* Click here for rating key
Mad Mex Restaurant Review: Like its sister establishments, Mad Mex Shadyside dazzles with zany-chic décor, youthful exuberance and wit everywhere, including the menu. Perhaps even more so: it’s the only unit sporting two stories and a private dining room. The striking artwork, by local talent, sets a dramatic stage for the energetic social interaction of this smart East End neighborhood. Diners and drinkers crowd the scene all day every day and well into the night. The menu offers the same Cal-Mex food --- dips, wings, wraps, enchiladas, burritos, quesadillas, entrée salads, sides and desserts --- making no claim to authenticity. But ingredients are fresh, frequently local and chef-directed. Pepita hummus with toasted flatbread and grilled-to-order tacos reflect the kitchen’s creative bent. To accommodate vegans, all burritos can be made with vegan cheese and tofu sour cream. Desserts continue the Cal-Mex inspiration with goopy ice cream burritos and honey or hot fudge sopapillas --- a sweetened fried pastry. Monday through Friday runs a popular happy hour. The no-reservations policy means either go early or go thirsty and progress, while you wait, through the more than 50 labels of microbrews. The fearless and foolish can tackle 22-ounce margaritas.