Condado Tacos offers big flavors for summer

This time in July two years ago the staff at Condado Tacos at The Greene in Beavercreek was bustling in preparation for a July 9 opening.

The restaurant took over the space previously occupied by EO Burgers and had given it a major facelift with brightly colored murals adorning every wall thanks to a dozen artists that were brought in to lend their talents.

It has a bright eclectic vibe that seems particularly inviting for summer when the two large garage doors go up in the corner to create a comfortable cross breeze inside. Since opening its first restaurant in Columbus in 2014, the chain has exploded with 35 locations, including seven in Columbus, as well as locations in Mason, Cincinnati, Toledo, Youngstown and restaurants in Indiana, Pennsylvania, Kentucky, Michigan, Tennessee and North Carolina.

It’s clearly a concept that has been successful and has found traction with customers.

On several visits to the Greene when other restaurants looked sleepy, Condado had a pretty full house that was actively buzzing.

The menu features tacos that can be built to your liking or a menu of signature tacos if you’re not interested in getting creative.

It’s build-your-own concept offers the choice of shells — hard corn, soft flour, Firecracker or “Kewl Ranch” hard shell. Shells can be layered for a double decker taco with ingredients nestled between the two layers including guacamole, sour cream and bacon refried beans, queso blanco and chorizo. Protein choices include roasted chicken, tequila-lime steak, Tex-Mex ground beef, chorizo, braised beef brisket, pulled pork, Thai Chili tofu, roasted portabello mushrooms, Korean BBQ pulled jackfruit, rice and black beans, or veggie chorizo and poblano. A variety of toppings, cheeses, salsas and sauces are then selected to top the tacos. Signature tacos pile on the toppings and are not for those looking to diet.

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El Tradicional ($3.40) features a flour soft shell, guacamole, house-made chorizo, cilantro-onions and queso fresco and is about as traditional as it gets with the flavor train leaving the station from there.

There’s a Korean BBQ ($5.15) double decker with a flour soft and hard corn shell and smoked cheddar queso with slow-roasted pulled pork, gochujang bbq sauce, pickled jalapenos, and pineapple salsa and a Braised and Confused ($5.15) featuring a flour tortilla with rice, braised beef brisket, jicama slaw, pickled red onions, queso fresco and chipotle crema for those searching for rich unexpected flavors in their tacos.

The Cali Green ($5.40) with a flour tortilla, guacamole, hard corn shell with ground beef, queso blanco drizzle, lettuce, pico de gallo, smoked cheddar, cilantro-lime aioli and chipotle honey is a flavorful spin on a more traditional taco. Summer menu items include a Chicken Bacon Ranch Taco ($5.25) with a flour and Kewl Ranch shell with smoked cheddar queso Double decker, roasted chicken, crispy bacon, shredded lettuce, diced roma tomatoes, and avocado ranch.

A summer Caribbean inspired mango guacamole (half $5, full $8) featuring fresh mango, jalapeños, red onion, cilantro, habanero mango sauce and tajin served with house-made tortilla chips is a good option with dinner or as a light snack in between shopping. They also offer a pineapple guacamole with chipotle honey, a pico guacamole and a traditional guac with jalapeno, cilantro and lime.

My favorite menu item is a pan of the Skywalker nachos ($10). I usually am not a fan of nachos — the chip to topping ratio never quite works out and I’m left with a plate of naked chips longing for coverage. In this case the nachos come out piled with rice, black beans, queso blanco, roasted chicken, lettuce, tomatoes, cilantro and onions, pickled jalapeños, corn salsa, and salsa roja. At over 950 calories it’s good to share and will leave you feeling full for a modest price. The fact that my chips were never bare made it a decided win.

You can also build your own nachos for $12. Some toppings are extra like the braised beef brisket and the tequila lime steak which will cost you a $1 to add.

Online ordering is an option if you want to pick-up and take it to go

The bar offers several signature margaritas and beers on draft. Three reposado tequila drinks have been added as summer cocktail specials. A guava lemonada with orange liqueur and a housemade guava lemonade is a refreshing option as is, Jamaica Jamaica made with orange liqueur, hibiscus ginger beer, lime and agave and the bright La Verdita made with orange liqueur, pineapple, mint, cilantro, jalapeno, lime and agave.

The mix of street art they use to create a unique look and vibe in each restaurant is a lot of fun.

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Artist Tiffany Clark’s work on the back wall is a particular favorite. She created a version of the Victoria Theatre and filled it with Dayton celebrities including Dave Chappelle, Paul Laurence Dunbar, John Legend, Rob Lowe, Oscar winners Julia Reichert and Steve Bognar, Roger Troutman, Leroy “Sugarfoot” Bonner, Robert Pollard of Guided By Voices and Kim and Kelly Deal from the Breeders. Look for Matilda Stanley, Dayton’s legendary Gypsy queen and Katharine Wright, the sister of the famous first in flight brothers looking through a pair of binoculars.

Look for Peezler trying to man the first aircraft by the Wright Bros, and Charles “Boss” Kettering engineering the greatest, largest taco in existence. There are little nods to Dayton and local artists hidden everywhere, making it fun to view.

Seating is on a first-come, first-served basis and there is plenty of outdoor patio seating to enjoy when the weather is nice.

With late night kitchen hours and plenty of flavor that’s priced affordably, this is a nice stop to make for lunch, happy hour or dinner on your next shopping trip to The Greene.

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How to go

What: Condado Tacos

Where: 4482 Glengarry Dr., Beavercreek

Hours: 11 a.m.-11 p.m. Sunday through Thursday, 11 a.m.-midnight Friday and Saturday

More info: https://condadotacos.com or 937-705-6528

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