Pittsburgh Restaurants

Mad Mex-Shadyside

Mad Mex is a chain of Mexican restaurants that started here in Pittsburgh with some 13 locations here in Pennsylvania, and one in Columbus, Ohio.  I am going to review the restaurant located in the Shadyside section of Pittsburgh.

The Food

Mad Mex has an extensive menu of appetizers, soups, quesadillas, nachos, salads, burritos, enchiladas and other Mexican fares.  There is also an extensive drink menu.  My recommendation is to get one of their Margaritas.  They are perfect on a hot summer day.  If you’re ordering from the bar, the bartenders may allow you to sample.  To be safe, go with the traditional house Margarita.  If you have a big appetite, have the dip sampler as an appetizer.  The burrito menu has a wide arrangement of choices including seasonal choices when appropriate.  When the Holiday season comes around, every Yinzer (There is it.  I finally used that term.) should absolutely indulge once in their life a Gobblerito, which is turkey, massed potatoes, corn, stuffing, and gravy all wrapped up in a tortilla.  The wing menu has a small variety of options, which is fine because all of their sauces are delicious.  My favorite is the Southwestern with cilantro, olive oil, lime, and garlic.  Another favorite from the menu, which is a little lighter, is the grilled chicken and corn enchilada.  My only caution is avoiding anything with the mole sauce.  This is only a preference, but I’m not a fan of it’s aftertaste.  Other than that, one really can’t go wrong with any of the items on Mad Mex’s menu.

The Service

Mad Mex in Shadyside consistently has outstanding service!  The servers are efficient and friendly.  The bartenders are engaging and often banter with patrons whether they are regulars or not.   The wait for food or drinks is always timely without long waits no matter how busy the restaurant is.  Kudos to that!  The greeters have always been friendly and are accommodating of diners preference to seating availability.

The Ambiance

Speaking of seating, Mad Mex in Shadyside, offers a variety of seating options.  There is the bar section in the middle of the restaurant with high top tails bordering it.  There are also booth and table option throughout the restaurant.  There is also outdoor seating facing Highland Avenue.  The decor is rich and bright with all sorts of Mexican themed murals and art work.  My favorite aspect of the ambiance of Mad Mex is their music play list.  Unless one of the various Pittsburgh sports teams are on TV, the music is a rocking at Mad Mex.  Whether it is happy hour, lunch, or late in the evening, the music always is spot on, with a wide spectrum of genres to classic rock, 80s, contemporary.  It’s not too loud, nor too soft, and always, always provides a great soundtrack for eating and drinking.  Bravo to whomever makes that happen, because, minus venues that have live music, Mad Mex in Shadyside has the best acoustical experience while eating that I have been to in Pittsburgh.  Kudos!


My overall rating and recommendation is:

“Go For It!”


220 South Highland Avenue
Pittsburgh, PA 15206
Visit Mad Mex in Shadyside


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