Friday, May 2, 2008

Week 4 - Tacos El Gordo

Tacos El Gordo - Chula Vista

Eater #1: 3 Tacos - Adobado, Cabesa, Asada - Horchata
From the few reviews I had some read, I high hopes for El Gordo’s and they did not disappoint. The menu features some tacos that I hadn’t expected.. like chorizo and brains. I remember eating cabesa when I was a kid, my grandfather would do whole beef head pit barbeque for large family parties. I had to try it!

The cabesa tacos at El Gordos were killer. The meat was tender and just a little spicy from the green salsa that was slathered over the top. The stuff just melts in your mouth. Next up was the asada taco – the meat had a smoky, peppery seasoning and perfect guacamole on top. Really good. I saved the adobado taco for desert. The spit that the adobado was cooked on was about 3 feet tall and 15 inches thick topped with a half a pineapple. The cook would soak the corn tortillas in the drippings from the spit before he filled the taco with the thin cut, red pork meat, a light green sauce, onions and cilantro. His hands moved too fast to see the entire process. Great, spicy flavor… damn it was good.

Hands down these were some of the best tacos I have ever eaten. If I was going to go crazy and try the brains – I’d do it at El Gordo.

Mas cabasa por favor.

Eater # 2 - 4 Adobado tacos
Tacos Mu Fuckin El Gordos. Al Pastor that I dub the best North of the border. The place smells appetizing from the time you step out of your ride and by the time you get to the order counter you’re ready to eat them out of business. Rather than do that I ordered 4 pastor tacos with the works (cilantro, onions, salsa, and creamy tangy green sauce). Fuck, now I want 3 more tacos just thinking about them. Mahalo & God save the Queen.

Eater #3 - 2 Tacos - Asada, Adobado - Horchata
You can't be afraid of the big stack of pork on the spit. The guy has a sword (this was no knife!) about 18 inches long, and just slices off juicy tidbits of the adobada directly onto the mini tortillas that he just warmed on the griddle. Then throws on some cilantro and onions, slops the salsa on top of that, wraps it up in paper and hands you your plate. I also got a carne asada taco, so walking through the open kitchen he passed the guy making the cabeza tacos, and went to the guy making the asada tacos, which had salsa on it and was similarly wrapped in the paper. Once I got my horchata I was ready to go. I went to the salsa bar, but alas there is no salsa bar, just two bins - one with sliced limes and the other with sliced radishes.
The adobada was tasty, the salsa complemented it well - there was a couple of pieces of fat, but what else can you expect from pork. With a little lime juice the carne asada was just as tasty, and pretty tender - not tough and chewy like it can sometimes be. I could have had one more of these tiny tacos, but 2 was sufficient.

Final word: Good, authentic food. Other than the distance, I'd go back.

Eater #4 - 2 Quesadillas, Coke
El Taco Gordo.....a bright yellow building in the middle of, what I would consider, a questionable part of town. I was pleasantly surprised at the cleanliness and hospitality that awaited inside. I know, I have set up this blog as an over privileged-snob, but I promise you I am far from that; just a little sheltered on life experiences when it comes to various neighborhoods in San Diego. El Taco Gordo is just the place for someone that would like to try a piece of TJ without leaving the states. With no more than a handful of items on the menu, the variety they offer is incredible. Just think brains, stomach, tongue....the list goes on. Being one that does not partake in red meat (they don't have chicken or fish), I was pretty limited on my selections. The staff was very polite when I ordered my quesadillas and even tried to hide their shock at my request for no meat. The tortillas taste home-made and the 'secret sauce' that they included was yummy. They also have grilled onions and cacti for those more brave than I. This is not a place for Vegans though, be warned. Great drink selections, a Coke place, and every Mexican whipped drink you'd like. Overall....completely enjoyable and a great atmosphere to enjoy some tacos (if you eat beef and pork).

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