>> Gorditas Durango Mexican Grill | Eat the World Los Angeles

Monday, 15 February 2021

Gorditas Durango Mexican Grill

MÉXICO 🇲🇽
(DURANGO)

COVID-19 UPDATE: There are five or six tables that can be used outside after placing and receiving your order inside. The interior is closed to dining but open for takeout.

If you drive across the southern states of this country and are paying attention, you might just come across at least a couple dozen places that take the name Gorditas Durango on your way from Texas to the Pacific Ocean. Most likely those restaurants are nothing that stops you in your tracks. Modest and humble, workaday food, or so it seems from the outside. But gorditas and the guisados stuffed inside of them in Durango are worth taking some time to explore.

There are at least a half dozen spots in Greater Los Angeles that attach the state's name to their restaurant or street stall, but in general there are not as many people from there than from neighbors like Zacatecas and Sinaloa. This Valley spot is like many of those passed, not necessarily calling out for more than a hungry customer nearby, but come in for some of their Durango-inspired foods and you will not be disappointed.

The bright orange-painted archway that separates the kitchen from the ordering and prep space is a good place to fix your gaze while waiting for orders. Those familiar with the pat-pat-pat sounds from pupusa stands and pupuserias will find similarities to the beginnings of gordita preparation, as the chef shapes fat discs of masa. From that point onwards, the pupusa and gordita go down very different paths.

The scorpions that share space on the Gorditas Durango sign outside might be even more ubiquitous in the city of the same name and capital of the state. There are four types of scorpion living in Durango, ready to inflict major pain on adults and able to kill small children with their poison. Even the city's biggest football club is named Club de Fútbol Alacranes de Durango: Scorpions of Durango.

But for now, do not focus on the intense pain that may come from a scorpion attack. Instead, take a look at the full array of guisados laid out on the steam table ready to be stuffed inside freshly prepared gorditas. Any reputable gorditas outfit will have quite a few options ready on any given day, and the list on the menu here adds up to 12.

All gorditas ($2.75, above) are priced the same and like most antojitos, best if eaten when served. If you are taking them home, open the container a bit so they do not steam themselves to death. Be prepared for the masa to tear, make sure to have a fork. The carne de puerco con chile colorado y nopales on top above was eaten piping hot and is full of spiciness. What an excellent start. The bean and cheese version was an excellent way to use their earthy and wonderful salsa verde, which otherwise does not see many opportunities when eating guisados-based antojitos.

The full menu is a bit overwhelming, spanning a range from barbacoa de borrego all the way to cheeseburgers. Most of the common antojitos are here as well, breakfast plates, and fajitas. But "estilo Durango" kept popping out of a few, like these enchiladas estilo Durango ($7.99, above), which are served with really good beans, rice, and salad.

These are simple cheese enchiladas bathing in a sweet sauce made from chile ancho, chocolate, and garlic. Despite the word rojas being in the name on the menu (but not on the receipt), these would be what are referred to in Durango as enchiladas dulces, and definitely worth an order. Both the beans and enchiladas themselves are topped with another layer of grated cheese, dairy lovers will be happy.


Originally just one of the burrito de carne deshebrada estilo Durango ($2.75 each, above) was ordered, but the flour tortilla-wrapped bundle of joy was so delicious that four more were purchased after the trunk eating session. On the menu this small-sized burrito filled with shredded beef is not listed so a large one stuffed with all sorts of other ingredients was expected. The small northern Mexican style burrito stuffed with guisados that showed up was the surprise of the day.

The guisado here is shredded beef in a green sauce of jalapeño and tomatillo, and what tastes like some secrets from the kitchen. It is moderately spicy and can also be purchased as a combo with two and rice and beans on the side. While the tortilla itself is far from the beauty made by Burritos La Palma, the guisado here is strong enough to create some fierce competition.

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