often), among other things. Great service too. And before you ask, they have NO plans to come any closer to Pittsburgh. I already asked the manager :(

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: chalanga

                    Looked at the menu - disappointed at the lack of fish dishes, but looks promising. Definitely not a combo place. Thanks for the recommendation. I'd never heard of it before.

                    Love the screen name. I have a plaque from my former co-workers in the D.F. that says "Chilango Honorario". From anyone else it would've been an insult ;-)

                    1. re: chalanga

                      OKAY!!! I am going to take your advice regarding Rey Azteca in Butler. None of the other places mentioned even faintly resemble Mexican food (aside from Mexico City).

                      El Campesino? C'mon!
                      Patron? Gimme a break!
                      La Fiesta? Ha, ha ha. Cut it out!

                    2. To note, Taco Loco has moved its location to Carson Street (2512 E. Carson) from Jane Street. It is now located/attached to the Mill Site Tavern which provides the oppurtunity to have a margarita or beer with your meal. A bartender or waiter from the tavern came over to our table for drink orders. I don't know if this no longer makes the place BYO in the sense it used to be? The food was still tasty and relatively cheap.

                      1. We ate at Patron the other night and left nauseated. My wife and I both had beef dishes and they were, to be blunt, gross. Overcooked, obviously poor quality beef. Margaritas were awful, overly sweet kool aid with some tequila. It's nice inside, but otherwise if you happen to be in the northern 'burbs (or trapped up here like me), I'd pass.

                        I have a soft spot for Mad Mex because of the great beer selection, good margaritas, and the fact that they source a great deal of their food locally. I think they overdo much of their food. If they simplified many of the items on the menu and let the ingredients speak for themselves, it would be better. But I still like it.

                        1. I tried Taco Loco on Carson St. We ordered 4 tacos - very simple and simply spiced, but from what I hear, that is authentic. The al pastor taco was definitely the best of the 4, very tasty. The fish burrito was very tasty, and very large. I also got the pamboza, and interesting, puffy peppered bread sort of sandwich which I did not care for too much. The setting is quaint and casual, and we altogether enjoyed our meal very much.

                          1. Chaya is absolutely wonderful. They're always busy, but ti's worth the wait. definitely my #1! I also love Kiku in Sation Square. They have great sushi, are reasonably priced, have an attentive staff, and every time I go there I truly enjoy it! It's a little small, like Chaya, but nice. If you sit at the sushi bar you can start chatting it up with the Chefs about where they are from and how long they've been making sushi. They're very friendly and informative!

                            1. Has anyone here tried Las Velas in Market Square yet?....Tex Mex and Mexican from what I understand

                              1 Reply
                              1. re: rotini

                                My boyfriend has been for lunch (multiple times) and said it is pretty good. They initially had some sevice kinks but the boyfriend said things were running smoothly on his last visit. I hope to join him for a weekday lunch there soon.