Before attending the preseason Steelers vs Eagles game, I went to El Burro Comedor on 1108 Federal Street in the North Shore. I was able to park by 5:45pm, eat quickly and walk straight to the game by 7pm kickoff (not to mention – free parking). El Burro is only about 1 mile away from Heinz Field, and it’s an easy walk. I also learned that El Burro is BYOB too after I got there. If I would have known that prior, I would have done some taco and tequila tailgating there.
If you plan on going to El Burro on the weekend, you may want to know that they are closed on Sundays for catering. Otherwise, they are open Monday through Saturday 11AM-9PM.
Let me start out by mentioning the obvious about El Burro… this place is FESTIVE. It has colorful decorations hanging from the ceilings, a taco costume to try on for fun, a piñata, plenty of sombreros to wear, artwork on the walls, and a cooler full of Mexican cokes and Jarritos sodas…no, I did not try on the taco costume even though the worker told me I most certainly could.
The place is pretty small, so if they’re busy you may have to take your tacos al fresco in to Allegheny Commons Park to eat. They have a limited area of bar seats along the windows and one wall. Thankfully when we were there, there were only a couple other people inside.
As far as the menu goes, there are burritos, tacos, rolled tacos, vegan and vegetarian options and other specialties like quesadillas, Tijuana street dogs, nachos, and flying saucers. I wish I would have asked what a rolled taco was but I immediately went for the special. The special changes daily depending on demand. The special on Thursday was two tacos (same meat in order to get the special), rice, and beans, for $8.95. You can choose between hard or soft shells, and the default are soft shell so if you’re a hard shell fan you’ll have to ask.
The soft shell comes with onions, cilantro, and salsa. When the tacos come out of the kitchen, you can also choose between mild and medium salsa. I got the mild salsa which is a verde sauce. I chose the shredded beef and my friend chose the carnitas so we could try one of each. Yes, I passed up on the shredded chicken option but was very curious how the beef would be. The first thing I noticed was the doubling up of the tortilla, always a good sign. The tortilla themselves were quite good. The quality of the beef and carnitas was superb and there was plenty of meat on the tacos which I really liked. The only thing that the I think could be better would be more onions and cilantro and maybe a few more toppings to bring out more flavor. I thought the beans could use more flavor too but the rice was tasty. My friend mixed the rice and beans together and devoured it, so it seems like he liked it. I could have always substituted the beans for more rice but I am glad I tried both. I would really like to go back and try the other unique specialties that El Burro has to offer and maybe figure out what consists of a rolled taco.