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Los Gordos Restaurant (Closed)
4130 N. Mesa St.
El Paso, TX

Cost: $$
Hours: Open Daily
21 Mexican
Smoking: No Smoking
Serves Breakfast
Best Items: Tacos, Chiles Rellenos, Tostadas, Lemonade, Salsa
Tacos al Carbon:
Chiles Rellenos:
Chicken Tostadas:
Flautas: chicken
Chile Verde:
Red Enchiladas:
Baked Potato:
Refried Beans: , Rice:
Chips: , Salsa:
19-Jun-07 3
Los Gordos Restaurant and Mexican Grill is the most recent establishment to be housed in a brightly colored building on North Mesa Street next to Singapore Cafe and across the street from Lucy's and Taco Grill. It is not really a new restaurant, Los Gordos used to be known as Ay Cocula though. It has new owners, but the cook from Ay Cocula, the previous tenant, is still there and the food is the same. Customers should not have noticed any changes other than a new sign on the front of the building (but not the side, where "Ay Cocula" is still displayed).

Los Gordos is one of the large and growing number of authentic Mexican taquería restaurants that seem as if they were picked up and moved from a working class neighborhood somewhere south of the border. As was the case with Ay Cocula, the neighborhood represented would be somewhere in the state of Jalisco, the origin of the cuisine featured here.

The specialties of the restaurant include meat dishes such as parraillada for four people, tacos al carbón, and just about all forms of beef and pork. Based on my sampling I would say these are also the best dishes served.

The beef Tacos al Carbón seem to live up to their billing as one of the restaurant's specialties. Served with charcoal broiled chunks of meat on a soft taco, the garnishes add the required flavor for an authentic Mexican taste.

Tostadas are tacos served on a flat shell, and Los Gordos does these very well. I tried the Chicken Tostadas that maybe were not quite as flavorful as the beef, but not to the point that I would opt for more of a red meat diet. The chicken was juicy, and the fact that one of my tostadas had a bone in it showed that customers are getting the "real deal" in Mexican food.

Chiles Rellenos were surprisingly good, since they seem to be so hard to perfect at so many restaurants in the city. The ones here had a less than average amount of grease, authentic Mexican cheese in the middle, and no sauce on top to distract from the flavor. The best part, though, may be the Chile verde, rice, beans, chile relleno, and two chicken tostadas are one of the many combination plates chile itself--it was not too spicy but flavorful, and not too tough. The ones at Los Gordos seem to be smaller than the ones that were served at Ay Cocula, though, so I probably would not choose this as a main dish if I were very hungry.

The Red Enchiladas were a disappointment at Ay Cocula with almost no sauce and some type of strange flavoring, but they seemed quite authentic when compared to ones I have eaten in Mexican hole-in-the-wall restaurants. I have not tried the ones at Los Gordos, though.

The Flautas shared the same strange flavoring I noticed on the enchiladas, but the sour cream and guacamole were good. I also appreciated the fact that the tortilla shells were not overcooked.

Chile Verde seemed to be mostly potatoes, and was not spicy by New Mexico standards. The beef was good, but I have had some great stews and I would not classify this as excellent stew meat. As I said in a review of a restaurant in Anthony, the chile verde and chile colorado generally seem to get better as you go farther north into New Mexico.

The rice and beans were good but not exceptional. Actually I think the ones at Los Gordos may be a little better than before when the restaurant was Ay Cocula, but it is difficult to remember.

Baked Potatoes were smothered in butter (actually it tasted more like margarine), and seemed to be baked the old-fashioned way instead of being microwaved.

The chips were quite good with a homemade flavor.

Two types of salsa were served at Ay Cocula--a dark one that was great for eating with chips and a red one was good for pouring on tacos. Los Gordos has added pico de gallo to the two salsas that were already served.

There is only one combination plate at Los Gordos, but you can choose just about anything the restaurant serves to go on the plate.

I believe the restaurant serves lunch specials and comida corrida, but I am not sure of the details.

The Lemonade tasted home made and was worthy of being classified as "authentic Mexican."

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