It has been a while since my last restaurant review and I want to share one of my favorites in the Pittsburgh area, Cuzamil Restaurante Mexicano. Cuzamil is genuine, authentic Mexican cuisine at it's best. Cuzamil has two locations one at 2109 Murray Avenue in Squirrel Hill and the other located at 500 Liberty Avenue just on the outside of Market Square between Wendy's and McDonalds. Both locations offer the same excellent menu leaving me more than satisfied each time that I have eaten there. If you are planning a trip be advised that the downtown location is open for lunch from 11 AM until 2 PM while the Squirrel Hill location offers hours from 11:30 AM until 10 PM. In addition, the Squirrel Hill location has a full bar while downtown does not have any alcoholic beverages.
Onto the good stuff...the food. Regardless of which location you choose to dine at you are sure to taste the best Mexican food in the area at a bargain price. All of the courses come with a complimentary serving of homemade chips and salsa that are delicious to pick at before ordering or if you simply go in for drinks. The main courses come complete with rice, your choice of beans, and usually another side of pico de gallo or guacamole. Most recently I ate the 'tamales' which were made to perfection, had a kick of spice (but not too much that they could not be enjoyed), and left my mouth watering for more. The fajitas are another option in which your order can never go wrong and come with a spice and seasoning that can't be compared to your run of the mill factory Mexican restaurants. One interesting dish that I ate at the recommendation of my friendly waitress was the shrimp quesadilla. I normally do not like seafood to be mixed with my Mexican, but this quesadilla's cheese, vegetables, shrimp, and seasoning changed my opinion and I have ordered it multiple times. No menu item is a bad choice and each time I order I tend to work my way around the menu and repeating only if I am in a rush.
Aside from the food, the bar truly compliments the food. If you want an authentic Mexican experience be sure to order one of Cuzamil's many Mexican beers including Modelo Especial, Carta Blanca, Negra Modela, the traditional Dos Equis and Corona, but my favorite is Bohemia which is a lesser known Mexican beer which is great tasting and comes in a unique presentation. The beer specials are great any day of the week, but if beer is not your thing be sure to drink the best margaritas in Pittsburgh. Cuzamil uses only the best ingredients and offers both frozen and unfrizen which come in many sizes which range from a regular sized drink until the giant 'pecera' which literally means 'fish tank'. The bartender will even remember how much salt you like on your glass. If you sit at the bar you are sure to catch a Latin soccer game playing on their TV's. The environment at both location mimics small town Mexico with traditional music playing and art for people to enjoy while dining.
Although the food and drinks are great it is the hospitality of Cuzamil which keeps people coming back. The owners of Cuzamil are married couple Cindy and Gabino. Cindy is the face of the restaurant as she serves as a waitress and bar tender and is from Peru while Gabino is the main chef and hails from Mexico. This dynamic couple make this restaurant a great place to eat. Not only are the owners part of the success, but their wait staff is as well by being friendly, outgoing, and do their best to make sure the customers have everything they need. Whether I am eating downtown or in Squirrel Hill my drink is always full and a check up is always made to ensure my satisfaction with the food.
Be sure to stop into Cuzamil soon especially since it is being featured as Groupon's Pittsburgh deal selling gift certificates for both locations. After eating at Cuzamil you will never want to eat at a chain Mexican restaurant again. Cuzamil has truly 'muy buena comida' and will keep you coming back for more. Buen provecho!