Last Tuesday, I had the day off from work after seeing the epic Penguins game against the Capitals that included 8 TOTAL goals (6 of them Pens!) and Malkin pulling off a hat trick ALL in one period. Since Nate and I did not have time to get tacos before the Pens game, or during
(side note: across from our seats we saw the täkō sign! Tacos! At the game! However, if you follow us on Twitter and Facebook you’ll see that we couldn’t get in, since the täkō location at PPG Paints Arena is only for club seats)
he promised tacos on Tuesday. He even said he would be up for them twice since his beloved wing night at Jamison’s was cancelled. Hence, the name of the day, Taco Twosday.
But before making it to a new taco spot for lunch, I wanted to get a solid workout in. I did one of my favorite interval workouts from when I was living in the Southside during college at the 18th street Southside slope steps. My workout would always include running up and down the entire length of steps four times. After those intervals, I was definitely ready for tacos.
By this point it was already close to 1, so Nate and I wanted a quick lunch. When I think of fast taco spots nearby I think Las Palmas and Doce Taqueria. However, I wanted to try out a taco joint I that I have not experienced since October at the Pittsburgh Taco Festival. Nate and I went to Edgar’s Best Tacos in Pittsburgh located on 2627 Penn Avenue in the Strip District. This is currently their only location besides the food truck. Prior to this location, Edgar’s Best Tacos used to be on 21st street not far from Pamela’s in the Strip District. Their current hours are Mon-Thurs 10:30am-3:30pm and Fri-Sat 10:30-4:30pm. During the summer months, they are open 7 days a week and may be even 8 days a week according to Edgar himself!
Seating was very limited so this is definitely more of a grab and go spot. There was a table outside by the entrance and a few tables inside by the register. Either way, tacos are ordered inside (where we met Edgar) and then the order is transcribed to the cook outside under the tent.
Taco options are extensive and include carne asada, picadillo (ground beef), pollo, carnitas, barbacoa (marinated lamb), lengua (beef tongue), chorizo, camarones (shrimp), pescado (fish), and soyrizo (soy sausage). I chose the chicken, beef, and carne asada.
The cook asked me if I wanted everything on my taco and I gave a firm yes. I LOVED the toppings because you could go for more of an authentic feel with just onions and cilantro or Tex Mex with lettuce, queso fresco, tomato, and sour cream or all the above like I did. All the meat and loaded toppings were served on soft corn tortillas.
Besides having the variety of toppings, I also loved the salsa selection inside. All the salsas were labeled in the cooler with the name of the salsa and corresponding level of spice. I limited myself to the mild pico de gallo and medium spicy tomatillo. I immediately noticed one of the salsas had arbol, which I learned about from my experience with the potent chili pepper at Round Corner Cantina. I knew that salsa would be spicy before reading the rest of the label and avoided that one at all costs.
Out of the three tacos, my favorite was the carne asada with the tomatillo sauce. The carne asada was not fatty or chewy, just juicy. The initial taste of tomatillo sauce was sweet and then a brief passing of heat. The salsa worked well with the carne asada. I had the pico de gallo on the chicken and beef. The ground beef was my second favorite. The ground beef was coated in the sour cream and toppings and satisfied my craving for a beef taco. The chicken was a little dry, and I think that I would have preferred maybe a thinner salsa like the medium spice campesina to wet up the chicken. The sour cream also helped to soak up the chicken and give it a little more richness.
Halfway through our taco tasting, Edgar brought out homemade chips with a homemade cold jalapeno cheese dip to sample. The chips were golden brown, quite thick and crunchy, and worked well for scooping up the leftover toppings from the tacos. The cheese dip had a flash of heat, was white in color and thick, but not too thick to break a scooping chip. Really, the dip tasted like a very good, homemade Moe’s queso. If I could get a sample size chips and queso with each Edgar’s Taco visit, my day in the strip would be complete.
All in all, Edgar’s Best Tacos in Pittsburgh completely satisfied my taco taste buds. I loved the toppings and salsa station. I would probably get the carne asada or beef again or try the barbacoa or carnitas. Next time I venture back there will probably be in the spring time on my bicycle (I love biking to the strip on my days off) and I will be super tempted to get a peanut butter and chocolate sundae at the dangerously close Klavon’s Ice Cream Parlor.
Oh! I almost forgot to mention, that to top off Taco Twosday I got the usual Jamison’s wing group to go to Totopo in Mount Lebanon for a Taco Tuesday dinner instead! I got my favorite chicken lime avocado tacos on special again and a margarita instead of horchata. If you haven’t, click here to check out my blog on Totopo!
Price: ranging from 2 tacos for $5 up to $3.50 per taco