Dining

Border crossing Tacos El Gordo

Tacos El Gordo has made it up from Mexico

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Carne asada fries.
Photo: Beverly Poppe
Jim Begley

The Vegas dining scene gets knocked constantly for its lack of exemplary Mexican food. Thanks to the recent arrival of Tijuana-based chain Tacos El Gordo, the criticism feels a little less valid.

One word of warning: Your first visit could be a little confusing. Three separate lines fan out from the cooking stations, where you order different dishes cafeteria-style. At the far right, you get your adobada (spicy pork) off a spit. The pork has a strong cinnamon essence and is accompanied by a delicious avocado sauce. And don't forget to ask for some pineapple to go with your taco (you'll thank me later). At the far left, order chorizo and carne asada, both nestled in handmade tortillas grilled right before your eyes. The carne asada is tasty, and the chorizo is the best I've had in Las Vegas.

Restaurant Guide

Tacos El Gordo
1724 E. Charleston Blvd., 251-8226.
Monday-Thursday, 9 a.m.-1:30 a.m.; Friday-Saturday, 9 a.m.-4 a.m.; Sunday, 9 a.m.-2 a.m.
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The middle position is home to a boiling vat of meat — beef cabeza (head), tripa (tripe) and lengua (tongue). Not feeling adventurous? The succulent beef suadero (shoulder) makes for a more approachable proposition.

Tacos cost just $2; enchiladas, mulas and tortas run $4 apiece. Strangely, meat-covered fries ($10) are the menu's most expensive dish, but they're a meal in themselves, available with multiple meat combinations. Lengua y cabeza fries, anyone?

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