Marcella Ogrodnik manufactured waves (and Pittsburgh Magazine’s 2021 Best Places to eat record) with her pop-up Cafe Agnes. For two years, she bought a dazzlingly delectable menu of pupusas, tamales and other culinary specialties of El Salvador, wherever Ogrodnik retains dual citizenship, at Pittsburgh farmers marketplaces.
You will not come across Cafe Agnes at the markets this year, nevertheless. In its place, Ogrodnik has embarked on a new challenge, Duo’s Taquería. It is a takeaway restaurant from Duolingo, and it is scheduled to open up in a window adjacent to the language-learning web page and app’s headquarters in East Liberty in June.
“It was crucial for us to obtain a chef that knew Pittsburgh and had a story they preferred to notify with their foodstuff,” suggests Charlie Barber, a senior working experience designer at Duolingo and the creative director of the principle.
Ogrodnik will offer you a menu of tacos that includes tortillas produced from nixtamalized heirloom corn. She’ll top rated people tortillas with things this sort of as adobo-marinated pork cooked on a rotating trompo and chorizo, brisket or tripe well prepared in a choricera, a convex pot utilised to simmer meat, generally in tallow or lard. There will usually be a vegan solution, way too. Ogrodnik suggests she’ll spherical out the tiny menu with beans, guacamole and a dessert.
“It’s a tight takeout menu influenced by Mexico City tacos. They’re heading to be tiny, 4-inch corn tortillas,” she says.
Apart from there is something else to it. Duo’s Taquería comes with a language-learning twist.
“We want persons to experience at ease and inspired to check out a thing new and they’ll be rewarded for executing so. That is the simple ethos of Duolingo,” Barber states.
In what is most likely the first of its type in the country, visitors will get a discount on their get or a cost-free item these kinds of as a taco or tortilla chips if they decide on to participate in a limited Spanish-language challenge. It’s a single speech-based mostly dilemma pulled from the Duolingo curriculum, which you will answer by talking into a microphone connected to the window.
Spanish was selected considering the fact that it is the most preferred language to understand on Duolingo in the United States. It is also the indigenous language of the company’s Guatemala-born co-founder and CEO, Luis von Ahn.
“It’s a excellent way to incentivize a person to get out of their comfort and ease zone and find out a little little bit about talking one more language,” Ogrodnick claims, noting that all the cashiers at the cafe will be bilingual.
The lengthy-term system is to construct out the inside area at 5900 Penn Ave. into a quick-casual restaurant. For now, Duo’s Taquería is scheduled for a tender opening on June 15 and will work Wednesday as a result of Sundays 11:30 a.m. to 9 p.m.