Everyone has their standard takeout places. The top three in no particular order are Thai, Sushi and Mexican. Ok, well those are the top 3 in our household, and I’d say quite a few Seattle households. Our Thai restaurant of choice is Thai Ocean in Greenlake. Our Sushi place is back up for grabs after a sudden quality decline at Mori’s in Greenwood. And, our Mexican place is Gordito’s in Greenwood on 85th.
These tend to be quick and easy on days when one doesn’t feel like cooking. Today was definitely one of those days for me. We were down in Oregon this morning, and I was fully planning on eating somewhere along the way. But we left early, and I had nothing planned for dinner, so I decided on takeout. Since we did Thai earlier in the week, I decided on Mexican.
Gordito’s was one of the first places we visited when we moved to the Greenwood/Phinney Ridge/Ballard area 3 years ago, and we keep going back. When I headed up there today, I pulled into the small narrow parking lot to find it full. I thought I might cruise around and find some other place to try, something new to write about. But, after a couple of minutes, I decided this was a silly idea because I was in the mood for Mexican, my Mexican. So, I headed back to look for parking, and found it across the street.
For some reason, I’ve never called ahead to Gordito’s. It’s not that I couldn’t, but they are usually very quick, and I don’t mind waiting and watching the cooks do their thing. It is an interesting setup where the cooking area is behind the cash register and out in the open so you can see the efficiency that goes into the preparation of all of the meals. There was a line, but it moved quickly as they had one person walking the line, quickly filling out order cards. That way when you walk to the register, you just hand over the card and get rang up.
I decided on my usual, a wet burrito with chicken. This burrito is made with a very large flour tortilla, stuffed with rice, black beans, chicken and cheese, and smothered in Gordito’s red sauce with a dollop of sour cream, all for under $9. After about 5 minutes, my name was called, I grabbed my burrito, and headed home for dinner.
When I sit down, the first thing that I do is pour their homemade salsa, also known as a Pihuamo Sauce, all over the top of the burrito to give it that extra kick. Diving in I’m hit with the savory flavors that I’ve come to expect from Gordito’s. The tortilla has been warmed and is very nice and soft. The chicken is always juicy, never dried out. The rice is simply seasoned, and the black beans tender, but not mushy. And the red sauce finishes it perfectly, a fairly mild flavor that just meshes perfectly with everything else.
I ended up eating about 2/3rds of the burrito before putting it aside feeling completely full and pleased. This burrito is at least 33% bigger than any burrito that you get from Chipotle or Qdoba, and far more flavorful. I don’t know if I would say it is the best Mexican I’ve ever had (in fact I know I wouldn’t as the title currently lies with Rick Bayless’s Frontera Grill). But, it definitely delivers the goods. It is filling and delicious and reasonably priced, everything that I expect when I’m looking for something simple. With this consistency, Gordito’s hasn’t given us a reason to even consider another place.
Final Verdict: 4 Stars