Tacos El Gordo was featured on an episode of Tasty: Friend in Town and was also highly rated on Yelp. I was looking forward to some authentic Mexican food since the US is closer to Mexico and they seem to have more Mexican food available. Tacos El Gordo is located near the Wynn hotel.
We were not prepared for the amount of people lining up outside and inside the crowded store. I have never seen this many people at a taco shop before! There was someone at the door directing customers to which line they can join. They have lines based on which protein you wanted e.g. carne asada (steak), al pastor (pork), lengue (beef tongue) etc. Then you can choose how you want your meat. e.g. tacos, quesadillas, vampiros, sopes, mulas, tostadas etc. We had to Google what some of these things were.
It is best to come with multiple people so you can stand in different lines and try different proteins. Be prepared to wait at least 20-30 minutes.
The food was prepared quickly with someone making tortillas and someone else cooking the steak and assembling the tacos. The person making my food was so efficient there was literally food flying through the air as he flipped the meat on to the taco in his other hand.
I was in the carne asada line and tried to ask for the quesadillas but he heard vampiros so that’s what I ended up getting. It was a like a big flat taco with cheese on top and then the meat and other toppings including a big dab of guac! My friend lined up for the Al Pastor Tacos (right) and sorry it looks a bit messy. Flavourwise, these were bomb! They were spicy in a good way where the heat slowly builds up as you eat more.
While we were waiting for the other tacos to come, we also got the Carne Asada Fries. Pre-purchased fries are put in the fryer and then there is a mix of cheese and mayo-like sauce that goes on top along with some carne asada and guac. Can you believe that this is the SMALL size??? I wish the cheese had melted though. In hindsight, DON’T order this and just get more tacos! However, we were hangry since it was 10pm already.
My other friend was lining up for the Beef Tongue Tacos and it took the longest. She also got Beef Head Tacos as well. Both meats were very tender and each taco was amazingly juicy. I was surprised at how the beef tongue wasn’t even chewy. Maybe it took a while because they had to cook down the beef tongue? Of all the meats that we tried, the carne asada was probably the slightly drier one.
When you pay for your food, you can also get a cup to purchase soft drinks from a dispenser. You can just get one cup to share with your friends since re-fills are free. They didn’t serve the usual Coke or Sprite though. These were flavours like horchata and some other fruit flavours which you wouldn’t normally get elsewhere. Not sure if these are popular beverages from Mexico? The horchata was quite sweet and wasn’t our favourite.
I think these were the best tacos I’ve ever had. It’s a bold claim, I know. Either that or I was really hangry at the time. I don’t think the tacos we have here in Vancouver are quite the same. The food at Tacos El Gordo also had a “street food” type of vibe going on just from the way they were preparing everything. It’s a no fuss type of environment and it seemed like there were a lot of Mexican or Hispanic people in the restaurant which is a good sign.
I would say Tacos El Gordo was worth the wait! My friend said she was even thinking about the tacos again the next day.