Mexican food lovers, rejoice — Los Gorditos, already established on the east side, pleasing meat eaters and vegans alike—finally opened their doors yesterday on NW Davis and 9th (where Sweet Masterpieces used to reside). Marginally more expensive (come on, try paying rent in the Pearl) and still rocking extensive menus for most dietary restrictions, Los Gorditos is trying their hand at a little service upgrade—the new space has been cleared out, cleaned up, and minimally decorated to fit in with the chic neighborhood. Almost nothing adorns the walls save a colorful mural of local bridges lining the entrance. Wait in line to make a to-go order and you can see everything that's going on in the kitchen—you're maybe six feet away from the grill. Table service is offered for diners that eat in.
The baby restaurant was almost empty when I rolled in for my investigative taco fix, perhaps due to the Deschutes Street Fare in progress half a block away. Service was friendly and attentive even for my to-go order, as I scored three tacos—including a mind-blowingly delicious cabeza. My favorite, by far (no, I did not try a vegan taco. Sorry.) At $2 a pop for the standard selection of meat, their tacos are welcome in the Pearl as far as I'm concerned—housemade tortillas, generous fillings, and decent salsas, for less than you pay at neighboring Mexican joints. Traditional entrees like chile rellenos to fajitas are also offered for a more rounded dinner, as well as the full spectrum of burritos and masa-based appetizers. We'll see how long they will hold out against serving alcohol in their new home, though. They're open from 9 am to 9 pm, so Santeria's still your place for late night enchiladas, but Los Gorditos is a new and valid contender for a casual dinner or easy takeout on the west side.
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