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May 12, 2011 12:12 PM

Tacos El Gordo - On the Strip

For all of the talk of celebrity chefs and high-end dining, we may have the best news item on the Strip for 2011 so far – Tacos El Gordo has opened on Las Vegas Boulevard in the strip mall just north of the Wynn/Encore (Key Center, the 3000 block of Las Vegas Boulevard South). That puts them within easy walking distance from many of the Strip properties, and provides something that has been missing entirely from that scene – top-notch ethnic food at very low prices (we will get to that latter aspect in a moment).

Tacos El Gordo has been mentioned on this board before – the chain was founded in Tijuana, and their first Las Vegas location opened on East Charleston about a year ago, a major hit from the start. The focus is on extremely fresh product, and each type of meat has its own cooking station. You order at the stations first, then take the goods to the cashier. There will also be a complimentary plate of grilled chiles and grilled spring onions with each order, and they will load those up as much as you like.

The menu is the real deal, and reflects the Tijuana roots. Meats being offered are Cabeza (beef head), Lengua (beef tongue), Sesos (beef brains), Buche (pork stomach), Adobado (spicy pork), Carne Asada (skirt steak), Tripa (beef stomach) and Suadero (beef shoulder). They can be had as a Taco, Quesidilla, Sope, Tostada, Mula or Vampiro, and there are also large platters of fries available Carne Asada or Adobado. Even when ordered as simply as a taco, each meat comes with its own particular sauce (on today’s visit the Sesos were tried for the first time, with their creaminess playing nicely to a tart tomatillo-infused green sauce).

There is seating both inside and out, and they are open until 3 AM during the week, and 5 AM on Saturday and Sunday mornings, which makes for a hell of a post-clubbing stop for those that have had too much to drink.

Here is the kicker, and it came as a major surprise – they are charging the same prices as they do at all locations. So you only pay on the Strip what you do in a beaten-down area of East Charleston. Tacos are $2, and a large soft drink from the fountain will only set you back $1.40. Those are great price points for the location, yet there is nothing “cheap” about the food – this is quality product

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  1. I don't think I've had better tacos in LV than the Adobados at the Charleston location, so this is great news.

    1 Reply
    1. re: Dave Feldman

      Great news indeed. Yes their Adobados tacos are excellent. I wish them success at the new location, and will be doing my part to see that happens.

    2. Thanks for the info, wonderful to hear of something so cheap, that isnt a dodgy hotdog or the dollar menu at McDs.

      2 Replies
      1. re: lipgloss

        We dined at the Charleston location this past week and totally agree that the adobados tacos are the best in Las Vegas.

        1. re: westie

          I had the Adobado tacos the other week, after reading about them in the Weekly and wasn't impressed. Could have been because it was around 1am, don't know. They were OK, but I can't say that I have to tell all of my friends about them. Too bad we don't have an Alberto's in Las Vegas. I work in Utah, and we have one down the street. The adobada master burrito is $5.89 w/drink and the ones we have weighed run around 2.5#. 2 small tacos, and a drink put me back the same amount, and I was still kinda hungry.

      2. I have lived in NM and now AZ and I've never heard of vampiro or mula. Can you elaborate?

        1 Reply
        1. re: tattud_gurl

          i'm sitting there now, looking those up on my phone. a vampiro is a taco wrapped in a quesadilla. mula means mule, but i can't find a decent reference to it as food. something about a side with a burrito. the pork adobada is different from what I'm usedto. the meat on it's own seems a lot like chinese sparerib meat, but it works fine in the taco with the green sauce and garnish. my favorite is still the adobada at taco nazo next to the REI in tempe.

        2. Alas, a landlord/tenant dispute did not come to a resolution, and Tacos el Gordon on Las Vegas Boulevard is no more.

          2 Replies
          1. re: QAW

            That is terrible. Late night Adobada fries on the Strip were fantastic!

            1. re: QAW

              That's a real shame, although I would have been sadder if it was the Charleston Blvd. location that shuttered.