I usually shy away from Mexican restaurants. Many years ago I lived with a family that had a lot of Mexican heritage and we ate a lot of really good Mexican food. Every time I went to eat in a Mexican restaurant I was completely disappointed because I was used to things that were more delicious. I gave up, and now cite Mexican as something I "don't like that much".
So when my friend Nico wanted to have lunch at Tacos El Gordo on the strip, I wasn't too excited.
But dear god how wrong was I? Completely! Tacos El Gordo is on the strip, but North of all the craziness of the big hotels. Just past the Encore, it's in a little shopping strip on the corner. You go in, order your tacos, pay, then grab a seat inside or outside.
I tried the carne asada and the adobada tacos. One of each plus a soda came to $5. On the strip, this is unheard of. I was expecting to pay $15 for something I didn't like. These tacos were incredible. The meat on both was seasoned perfectly and delicious. It was tender, it was just the right amount of heat. The adobada (which is a pork marinated in a red sauce) was indescribably delicious. So savory with a hint of sweet and mixed perfectly with a sauce and vegetable adornments. They were both served on a corn tortilla. I inhaled them and felt light and satisfied. I wasn't weighed down at all but I wasn't hungry any more either. They provide plenty of limes on the side and slices of radish for your adorning pleasure.
One of my other dining companions got this dessert. I think it's called Dulce de Tamarindo. It's basically a sweet tamarind paste wrapped in sugar and dusted with chili powder. It was really amazing. I couldn't stop pulling off pieces. The paste had a great chewy texture combined with a little crunch from the sugar and the chili powder was an accent but not a punch. The tamarind flavor was awesome.
Now here's what I personally wouldn't order. One of my companions ordered the carne asada fries. I think the meat and the topping were wonderful, but the addition of the fries just made it all too heavy. Probably really good though is you are inebriated and need to soak up some alcohol. I think this whole box was $10.
This place is brilliant. I'm going again on Saturday night with my friend Lee because I want to try more fantastic food and share it with anyone I can. They are open until 3am on weeknights and 5am on weekends. Definitely a great place to visit the next time you are on the Las Vegas strip!