I did not hear about my favorite food truck, Las Gorditas, on the Internet. I have never seen them parked outside of a hip bar or record store on a Saturday night, and I have not bought food from them at a street festival. They are, however, located on Bardstown Road; Not the part you're thinking of, but the bleak, anti-pedestrian stretch of highway running through Buechel. Around these parts, you might assume that it would be slim pickings in the tasty eats department, but you'd be tragically wrong. Among the typical fast food restaurants and used cars lots, there is a heavenly oasis of deliciousness at the Eastland Shopping Center. Dak Shin, located inside the strip mall, should be credited for Louisville's best Indian food, but I'll save that love note for another time. I'm talking about the little blue trailer parked on the opposite side of the parking lot, wedged cleverly between an ATM (Las Gorditas is cash only) and Cox's Smokers Outlet and Spirit Shoppe (yes, that's a real place). There, you'll likely find Kurt and I among la gente buena, feasting on Louisville's best Mexican street food until we've reached a state of zen-like euphoria paired with end-of-summer sluggishness.
When we visit, my personal philosophy is gordita or bust. Not like the gordita of Taco bell fame, but a crispy golden pocket made from masa harina, filled with refried beans, lettuce, tomato, onion and pastor, a spicy shredded pork filling marinated in chiles, onion and pineapple (top photo). Kurt is usually more adventurous and prefers to eat from a wider spectrum of animal anatomy. He loves lengua (cow tongue) and chicharron (pig skin, seasoned and deep fried) in his tacos and burritos. Other delicious options are tortas, sopas, elotes en vasos, and quesadillas along with a selection of Meixcan sodas in glass bottles. All items on the menu range from $1 to $5, and we usually round out our ticket at a measely $12 for a two person feast.
The way I see it, Las Gorditas is the OG of Louisville's recent food truck craze. They were here all along, selling tacos in parking lots years before the tweets and fanfare. I love a hot dog, breakfast burrito or grilled cheese just as much as the next gal, but take away the novelty of the food truck, and you're left with some dressed up (albeit, tasty) convenience food that can easily be found all over the city. But when it comes to food trucks and gorditas, there is a symbiotic relationship. Although I'm sure there are exceptions, it seems like the best elotes, tacos, gorditas and tamales exist under a very specific formula of circumstances involving a Mexican Grandmother and/or self-contained food trailer. When LouisvilleHotBytes asked owner, Pat Costas, if he'd ever expand his business into a brick and mortar establishment he answered, "We've targeted the Mexican Community, and they love this, just like in Mexico, to eat outside around the trailer. It just gives that feeling of being home."
Las Gorditas (Check Facebook page for hours)
4756 Bardstown Rd.