>> Menudo y Gorditas La Durangueña | Eat the World Los Angeles

Friday, 29 April 2022

Menudo y Gorditas La Durangueña

MÉXICO 🇲🇽
(DURANGO)
Weekends-only stand on Atlantic Avenue

COVID-19 UPDATE: The stand is outdoors.

There are food vendor hot spots all around Greater Los Angeles and all its surrounding counties. Sometimes these are evening affairs or weekends only, but some also have shifts of entrepreneurs showing up at different schedules and seem to be operating at all times. This is the case close to the intersections of Compton Blvd. and Atlantic Avenue in Compton, where trailers, trucks, and sidewalk vendors are found in all directions and line the front of East Rancho Dominguez Park.

If you keep going south of the park on Atlantic Avenue the vendors continue all the way down to Alondra Blvd. and the enormous donut on top of Dale's. On Saturdays and Sundays you are likely to see a relatively newer stand that advertises both menudo and gorditas in the style of Durango, a Mexican state that only gets a little representation around town.

A look behind the scenes at gordita preparation

On Sunday mornings in Victoria de Durango, everyone seems to be indoors with family enjoying menudo before or after church. It is not unique to this city or state, but the small changes of ingredients that make a bowl the style from back home will definitely satisfy the cravings of homesick Duranguenses here in Los Angeles.

On a recent warm and sunny afternoon, the namesake soup was looking less attractive than the flattop griddle that was covered in gorditas. Like the Panorama City restaurant that takes the name Gorditas Durango, this stand is all about the guisados and offers about ten different types each day. A handwritten list of these is on the stand, but you can also take a peek at the offerings with a little charm. Honestly, it does not help all that much though, every single one looks delicious.

A dozen or so gorditas on the flat top grill

Fat tortillas are patted out after you order and warmed up enough so that they can be split skillfully with a knife. The bottom needs to be thicker than the top, but both sides have to hold up to being stuffed full of guisados. It is fun to watch this done with such ease knowing if you tried yourself the gordita would be butchered beyond recognition.

The selections on the first visit for three gorditas ($4 each, below) were carne de puerco en chile colorado (most visible below on top), chicharrón, and picadillo verde. The picadillo was eaten first and was straight fire, immediately getting foreheads sweating. The proprietor asks if you want salsas, but honestly the guisados are already perfect and you do not need to alter them.

Three gorditas to go

The chile colorado is almost neon in its redness, which starts sinking into and through the gordita by the time you reach your car or grab a spot in the park to eat. This is rich and full of flavor and not quite as much heat, if you pair this with the picadillo, eat this one first so your lips and tongue are not already scorched.

Durango-style guisados de chicharrón are always a pleasure and the version here is no different, full of oregano and earthy flavors. The chicharrón itself is prepared just right and probably creates the winner of all three although there was nothing close to disappointment in any gordita on this day.

Gordita de chicharrón

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