Staff picks: What we missed in Pittsburgh


Thomas Yang | Assistant Visual Editor

Public transportation is convenient when you don’t have a car.

By The Pitt News Staff

Condado Taco // Delilah Bourque, Culture Editor

If there’s one thing in life that I will never not love to eat, it’s tacos. Pittsburgh has a lot of great Mexican food offerings, from Las Palmas to Mad Mex. My favorite, though, is Condado Tacos.

With locations Downtown and in Lawrenceville, as well as a smattering of others in Ohio and Indiana, Condado has some of the best tacos I’ve ever tasted. One of the things that makes the offerings stand out is the variety of taco shells, including flavor-dusted and stuffed options.

I love good, spicy food. While some restaurants start at about a zero for spice levels, Condado starts at zesty and only goes up from there. Even the most basic of tacos has a bit of bite.

For the 21 and over crowd, Condado also whips up a mean margarita. Even the most simple house margarita is bursting with flavor, though my favorite is the Gran Clasico with orange juice and agave. The margs run from simple to fancy, and you can customize with flavors like prickly pear and muddled jalapeno.

Pie Express // Thomas Wick, Staff Writer

Despite it’s run-down appearance, Pie Express is one of the most underappreciated food joints in Oakland. For years, my friends and I have gotten $5-6 pies here after a long day of classes, ranging from plain cheese, pepperoni, Hawaiian, veggie, meat-lovers and so much more. We’ve labeled this place our Shangri-la.

Even if you aren’t into pizza, Pie Express still offers great deals for other food such as subs, salads, fries, chicken nuggets and onion rings. While this may not be the highest quality food joint in Oakland, it is one of the most affordable while not completely sacrificing taste.

The Cathedral of Learning (Better Known as Cathy) // Tamara Alchoufete, Staff Writer

For some, the Cathedral of Learning may be just a building meant for classes or another place to study — but Cathy is so much more than that. She’s a beacon of direction when it’s 2 a.m. and you’ve lost your way to your dorm, or she’s a majestic creation to appreciate when you have a moment to breathe between classes.

The Cathedral is the center of our campus. If I missed anything this summer, it was her. I recently took one of my best friends on a tour of Cathy, and it gave me a newfound appreciation for a place I used to walk into without a second glance.

The next time you see her in the distance or pass her on the street, just remember to appreciate one of the most historic and awesome buildings on campus. Safe travels!

Free Public Transportation // Leah Mensch, Contributing Editor 

The restaurants around campus are plentiful, and it’s always nice to be back among the beautiful buildings — Frick Fine Arts and Cathy, to name a few. But there’s no campus landmark more beautiful than the royal blue shine of a bus stop on Fifth.

I love public transportation because it’s convenient and I don’t have to worry about finding parking or getting a parking ticket. I also find taking the bus oddly relaxing. It’s nice to spend the time I would typically spend driving reading a book. Sure, that sometimes means waiting an eternity for the 54 line, or standing behind somebody taking a full-sized lamp — shade included — home from Target, but everything in life is a trade-off. Living in Oakland, it’s easy to take a bus almost anywhere, as long as you take a bit of extra time to plan. The bus fee is included in Pitt students’ tuition, so why not make the most of it? I can hardly wait to hail a 93 and hang out in Bloomfield.

Fall Colors on O’Hara Street // Siddhi Shockey, Staff Writer

Since I was back at Pitt for most of the summer, I didn’t miss much about Pittsburgh during the two weeks I was home — well, except maybe Las Palmas. But one of my absolute favorite seasons in Pittsburgh has always been fall — and no it’s not because of pumpkin spice lattes.

Once October rolls around, the trees across campus begin to adopt deep shades of red, orange and yellow in exchange for their summery greens. The walk to class at Frick Fine Arts is littered with fallen leaves from the trees that hang over the walkways. The Cathedral becomes surrounded by the picturesque hues of autumn. But my favorite place to take a stroll is O’Hara Street — where bright yellow leaves scatter across the sidewalk, brightening up even the worst cold weather blues.