Mastering a New Language is Always Better With Tacos

The waitstaff at Duo’s Taqueria, which is reopening in East Liberty, is bilingual and guests can order in either English or Spanish.
Drink La Esmeralda


In any language, tacos are pretty darn good. 

Duolingo, the East Liberty-based language learning platform, is expanding people’s vocabularies as well as its takeout restaurant. 

Located next to Duolingo’s headquarters at 5906 Penn Ave., Duo’s Taqueria reopens Tuesday, May 16 as a full-service restaurant and bar. It features an indoor dining area, bar seating and a private room for large groups and events. Hours are 5 to 9 p.m. Tuesday through Thursday and 5 to 11 p.m. (kitchen until 9:30 p.m.) Friday and Saturday.

Interior Bar

Chef Marcella Ogrodnik’s menu, which I first tried during the grand opening last summer, now has even more Mexico City-inspired eats. Standouts include ceviche vuelve la vida, made with striped bass and avocado and the barbacoa de borrego with lamb sourced from Elysian Fields Farm, served with consomé and fresh, housemade nixtamal tortillas that I could eat by the stack. 

Scannable Pucks

But, this is more than a taco joint, it’s an educational opportunity, a lesson in inclusivity and a cool experience even for the technology-challenged, a club I’ve been a member of since the debut of the Nintendo GameBoy.

In addition to hiring a bilingual waitstaff, Duo’s flippable drink coasters let guests signal whether they’d like to order in English or Spanish. Guests can also receive animated language learning tips by scanning tokens (using near-field communication technology) mounted throughout the restaurant.

Categories: PGHeats