Duo’s Taqueria Review – Learn Spanish, Get (Amazing) Tacos
Last updated on July 13, 2022 by Jeremy
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When we heard that Duolingo was opening a taqueria in their East Liberty office, aptly named Duo’s Taqueria, we knew we had to go right away. When we heard that you could get a free taco by correctly answering a Duolingo-style Spanish question (after placing an order), we were already fans of the marketing. But when we heard that Chef Marcella Ogrodnik ran it (formerly of Café Agnes), we knew we couldn’t get there fast enough.
It would be one thing to praise this taco stand for its unique marketing – it’s unlike any other place in town. But when they also offer some of the best tacos in Pittsburgh from a stellar chef, you have a force to be reckoned with here.
You just need to visit this one as soon as possible.
Duo’s Taqueria is just perfect
Within minutes of arriving at Duo’s Taqueria, we felt transported to Mexico (where we gorged ourselves on an insane amount of tacos in mexico earlier in the year).
From the walk-in order format (with ordering instructions in Spanish) to the traditional taco menu including features such as suadero (breast), cachete (beef cheek), nopales (cactus), campechano (mixed protein), pasteur ( marinated pork), and lengua (tongue), sides like chicharron and frijoles, and add-ons like tacos con costra (grilled cheese), we really had to do a double take to remember that we were, in fact, still in Pittsburgh.
We decided to go big here and ordered one of every taco just because we couldn’t decide what to order. They were served on fresh tortillas (ground from corn and pressed on the spot, much like the pupusas at the old Café Agnès) and garnished with cilantro and onion.
It’s the kind of tacos you’re going to trade on which item is your favorite because it’s really hard to pick a clear winner. Tender meats? Stellar tortillas? The flavors in general? Honestly, we can’t choose just one. They were all literally perfect.
Although if I had to choose I would eat six of the cachete, half being regular and the other half being con costra style for good measure. The meat here was particularly sublime and it’s a style you’re hard pressed to find anywhere else in Pittsburgh.
If you’re curious why I say six, it’s only partly because I have a monster appetite for tacos, but also because tacos aren’t very large in portions. For us, three would make a solid lunch, four would be a good sized dinner, and five or more if we were starving or knew we wouldn’t be returning for another visit in the near future.
It’s worth noting that the tacos cost around $4-5 each when they open, a bit more expensive than the average for comparably sized street tacos elsewhere, and there are only a limited number of seats. outdoor seating – about three tables when we visited. That being said, we would pay any price for tacos of this quality and eat them in just about any weather condition you can throw at us.
But Duolingo takes it a step further with a unique opportunity to earn a bonus taco for free and is a great way to average the price of the meal or just get closer to my ideal taco count!
Learn Spanish, Get Tacos is a brilliant promotion
Ultimately, Duo’s Taqueria is still operated by language-learning giant Duolingo. The restaurant is in their office building in East Liberty, uses their branding and mascot, and is throughout Duolingo. Chef Marcella is the star who makes the perfect tacos, of course, but Duolingo’s trademark is still prominent everywhere you look.
When you order there are signs to encourage you to converse entirely in Spanish if you wish. Before paying, you also have the option of answering a Spanish Duolingo question to receive a free preselected taco of the day. These questions tend to be rather easy and are multiple-choice according to typical Duolingo questions. So there’s a good chance you’ll score a free taco when you visit as long as the promotion is available. (Ours was “How do you say England?” with the Spanish response choices being perro, Inglaterra, and dia.)
While this is a brilliant marketing tool to show how easy it is to learn a language on Duolingo, there are two key points worth highlighting that aren’t obvious at first glance. .
First, the free taco is an extra taco, not a discount – we were pleasantly surprised to find an extra taco on our plate when our order came out. As stated above, we fully agree with more tacos.
Second, there only seemed to be one selected taco of the day for this question (which for us was al pastor but from the promotion language it seems like this can change on a regular basis). We’ll never say no to any bonus taco that ends up on our plate, but the promotion may not work as well if you’re not eating a specific style. We happen to love Tacos al Pastor and were not upset with the shortlisted choice during our visit.
Overall, Duo’s Taqueria is one of the best taco stands in Pittsburgh. We’d say that even without considering Duolingo’s unique marketing. The tacos are delicious, something East Liberty could use more of, and really stand out on flavor alone. But earning an extra taco for answering a Spanish question, right? Even better.
We plan to be regulars at this one, and after your visit, we’re sure you will be too.
Taqueria duo is located at 5906 Penn Avenue in East Liberty in the Duolingo office buildings. As stated in this article, this is a walk-in window with limited outdoor seating.