Tacos El Gordo
3049 South Las Vegas Blvd.
Las Vegas, NV 89109
I had looked this restaurant up on Yelp before we left for Las Vegas, but kind of relegated it to our B-list, because I did not think we would be in this area to try it. After a very filling brunch, we definitely needed to walk a lot to get the food moving, and low and behold, we found ourselves walking right by Tacos El Gordo, so of course we had to stop for a beverage and a taco.
Yelp reviewers rave about this place, calling these the best tacos on the strip, and there are pictures of the line stretching at least twenty people deep outside the restaurant. Usually I'm a little sketchy about Yelp reviews, but Tacos El Gordo has close to 1300 reviews, and still has a 4.5 star rating. That's pretty impressive.
I'm not sure if this is, or is not part of the same chain that started in Tijuana back in 1972. Their website does not list this as one of their locations, even though they have two other Vegas locations listed, along with two in the San Diego area. They might be part of the same family, or they might have splintered off. This location, which is walking distance from the Wynn, has had a kind of weird history as well. They opened in 2010, then closed in 2014, amid some problems with their landlord. They reopened again in 2015, and have been going strong every since.
The inside of this restaurant kind of brings to mind King Taco, which I have eaten at a few times. Ordering is done at a different window, depending on what kind of meat you want. You tell the guy what you want, and he prepares it for you. The menu here is of course heavily dominated by tacos of all sorts, but they also offer sopes, tostadas, quesadillas, mulas, and one of their most popular offerings, fries, with your choice of meat and toppings. After getting your food, you are directed to the cashier, pay for your meal, and then find a table. A little confusing, but we managed.
Since both Katie and I were still feeling the effects of our filling brunch, we only got one taco each here. Katie selected this Taco de Asada ($2.10) as her afternoon snack. Joining the very good beef in this taco was a very generous smear of guacamole, onion, cilantro, and some mild salsa. This was a delicious taco. The beef had a great flavor, while being tender, and it went well with all the toppings on here. Still a street taco, but they were very generous with the meat and toppings here. Really impressive.
I'm always about the pork when having tacos, and this Taco de Abobada ($2.10) did not disappoint. The guy behind the counter shaves this pork off of a cone, which brought to mind the way they make gyros in Greek places. I was surprised at the lightness of the tortilla here. I thought it was going to break apart, but it held its integrity. The abobada pork was not really spicy, but I did detect a little bit of heat here. Instead of the smear of guacamole that came on Katie's beef taco, this came with a lighter green sauce, which was excellent. Maybe it was a cilantro lime sauce, but I'm not sure. This taco was finished off with plenty of cilantro and onion.
The hype Tacos El Gordo receives is definitely warranted. These are some legit tacos, and I was only upset that I did not get more to eat here. The next time we are in Vegas, this will definitely be a spot that we hit up. I'm looking at trying their carne asada fries next time, along with some other tacos. So happy that we had the good fortune of walking by this joint.
Out of five pharmacies, (not only because this restaurant started in Tijuana, and that's why a lot of people cross the border into that city, but also because these tacos are exactly what the doctor ordered on this afternoon), five being best to zero being worst, Tacos El Gordo gets 3.5 pharmacies.
For more information about Tacos El Gordo, head to their website here: http://www.tacoselgordobc.com/index.html