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Mexi-Casa Serves Up Something Different on Black Friday

Kegs & Eggs on Black Friday? See how Dormont business owner Theo Giannoutsos’ added some spice to the biggest shopping day of the year.

Question: What do you get when you combine an Irish bar tradition, a Mexican restaurant and an ad hoc American shopping holiday?

Answer: Black Friday at , which is Dormont business-owner/chef Theo Giannoutsos’ way of adding some flavor to a familiar scene.

Located on the corner of West Liberty and Hillsdale avenues in Dormont, Mexi-Casa has been tagged “Pittsburgh’s Least Authentic Mexican Restaurant” for its playful and delicious take on Tex-Mex barbecue dishes.

Since Giannoutsos opened Mexi-Casa’s doors in 2003, the menu has evolved and expanded to feature a variety of Americanized Mexican dishes, and Mexicanized American dishes, some of which contain ingredients you don’t typically see encased in a tortilla.

From traditional items like fajitas, tacos and cheese quesadillas to barbecued favorites like ribs and wings, patrons are sure to find something to please their palates.

Out-of-the-ordinary offerings include the Acapulco Burrito (pulled pork, grilled pineapple, Mexi-Casa sauce, lettuce, rice and cheese), the Mediterranean Quesadilla (cheddar, feta cheese and black olives), and the Frito Pie (Frito chips and chili layered in a bowl, topped with cheese and sour cream).

Mexi-Casa’s comprehensive and unique menu demonstrates Giannoutsos’ creativity, passion and commitment to his customers. It’s his goal to serve large portions of great food at affordable prices, he said.

Giannoutsos, who worked at Reyna’s in Mount Lebanon for three years before starting his own business, extends his priority to please beyond what’s listed on the menu. All of the burritos and quesadillas can be made-to-order at each customer’s discretion.

So if you don’t want “this” or want some of “that,” Giannoutsos will hook you up—and he’ll do so right in front of you. A grill, oven and other kitchen appliances are located out in the open, behind the wooden bar, allowing customers to watch Giannoutsos as he sautés, flips and folds their food.

Normally, patrons have to wait until 4 p.m. on weekdays to get their hands on Giannoutsos’ delectable dishes. Black Friday, however, was an exception to this rule.

Mexi-Casa opened at 8 a.m. on Friday for a Kegs & Eggs celebration of food and spirits. Giannoutsos offered a special short menu of Tex-Mex breakfast dishes featuring breakfast burritos.

The menu items may have been different than what’s offered daily, but the careful preparation and huge portions of food remained the same. Giannoutsos told us that he weighed his first burrito of the day, and it weighed in at 24 ounces.

That’s a pound and a half of eggs, grilled onions and peppers, homefries and cheese, joined by a choice of meet, inside a warm tortilla.

I sat down to tackle this mammoth meal myself, taking on the chorizo breakfast burrito. The spicy chorizo balanced perfectly against the rich eggs, which also provided a smooth and fluffy textural contrast to the crisp homefries and crunchy grilled onions and peppers.

The burrito was anything but boring. It provided my tastebuds with the nice spice I craved after the mellow tones of Thanksgiving dinner the night before.

Numerous patrons expressed the same sentiment, saying that they came out to the Kegs & Eggs to enjoy a flavorful post-Thanksgiving meal. Some customers stopped in after their Black Friday shopping, and others came out solely to dine on something different.

Dormont resident Larry Fosareta, who is a regular at Mexi-Casa, said that he and his family woke up early for the special breakfast. Neither he nor his kin did any Black Friday shopping. For them, Black Friday was all about hitting their favorite eatery for special menu items.

In addition to the foodstuffs, Mexi-Casa’s Kegs & Eggs menu also featured some festive adult beverages. Decadent drafts made the short menu list, alongside flavorful cocktails specifically concocted for Black Friday by bartender Ali Wyrostek, who works as an adjunct professor at West Moreland Community College when she isn’t slinging shots for Giannoutsos.

When asked how, or why, he came up with the idea for a Kegs & Eggs event on Black Friday, Giannoutsos explained that he’d held the restaurant’s very first Kegs & Eggs on St. Patrick’s Day this year. The event was so successful, he said, that he decided to carry it over to Black Friday.

“We opened at 8 a.m. (on St. Patrick’s Day), and every seat was filled by 8:30,” Giannoutsos noted. “The customers loved it, and kept asking us to do it again.

“It’s all about giving the customers what they want.”

Giannoutsos strives to give customers what they want every business day, not just during special events. Customers pack into the joint on Mondays for $5 burritos and $3 house margaritas, and come back to enjoy other drink specials throughout the week.

For more information on Mexi-Casa, its menu and daily specials, visit the Mexi-Casa webpage—or, better yet, stop in the restaurant, at 3001 West Liberty Avenue, and order a meal you won’t soon forget!

Bob Dobbs November 27, 2011 at 03:42 PM
this place is not anything like proper Mexican food nor even tex-mex food. ugh .
Cassie from CASSANDRA'S FLORALS November 27, 2011 at 06:28 PM
I can't believe some people. Bob & every other person out there who doesn’t always like things, didn't your mother ever tell you if you don't have something nice to say than don't say anything at all. Just because Theo doesn’t serve your version of Mexican food doesn’t mean it’s not good. I personally luv the food & so do many other people. Theo runs a good place. People should be respectful because it’s not easy running your own business. Long long hours, not enough pay & customers who chose to go to Wal-Mart instead of supporting their local small business, so think before you give a bad review to someone. Go to places you like & unless they spit in your food or drop a plate full of food on you or just don’t deliver something than leave a bad comment, but if it’s because you just don’t like them or they don’t live up to what you think Mexican food should be or don’t carry a certain product you think they should, or they don’t act a certain way, than you should be ashamed of yourself. Who are you or anybody to say it’s not what it should be. It’s what Theo wants it to be or any other small business owner wants their business to be. Karma has a way of coming back to bite you, but remember do on to other as you would have done onto you. Be nice its Christmas & Santa’s always watching :D
teresa caprio November 27, 2011 at 07:42 PM
Cassie, adults don't talk like Thumper nor do they
teresa caprio November 27, 2011 at 07:47 PM
believe in Santa Claus! Just so you know! Bob is sharing an opinion and you can't stop him..beer and eggs don't appeal to me but I would recommend MexiCasa's Chicken Bowl..and Cassie..you need to enhance your dining out options or talk to
teresa caprio November 27, 2011 at 07:47 PM
A few more restaurant owners..most workers do not spit in the food!
Jill Martin November 27, 2011 at 09:07 PM
" Located on the corner of West Liberty and Hillsdale avenues in Dormont, Mexi-Casa has been tagged “Pittsburgh’s Least Authentic Mexican Restaurant” for its playful and delicious take on Tex-Mex barbecue dishes." It also says "least authentic" at the top of the Mexi-Casa home page. I don't see any claims of "proper" Mexican food....
Bob Dobbs November 27, 2011 at 09:48 PM
i have nothing against small/local business at all. but i know proper/authentic mex / tex-mex . this place is far from those. it's fair to say that mexi-casa is "Burgh-Mex" or "Yinz-Mex" but that's about all . Thanks for the veiled threat (karma comment.) says lots bout you .
Bob Dobbs November 27, 2011 at 09:55 PM
Go to Las Palmas on Brookline Blvd. on Fri/Sat/Sun. for their $2 tacos with salsa/fixings bar . Best tacos you can/will get anywhere in the immediate Pittsburgh area, without a doubt . Carne Asada(chopped steak), Carnitas(chopped pork), Chorizo(Mexican sausage) and Barbacoa(shredded beef brisket) as meat options . This is REAL Mexican food .
Bob Dobbs November 27, 2011 at 10:04 PM
Debby - Las Palmas I would say does tacos in the 'ranchero' tradition as I understand things so, it's mostly meat but I would definetly go check the store out (it's a full-fledged Mexican/Latin grocery store...) Lot of produce, beans, cheeses and etc . I have not been to 'Moes' but that sounds like that national chain which I tend to avoid.
mary pitcher November 27, 2011 at 11:44 PM
Glad I just read this Bob as my Aunt who lived in NYC used to send us chorizo... as it was very hard to find in Pgh. I was wondering is Las Palmas ( I assume meaning Mallorca, Espana) was Spanish? instead of Mexican? Hmmm? Going to have to go get some chorizos eiher way for old times sake! Yum yum! Thanks for posting!
Bob Dobbs November 27, 2011 at 11:52 PM
Las Palmas as in "The palm trees" in English . Just a cute name . Definetly Mexican and not Spain-Spanish. Some similarities in cuisine but definetly Mexican . Lotsss of chorizo (and many other meats/etc.) over there . They make it themselves, i'm pretty sure. Good pork rinds, too ! Real ones !
mary pitcher November 28, 2011 at 12:01 AM
Will have to try it and compare to the chorizo from Ibiza ! :D
Lou Pietosi November 28, 2011 at 06:35 AM
Teddy I think your restaurant is great! My wife and I have been there several times and. We will see you again soon, WHATEVEr you call the food! I call it GOOD FOOD! Ha ha!
Ed M November 28, 2011 at 12:14 PM
Nowhere does this restaurant claim to be proper Mexican or Tex-Mex. Teddy does a great job and the food is excellent and reasonably priced.
Ed M November 28, 2011 at 12:15 PM
The best tacos around are the ones I make at home.
teresa caprio November 28, 2011 at 12:56 PM
Las Palmas has a great variety of foods and they sell the freshest ground beef ever. The lines are around the block for the taco cart! With Mexi-Casa and Las Palmas in the area you don't have to go far to find great dining options!

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