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The Vanderbilt Hustler

The official student newspaper of Vanderbilt University.
Since 1888
The official student newspaper of Vanderbilt University

The Vanderbilt Hustler

The official student newspaper of Vanderbilt University.
The official student newspaper of Vanderbilt University

The Vanderbilt Hustler

The official student newspaper of Vanderbilt University.

At Condado Tacos, we wanted to order everything (but sadly couldn’t)

Just opened in the North Gulch, new Mexican restaurant Condado Tacos gives other restaurants in the area a run for their money.
Deniz Orbay
In the Gulch, we love a good neon sign. (Hustler Staff/Deniz Orbay)

There are two types of people in the world: those who love Mexican food, and those who haven’t tried Condado Tacos yet. If you’re still the latter, go check out this wonderful new restaurant in the Gulch and experience the lovely atmosphere, the creative drinks and some to-die-for tacos. Sidenote: there’s a graduate ‘Dore on staff, so you KNOW this is the place to anchor down.

On Aug. 18, The Hustler attended Condado’s grand opening event to try some of their unique dishes—and now the three of my friends who came with me will forever hail me as the guy who got them free tacos.

picture of a virgin margarita
Hilariously, Condado hadn’t yet received its liquor license at the grand opening—but the virgin margs were a great indication of the delicious drinks to come. (Hustler Staff/Deniz Orbay)

We started our dining extravaganza with the Smoked Cheddar queso. With a cheesiness that melts in your mouth, and a spiciness that lingers long after you take a bite, dipping a chip into this perfect blend of tastes was a great indication of the quality of what was yet to come.

Next to the table were four different tacos: Sweet Heat, El Santo, The Heater and the Plain Jane. The first tasting rights went to The Heater: a steak taco with a variety of different tastes including Mexican chimichurri (I actually had to look up what this is), jalapenos and pepper jack cheese. It was all-around amazing—so amazing, in fact, that my friend, who might want to remain anonymous due to this embarrassing incident, took such an enthusiastic second bite that she ate the taco’s aluminum covering too. And I can’t really blame her!

El Santo was our next selection on the adventure called  “I want to order every taco but I don’t want our free food rights to be revoked.” A classic roasted chicken taco in a Sweet Lucy shell—I can’t even begin to explain the variety of taco shells, that’s on you to find out—this dish was the perfect harmony of every ingredient. The salsa roja and the queso fresco, which are both Spanish for “this is dope,” apparently make a great pair.

Now it’s time to talk about my personal favorite: Sweet Heat. This one has it all: braised beef brisket, habanero-mango sauce, pineapple salsa, chipotle honey, smoked cheddar and TWO different shells?! I couldn’t believe this cacophony of tastes would amount to anything coherent, but you know what? It does. It absolutely does. I will be comparing every taco I have from now on to Sweet Heat, so other Mexican restaurants definitely have their work cut out for them.

The Heater taco in aluminum
The Heater, prior to my friend’s aluminum mishap. (Hustler Staff/Deniz Orbay)

Last and also least (but intentionally so) we have Plain Jane, a chicken taco with smoked cheddar and an assortment of vegetables. A dish that lives up to its name, Plain Jane is the right meal for those unfortunate stomachs who do not take well to heavy and spicy Mexican food. And you know what you’re signing up for, so I can’t really complain about the plainness now, can I?

You might be asking, “Okay, Random Hustler Writer, of course, you say it’s good; you didn’t even pay for it!” And to that, I say, “You’re wrong, Random Hustler Reader, I would happily pay for this meal, as its satisfaction-to-cost ratio is incredible.” With its most expensive tacos priced at $5.25, Condado is definitely worth it.

Condado’s fresh take on Mexican food, coupled with enthusiastic staff, great ambiance and an excellent choice of beverages (try the Pineapple Express margarita—non-alcoholic of course, wink wink), makes the establishment a must-try for every Vandy student who eats.

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About the Contributor
Deniz Orbay
Deniz Orbay, Former Senior Staff Writer
Deniz Orbay (25) is a student in the College of Arts and Science double-majoring in Mathematics and Computer Science and minoring in Cinema and Media Arts. He writes for Life and News, is a big movie nerd and is better than average at every sport in which a ball is used. You can reach him at [email protected].
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Julie Raham
2 years ago

What a fantastic review! I’m hungry for tacos now.