In short, yes. I think that Condado is making the best tacos that you’ll find in Cincinnati – at least that I’ve tried. I might be getting a little bit ahead of myself with that statement, though, we need to start a little slower.
When I sat down at Condado for their soft opening night (Thanks for the invite Condado!!!) I had full intention of focusing my efforts on their margaritas. I am a drink blogger, after all. But after a few sips of their house margarita, I remembered my deep love for the cocktail, and decided that I needed to get it wrapped into a much bigger story of Margaritas in Cincinnati (stay tuned for that – I’ve got a lot of drinking to do). Instead, I want to give you a bigger picture of what you can expect from Condado, with a little bit of everything thrown in.
We should still start in my wheelhouse, though.
Margaritas. The combination of Tequila, Orange Liqueur, and Lime Juice. Something so simple gets a massive twist when you start adding flavorings to it. While the Margaritas at Condado can be customized with various Tequilas and Mezcal or given Grand Mariner floats and other accompaniments, the shining star of modifiers that goes along with the Condado house Margarita the best is their choice of over 15 fresh fruits and flavors.
They offer a mini margarita flight that gives you the chance to try a few different flavors before picking your favorite and I can’t encourage you to do that enough! I went with a mini flight:
- The House Margarita
- Strawberry Margarita
- Banana Margarita
The trio was a little sweeter than I would typically make a Margarita if I was doing so myself, which wasn’t terrible in the house Margarita. When the sweet base Margarita was coupled up with the Strawberry flavor, it became a little much for me, though. Where this sweetness really shined bright was with the Banana flavored cocktail. It was fantastic. I’m sure with some tweaking of what I order, these would be a near perfect pairing with a couple tacos.
I know that I started this out by telling you that Condado is making the best tacos in Cincinnati, but I have to clarify that. My test for a taco would usually be to order up a carnitas taco, with onions and cilantro in a soft corn tortilla. That’s the measure. It might not be fair for me to say they are making the best tacos, then, because I didn’t order that.
The ability to customize and build your own taco is exactly what makes Condado who they are, though. It’s also what made my dinner so amazing. I went with two build your own tacos (they also have a whole sheet of recommended tacos that they’ve built for you if you’d rather that)
- The first taco, which was good but needed a little tweaking started with a hard corn shell as a base. For my meat, I couldn’t resist trying their shrimp ceviche. I hit it with some tomatoes and lettuce and their mild white cheese that is called chihuahua. The taco was great, but the star was the ceviche… it didn’t all come together as one cohesive taco.
- The second of my picks was fantastic. I went with their Ju-Ju she’ll, which is a hard corn she’ll coupled with a soft flour shell. They are held together with a queso and chorizo mixture that I think was crafted by the taco gods themselves. I stuffed this one with their Roasted Pollo (chicken) and topped it with just cilantro and onions and some of their Middlefield Smoked Cheddar cheese. Amazing.
The possibilities are endless. I didn’t even dive into their sauces or salsas, wanting to try the meat without the modifiers first. Seriously delicious tacos.
The Overall Impression
As a bar, this place is good – not the first pick for me from what I’ve had so far. But as a place to grab a taco and a margarita, it is knocked out of the park. The bright open atmosphere inside is perfect for late night eating (they serve food until 1 am) and the space is punctuated with brightly colored murals that scream out something a little different than is currently happening anywhere else in the banks.
Priced much better than some other “trendy taco places” – I think they’re onto something here!
Condado tacos are having their Grand Opening this week, on 4/26 (Thursday) and while I imagine they’ll be busy, you should make it a definite point to head down as soon as you can to see what they’re all about.