Feb. 12, 2014 09:30

Los Gordos: The name says it all

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If you don’t leave a place called Los Gordos feeling at least slightly overstuffed, there’s something wrong. As my colleague, Jordan Green, and I left the restaurant, a new Tex- Mex spot on High Point Road in Greensboro, he commented that it’s likely the most full he’s ever felt for $7. I took things one step further.

A quick perusal of the menu upon arrival indicated much of the standard fare to be expected at a Mexican restaurant — tacos, fajitas, enchiladas — and despite a few enticing items, namely a puff tostada for $4 and a short list of stuffed avocado options, we each ordered off the affordable lunch menu.

If I’m in a Mexican restaurant and there is a burrito on the menu, whether it’s the kind that is served slathered in sauce and requires cutlery or be it handheld, I don’t really have a choice. Chicken burrito for me, chipotle chicken breast special for Jordan.

I eyed the drink specials on the back of the menu — $3 margarita on Tuesday or $2.50 domestic beer on Wednesday and Thursday — but the back page item that practically reached out and pulled me by the collar was a dessert I’ve never heard of before.

A banana burrito?! Play it cool, I thought to myself, and see how full you are after the more predictable chicken-stuffed counterpart.

We waited on our dishes to be prepared and surveyed the scene while snacking on chips. Yes, I’ve yet to find a Mexican restaurant in this country that doesn’t provide complimentary chips, but Los Gordos automatically serves them with two sauces — a somewhat creamy spread made of green tomato, avocado and cilantro and a warm, reddish brown salsa with jalapeños. Both spicy, and both well executed.

The décor follows the same theme as other Mexican establishments in town, too — the obligatory pictures of Pancho Villa and Emiliano Zapata on the walls, some textiles on display and music.

After a minute we noticed two subtle disco balls, if that isn’t a contradiction in terms, poking out of the ceiling.

Los Gordos is in the same strip as a meat market and store that is known affectionately around our office as “Mercadito,” and it’s across the street from top-notch Villa del Mar. It’s unclear whether the restaurants draw bigger crowds due to their proximity to each other, but Los Gordos may be at a slight disadvantage as the newest kid on the block and the furthest from the road.

When the food arrived, we were both overwhelmed at its magnitude. Both dishes came with what appeared to be curried rice that tasted like it simmered instead of being reheated. It paired best with Jordan’s chipotle chicken, the special for the day.

The burrito comes packed with refried beans and chicken, coated in sauce and cheese, and is served sans sour cream with lettuce and diced tomato on the side. More than enough food, really, but as full as I was, it felt like my civic duty to figure out what exactly the $4.50 banana burrito would entail. So I took the plunge.

In the name of journalism. The mere mention of its name excited our server (“That’s my favorite,” she said), and rather than ask what I was getting into I opted to wait and see first hand.

A banana burrito, at least in this case, looks like a dessert empanada, doused in brown sugar and topped with ice cream. It was all too much for Jordan, who I forced to try it, but we agreed the banana inside was overpowered by the other ingredients, namely the fried dough taste and chocolate syrup.

I left, much as I should, filled to the brim. In practice one burrito acted as my lunch and the second as dinner, though next time just one course will suffice. 

WANNAgo?

Los Gordos Mexican Café. Call 336.358.3556. 3821 High Point Road, Greensboro. Closed Mondays.

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