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The Ultimate Mexican Food in Pittsburgh.

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Anonymous

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Dec 13 2012 at 4:08am #

I’ve been to a couple of mexican restaurants in town but nothing has been especially good, so far. Who knows of an exceptionally good Mexican joint? It seems the little hole-in-the-wall places always have the best food…


Anonymous

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Dec 13 2012 at 4:41am #

I know of 1.5 decent places:

1) Mia Ranchita on Atwood street in Oakland. It’s a block north (?) of Mad Mex. When compared to the Oakland MM, Mia Ranchita has: slightly more “authentic” food (try the barbacoa), better drink specials, and better service. I’ve also never seen more than 10 patrons in the place at one time, but maybe they get busy later in the night?

0.5) It’s not Mexican, it’s Peruvian (hence, it only half-counts): Chicken Latino in the Strip District. It’s on 21st between Penn and Smallman. I haven’t been brave enough to try their ceviche, but their slow-cooked pork (only available on weekends) is so good it inspires murder, as does their weekend steak special (i can’t remember what they call it, but it’s a pile of marinated, grilled, sliced steak served with yucca fries).


Anonymous

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Dec 13 2012 at 4:42am #

http://www.yelp.com/biz/reyna-foods-pittsburgh

This is a taco stand pretty much, but I like it.


sloaps

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Dec 13 2012 at 12:59pm #

Mexico City on Smithfield was pretty good, though I haven’t been there in two years.

+1 on Chicken Latino. Shelby makes excellent tres leche. And her juevos con chorizo burrito has like a dozen eggs – it’s ‘gigantes’, as the kids say. Oh, and the slushies! You should go in the summer when she has fruit slushies.

There’s a place in Brookline I hear is pretty good, too.


pinky

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Dec 13 2012 at 1:05pm #

Mendoza Express on Noblestown Rd is good too, and BYOB.


boostuv

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Dec 13 2012 at 1:07pm #

I didn’t think Mi Rachito was very good. Best tacos are from the taco stand on Atwood at Las Palmas (I think), just up the street from Mi Ranchito.


Anonymous

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Dec 13 2012 at 1:14pm #

Many thanks. I’ve eaten at the Mexican place in Oakland, right above the Iron City Bicycles shop location. Their food is rather bland but oddly enough, they have a (store bought) Chipotle sauce in a bottle, that’s really good.

I’ve been eyeballing that Chicken Latino but after reading these comments, I’m there. My favorite ceviche is definitely Panamanian-style or El Salvadoran, but I dig the Peruvian style I’ve had before, too.

The reviews from that taco stand look good, too, even though there are only a few comments.

I realize this is a departure from Mexican but have any of you ever eaten at Salem’s Market, down past The Strip? I also love some spicy curry (Indian, Thai, etc.) and happened to wander in there a few weeks ago, to eat. The folks were very nice, and cooked me up a special batch of (spicy) Lamb curry, to eat with my hot buttered bread and hummus. Damn, I need to go eat some breakfast…

Thanks for the Intel!


dcm229

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Dec 13 2012 at 1:16pm #

Casa Rasta in Beechview is a fantastic “hole-in-the-wall”. Excellent tacos and tostadas.

http://www.casarastapgh.com

Munch in the PG had a nice write-up:

http://www.post-gazette.com/stories/sectionfront/life/munch-goes-to-casa-rasta-219337/


Swalfoort

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Dec 13 2012 at 1:17pm #

Check out the taco stand/carneceria in brookline. Mostly a saturday thing, i think. I’ll post more specific location when i can.

I am not impressed with chicken latino. Mexico City on Wood Street better than Smithfield location, IMHO.IMHO.


Swalfoort

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Dec 13 2012 at 1:17pm #

Check out the taco stand/carneceria in brookline. Mostly a saturday thing, i think. I’ll post more specific location when i can.

I am not impressed with chicken latino. Mexico City on Wood Street better than Smithfield location, IMHO.


rsprake

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Dec 13 2012 at 1:38pm #

Smoke in Homestead has awesome tacos and mac & cheese. My favorite.


Swalfoort

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Dec 13 2012 at 2:08pm #

I’ve never been there, mostly for not knowing what to expect inside, but I’ve heard that the fish sandwich at Schmidts, located just across the street from the Montour Trail in the airport area is worth the stop.


Anonymous

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Dec 13 2012 at 2:17pm #

Las Palmas (700 Brookline Blvd) is the most authentic I’ve had in Pittsburgh, hands down. It’s a taco stand, and it’s amazing.


edmonds59

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Dec 13 2012 at 2:24pm #

Love Las Palmas, but my impression was that Las Palmas only did the taco thing at the stand outside in the summer months, T/F?


Anonymous

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Dec 13 2012 at 2:29pm #

I really don’t know. I discovered it over the summer….so….they’ve always been there when I’ve wanted one! If they’re closed over the winter I’ll be sad :(


Swalfoort

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Dec 13 2012 at 2:34pm #

Las Plamas and my rcommendation in brookline are one and the same. 700 Brookline Blvd.

Mostly tacos from a stand, but I thought they operated year round.


Anonymous

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Dec 13 2012 at 2:47pm #

They aren’t in the city, but El Campesino’s is awesome. We go to the one in Monroeville every week.


Swalfoort

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Dec 13 2012 at 3:12pm #

Is the El Campesino on McKnight Road as good as the one in Monroeville?


Pseudacris

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Dec 13 2012 at 3:40pm #

+1 on Saleem’s.

Los Cabos on Penn Ave, across from Children’s Hospital is good. I’ve not tried their tacos but other stuff has been tasty. It’s So Cal style Mexican. They have breakfast, too!


J Z

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Dec 13 2012 at 3:52pm #

I guess I must be a legit Pgh’er now singing a paean to stuff no longer there, Taco Loco when it first opened in South side and the cooks were the old grandmas was some good eatin’.


Chris Mayhew

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Dec 13 2012 at 4:01pm #

Taco Loco has become the taco stand on 21st and Penn. Love their food but that guy must be horrible at business.


CPollack

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Dec 13 2012 at 4:08pm #

Chicken Latino has some big portions for cheap prices, very good food. Very good pulled pork,and quesadillas.

Reynas is an awesome taco stand across the street more or less. Amazing tacos,very fresh. Very busy on weekends. You can get a glass bottled CocaCola inside too! One of my favorite lunches.


sloaps

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Dec 13 2012 at 4:12pm #

Is Madonna’s still on 4th downtown? best Bulgarian made burritos I’ve ever had.


J Z

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Dec 13 2012 at 4:15pm #

Pgh needs some bulgogi/kalbi tacos.


edmonds59

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Dec 13 2012 at 4:27pm #

Madonna’s moved to the North corner of Forbes and Smithfield, and is excellent.


Anonymous

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Dec 13 2012 at 4:57pm #

@Swalfoort – I’ve been to the McKnight road one a handful of times. It was just as good to me. They are all run by the same (seeming large) family.


sew

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Dec 13 2012 at 5:31pm #

Out of the city but…Some say that Franklin Inn in Franklin Park is good but I think they are just talking about the Margaritas as I have never been that much of a fan. Though if you go, they make a spicy grilled wing that is quite good.


epkiley

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Dec 13 2012 at 5:34pm #

+1 Los Cabos. Carnitas burrito is incredibly tasty.


mojotoad

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Dec 13 2012 at 5:38pm #

+1 Smoke. Absolutely go try it down in Homestead. I’ve heard a rumor that they might be moving to Lawrenceville soon…if so, more tacos for me!


Anonymous

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Dec 13 2012 at 11:02pm #

I start getting hungry every time I read this thread, damn it. So now we’ve got a dissenting opinion on Chicken Latino,. Wonder why they didn’t just call it Pollo Latino?

Is Smoke a BBQ place by any chance? Spicy grilled wings sound great, too. And surely PGH has some Bulgogi, I’ve seen a ton of Koreans in town, one day. Okay, I just had to do a quick Bulgogi search, check this place out. It’s got 78 reviews and a pretty damn high rating, too

http://www.yelp.com/biz/oishii-bento-pittsburgh


J Z

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Dec 14 2012 at 12:35am #

There is bulgogi and there is kalbi. I have yet to find bulgogi tacos and/or kalbi tacos.

http://www.koreagardenpa.com/


Anonymous

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Dec 14 2012 at 11:15am #

Not to insult those in Pgh, but Western PA has a sparse selection of Mexican food. I am from an area around Philly that has a thriving Mexican immigrant population, and the food is plentiful.

My opinion of best places in Pittsburgh

– Casa Rasta

– Reyna stand in the Strip

– Mexico City

Smoke BBQ is fantastic, but it’s by no means Mexican food.


sarapgh2

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Dec 14 2012 at 3:11pm #

Good Mexican food is and always has been sadly lacking in Pgh (case in point, people have cited the Franklin Inn as good Mexican fare for 15+ years now.)

However, there are finally(!) some great TexMex (Smoke) and Cali-Mex places, as well as very tasty taco stands. I completely agree with Elmo, compared to the wonders of actual decent Mexican food in the eastern part of PA, there really aren’t any great Mexican restaurants here.


Willie

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Dec 14 2012 at 6:03pm #

I have heard good things about the new place on the north side called “El burro comedor”. And I’m not just saying that because I work there, it really is awesome


Mick

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Dec 14 2012 at 6:26pm #

Up until this century, if you heard Spanish on the streets of Pittsburgh, it was probably from someone at a university, and the rare, short-lived Mexican restaurants were owned by blue eyed folks.


sew

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Dec 17 2012 at 12:51pm #

@sarapgh2: Thank you! I thought it was just me but I’m not a fan of Franklin Inn (though the spicy grilled wings are pretty good) but people keep telling me that they like it.


sarapgh2

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Dec 17 2012 at 3:38pm #

sew: nothing says “good Mexican restaurant” like spicy grilled wings;);)


Pierce

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Dec 17 2012 at 6:17pm #

OMG, the Franklin Inn!

I got a burrito from there a long time ago when I first started commuting in the middle of a cold winter

I went back there this summer with a friend and spent the entire time riffing on the place. They use overly processed tortillas

I don’t know about Mexican, but the best Tex-Mex food in the city is probably at my house


sloaps

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Dec 17 2012 at 6:36pm #

Munch went to Willie’s nort’side donkey diner not long ago.

This sounds delicious.


bikeygirl

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Dec 17 2012 at 7:23pm #

wow! i hadn’t seen this tread! Been very busy with work & stuff so haven’t been in the interwebs much.

As a Mexican born & raised, my favorite place used to be “Taco Loco” in the southside, which after closing became the taco-stand outside of Reynas. “Don Luis” keeps saying that he’s going to reopen another full restaurant soon in the Strip, so I’m waiting anxiously for it.

“Madonna’s” Burritos are definitely AWESOME -real TINGA!! And while the owners are Middle Eastern, the cook is an actual Mexican woman, so I approve. However, I only recommend the Burrito-tinga. Everything else on their menu is awful-awful.

“Mexico City” In downtown became my go-to of Mexican Food, however with their new “watered-down” menu they fell off my list. They are still very authentic, but their offerings are now mostly geared to general public (gringos). They had some old dishes there that I really loved, in special their “STEAK RANCHERO”…. However, since I know the owners, when I’ve gone back there I order off-the menu that dish and can get it no-problem.

“Las Palmas” in Beechview has very authentic tacos! I’ve had them and they are what you would expect from a regular family kitchen for tacos, etc.

“Cuzamil” in Squirrel Hill ranks good overall in my list. All their dishes are very authentic.

“Los Cabos” is definitely tasty! I’ve mostly had their tacos and they’ve never disappointed.

“Verde” sucks as a Mexican Restaurant, but excels at their tequila selection. Is such a shame because they have good dishes, but they don’t prepare them well, which I think is because they try to make it too “fancy”, making their food in the end un-edible. The only think I like from their menu is their “Queso Fundido con Rajas”… that is the only dish that IMHO stays true.

From “Round Corner Cantina”, their food is definitely very Border Tex-Mex and rather good at it, but what I really like that is more “Mexican” and less “Tex-Mex” is their “Esquite”, which is something I used to eat as a kid.

Mmm… other than that, my kitchen cooking is more Mexican than most in Pittsburgh -HA! :)

ps: FYI, Mexican Food flavor changes abit between Northern Mexico, Central Mexico, and South Mexico. I identify with Central Mexico/My Mom’s cooking :)

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