1227 North High Street
Columbus, OH 43201
1. Pineapple Guacamole
2. Sweet Lucy Taco with Chicken
3. Los Sanchos Taco
4. Marigold Cocktail
5. Queso Blanco
Is there anything better in life than taco time? The only thing better than tacos is customizable tacos. Don’t trick yourself into thinking, “This concept sounds like Chipotle.” Because Condado is worlds apart from Chipotle. In a good way. With the funky Day of the Dead motifs on the walls and the ridiculously cheap prices, this new taco joint fits right in on OSU’s campus.
For starters, Condado offers the typical options of guacamole, queso, and salsa, all with different variations of each available. Opt for the Tres Amigos and you can pick any combination of three dips to share (or not share) with the table. All are served with thick housemade tortilla chips. The pineapple guacamole is particularly delightful, with a creamy texture and pops of sweetness from the pineapple. The mild queso is also satisfying, in the way that only copious amounts of cheese can be. The tequila, lemonade, and prickly pear-based Marigold is a light and refreshing cocktail to complement all this food, and the hot pink color is perfect.
Now, let’s talk about the taco ordering process. It is kind of like a sushi restaurant, in that you get a sheet with a pencil, and you bubble in your choices like a 4th grade proficiency test. There is less room for error that way, since there are so many topping options. If this intimidates you, there are savory pre-made selections, like the Los Sanchos taco, complete with a hard shell, beef brisket, jicama, corn salsa, queso fresco, and Condado’s spicy secret sauce.
When making your own, start by picking your shell, or get a rice bowl. The Sweet Lucy is good base – you get a hard taco painted with guac and queso, then wrapped with a soft tortilla. This is the best of both worlds: hard shell stability and soft shell flavor. Next, choose a protein: beef brisket, chicken, pulled pork, shrimp, chorizo, mushrooms, or tofu. Then come all the veggies: lettuce, tomato, pickled onions, jicama, and more. Add a cheese and a salsa, and then it’s time for the real goodies: sauces! Sauces range from mild chimichurri to inferno-hot ghost pepper. The chipotle honey and the cilantro lime aioli were the favorites at my table. The best part is that you get exactly what you want on your taco, no substitution guilt necessary. And the results are drool-worthy.
My husband went to college in New Mexico, so he knows what good guac tastes like. His first comment after trying it was: “Can we come back here?” So the bottom line is, I’ll go back to Condado, and you should too.
Culinary Clue: North High Brewing is just down the street from Condado. After you have stuffed yourself full of Mexican deliciousness, walk to North High for some great brews.