When Wendi and I traveled to Columbus back in April for Special Persons Day at the elementary school where our great-nephews attend, it turned into a two-fer for us. We had a chance to spend some time with DeAveon and Noah, and then share a meal with Wendi’s cousin, Danny, who was attending The Ohio State University at the time (he has since graduated with both his bachelor’s and master’s degrees). We settled on a place I had heard only good things about: Condado Tacos.
While Wendi and I were waiting on Danny to get to the restaurant, we decided to take our server Stacy’s advice and order the queso and chips, along with salsa roja. The queso was very good and smooth. It was a nice way to start dinner. (Yes, we saved some for Danny.)
Condado Tacos is a build-your-own kind of place. They have some suggested tacos you can order, but all three of us decided to construct our own chow.
I ordered three tacos: A roasted chicken with lettuce, tomatoes, cilantro and onions, corn salsa and a Mexican chimichurri/garlic sauce; a ghost pepper marinated steak with jicama-cabbage slaw, cilantro and onions, tomatoes, queso fresco, salsa verde and a cilantro/lime aioli; and the special protein of the month, which I think was a spicy chicken, with lettuce, tomatoes, smoked cheddar cheese, salsa roja and chipotle crema. (All of us ordered flour tortillas, though there are several options from which to choose. The most popular is the Sweet Lucy, a double-decker with soft and crunchy tortillas held together with a cheese sauce with guacamole.)
Wendi tried the braised brisket taco with lettuce, tomatoes, chihauhua cheese (a white, mild cheese), corn salsa and salsa verde, and a cilantro/lime aioli; and the roasted chicken with lettuce, tomatoes, queso fresco, pineapple salsa and cilantro/lime aioli.
Danny stuck with two shrimp ceviche tacos, marinated in lime juice and onions, with lettuce, queso fresco, corn salsa and the cilantro/lime aioli.
I wanted to go to Condado Tacos because a friend I met at some magic lectures, Jacob Smith, would post photos and talk about how good the place is. We went to the Short North location, and I believe at least one additional restaurant has opened in the Columbus area. Danny was OK with the selection because he had been there before and liked the place. If you go, then you know the place is loud. We were there on a Friday, and the restaurant was packed by 5 p.m., mostly filled with college students.
There is not a lot of wiggle room inside Condado Tacos Short North restaurant So, if you have a phobia of close quarters, you are forewarned. All three of us enjoyed our selections. The ghost pepper had a little kick to it, but not too wild. When I ordered the “roasted pollo” (chicken), I had in mind the grilled chicken Chipotle serves. I did not notice the word “roasted.” I am a bigger fan of grilled than shredded chicken, but it was not bad. Danny liked his shrimp. Wendi enjoyed her brisket and chicken (she is a big fan of shredded chicken).
If you have the chance to try Condado Tacos, then seize the opportunity. There was definitely a freshness to the taste and quality of the dishes, and definitely get the queso. If guacamole is your thing, then try the Sweet Lucy. In reading reviews of the place, Condado is said to have better-than-average draft beers. Wendi and I don’t drink, so that was not a factor for us.