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Gorditas Mexican Kitchen does gorditas right

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An assortment of pork crackling, chicken with cream, and beef barbacoa gorditas, with sauces and beverages if front of a homey, bird house and crafts wall at Gorditas Mexican Kitchen, 11-2-15. - MARK HANCOCK
  • Mark Hancock
  • An assortment of pork crackling, chicken with cream, and beef barbacoa gorditas, with sauces and beverages if front of a homey, bird house and crafts wall at Gorditas Mexican Kitchen, 11-2-15.

Do one thing, and do it well.

That is, apparently, the foundation of UNIX code. And nothing gets me hungrier than talking about operating systems. That sentiment — about doing one thing well, not about getting hungry talking about computer programming — is also at the heart of a lovely little eatery called Gorditas Mexican Kitchen, 3264 SW 44th St. Gorditas serves gorditas ($2.50 each).

Interrupting reader: You mean those things they serve at Taco Bell? Those are a real Mexican food?

Me: Yes. I mean, the ones at Taco Bell aren’t really gorditas. Those are like a taco in a pita.

Interrupting reader: Didn’t you write admiringly of a “taco in a pita” at Hugo’s Taquizas?

Me: True. But Hugo’s makes no bones about a tacone being a pita taco. A gordita is a more like a fat tortilla—

Interrupting reader: You mean like a pita?

Me: No. Shut up. A pita and a tortilla are not the same. And Gorditas makes its gorditas by stuffing fat tortillas full of flavorful fillings and then crisping them up on a griddle.

You can get flour or corn tortillas with beans and cheese, ground beef, carne asada, tender pork or—

Interrupting reader: So it’s a taco, but instead of folding the tortilla, the good stuff is inside it. That doesn’t sound that great.

Me: Then maybe you should listen harder. These are fresh, fat tortillas. They are much closer to the Guatemalan delicacy pupusas than they are to tacos.

3 beef barbacoa gorditas in corn tortillas, at Gorditas Mexican Kitchen, 11-2-15, in southwest OKC. - MARK HANCOCK
  • Mark Hancock
  • 3 beef barbacoa gorditas in corn tortillas, at Gorditas Mexican Kitchen, 11-2-15, in southwest OKC.

And the staff at Gorditas knows how to cook. Its chicken cream-stuffed gordita is like a handheld chicken enchilada. The cream cheese sauce is thick and rich, the chicken is delicate and inside a flour tortilla — it’s like eating a nap.

The pork crackling is another must-try. It’s insanely tender and has a sumptuous fatty quality that will make your heart beat faster even as it clogs your arteries. Douse it in green sauce and ride that flavor train until the taste conductor makes you get out at Second Helping Station.

The carne asada is tasty, but not exactly a standout. One thing lacking is a bit of vegetable. Even a sprinkling of diced onion and cilantro — a taqueria staple — would give the dish a new dimension of flavor and texture.

The menu has two sides, and the English side has a few items missing, so dust off your Spanish phrasebook if you want to order more of what’s in the kitchen. Case in point: birria. I love that spicy stew of slow-cooked beef, but it’s not featured on the English menu.

Gorditas Mexican Kitchen, 3264 SW 44th Street, not far east of I-44 in Southwest OKC, 11-2-15. - MARK HANCOCK
  • Mark Hancock
  • Gorditas Mexican Kitchen, 3264 SW 44th Street, not far east of I-44 in Southwest OKC, 11-2-15.

The language barrier at Gorditas isn’t insurmountable by any means, but if you’re not a speaker of Spanish, it might take a hot minute to get an answer to some of your more complex questions.

Just in case, though, here’s one you’ll definitely need to know: Puedo pedir más? (That means “Can I order more?”)

Print headline: Más Gorditas, Take your love of gorditas and your cursory knowledge of the Spanish language to this OKC eatery.

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