Tacos are the star-of-the-show at Condado Tacos in the Short North.
The Mex-American concept, created by restaurateur Joe Kahn, officially opened its eclectic doors for the first time in 2014, not allowing the competitiveness of High Street to instill timidness or discouragement.
The atmosphere has a personality unlike any eatery to appear in Columbus, where church pews are used for seating, sugar skulls are painted on the walls, and two dressed skeletons perch atop a bicycle in the corner of the restaurant.
It doesn’t seem like a coincidence that Condado and customization both begin with the letter c. Be prepared a dizzying array of possible combinations to construct your taco, bowl, and/or margarita to your liking.
Whether your diet is gluten free, vegan, vegetarian, dairy-free, or carnivore, this place has the tools to create the ideal taco and margarita you’ve always imagined.
Everything on Condado’s menu is made fresh, in-house daily. For starters, Condado offers guacamole, queso, and salsa all with 4-6 variations of each available.
The taco ordering process is like a Scantron exam, in that you get a sheet with a pencil and you bubble in your choices. If this intimidates you, there are savory pre-made selections.
When making your own, start by picking your shell, or get a rice bowl. Next, choose a protein (chorizo, beef, chicken, pulled pork, shrimp, portobellos, or tofu). Then come all the veggies (lettuce, red cabbage, jimaca slaw, cilantro, red onions, and tomatoes).
Add a cheese (queso fresco, smoked cheddar, or chihuahua) and a salsa (pineapple, corn, verde, or roja), and then, bring it all together with a fantastic sauce! Sauces range from mild chipotle crema to inferno-hot ghost pepper.
I customized two tacos including portobello mushrooms and Thai chili tofu. The tofu is breaded and doused in a sweet-hot red sauce. It’s drool-worthy enough to make a carnivore give the vegetarian life a shot.
The tacos are downright criminal. It took every ounce of self-restraint in me not to swan-dive into the kitchen and kiss the server square on the mouth with my pineapple salsa breath.
I walked out with a loyalty card, and I’ve decided that I’m going to need my paychecks to be directly deposited into my Condado Tacos savings account. Yeah, it’s that good.
The large drink menu offers 24 beers on tap and 45 tequilas. If shots aren’t appropriate for your occasion, the multitude of mason jar margs will cool down fiery palettes (strawberry, peach, mango, prickly pear, banana, blueberry, blackberry, kiwi, blood orange, pomegranate, green apple… just to name a few!) I got the mango!
But wait! It gets better! Stop by Monday-Friday from 4-7 p.m. for their happy hour, with $1 off tacos and half-off margaritas! Their $2 tacos and $3.50 margs are tempting me to stay in Columbus forever. I am infatuated, and love…well, love makes you do crazy things.
Condado, you’ve rocked my world, baby.
Condado is located at 1227 N High St., formerly Circus Bar. For more, visit www.condadotacos.com.