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of Mad Mex - Pittsburgh, PA
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"Either I've raised my expectations of what a beer bar should carry since my last visit six years ago, or Mad Mex's tap offerings have slipped a bit. I suspect it's some of both. I don't remember workaday mass-brews like Miller Lite, Dos Equis, Sam Adams and Guinnes occupying four out of nine taps like they do now. Local/regional/craft tap offerings include Troeg's Hopback and Troegenator, Heavyweight Lunacy, Sierra Bigfoot and Rogue Imperial IPA. Bottle selection is adequate with about 50 options, generally expounding on the same quality and theme as the taps.
Food remains the highlight of this establishment. It is a unique if not authentic take on Mexican food. To be fair, the menu's intro and “Gringo Spanish” intone that the food is an interpretation of Mexican fare rather than a faithful recreation.
Service was excellent. Bartender was extremely friendly, chatty, and doing a fine job of making us feel welcome. Minor nitpick: I would prefer not to name the server in question because I don’t want him/her to get in trouble, but he/she had very harsh words for many of the beers this place serves, and not just the crummy swill beers. We appreciated that the server was knowledgeable about beer and willing to share an opinion or two, but it was not very good business form to unrepentantly badmouth several of the products the establishment carries, especially if the patron has already expressed a liking for many of them. This could be easily mistaken as disrespecting the patron's personal taste.
In all I would say Mad Mex leaves a bit to be desired as a beer bar destination, but it would still be on the top of my list for a casual meal and a decent bottle of suds with friends.
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