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Family Affair: Three Generations Dish Up Tradition at Gorditas Rellenas Lolita

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Esta publicación también está disponible en: Español

Late chef, and author, Anthony Bourdain once said, “Eat at a local restaurant tonight. Have a cold pint at 4 o’clock in a mostly empty bar. Go somewhere you’ve never been.” I can picture him perched on one of the rickety chairs on the sidewalk outside Gorditas Rellenas Lolita shooting the breeze with the ladies.

This, quite literally hole-in-the-wall place is where those seeking authentic Mexican flavors venture. There are a couple of hilly streets to climb down to get there from where I live, in colonia Cinco de Diciembre, but I’m happy to scale up and down steep stairs to satisfy my craving for rich Mexican flavors.

Gorditas Rellenas Lolita is located on the south side of calle San Salvador three blocks south of the Mercado del Mar and the cemetery. The menu is as simple as the ambiance with a handful of seating inside and a few tables lined on the sidewalk. Of all the times I have visited, I have observed three females running the operation, whom I imagine are a grandmother, her daughter, and her granddaughter. I should have the courage to ask sometimes despite my terrible Spanish-speaking skills.

I began with an order of gordita de pollo. True to its name, the gordita was thick, and the masa dough had a soft texture. It was filled with shredded chicken, and topped with salsa verde, pickled red onion, and a squirt of lime. All the flavors blended perfectly and made me consider ordering another one.

After that, I savored a mouthwatering quesadilla de res con guiso de birria. There was a brief pause between the first bite and the burst of rich flavors before they coursed through my yearning palate. The lipid birria beef stew, mixed with yeasty tortilla taste was a delightful experience that awakened my senses with its deliciousness.

Lolita and her family take pride in creating this honest-to-goodness food, which was evident from the steady flow of neighboring locals coming in.

I have observed three females running the operation, whom I imagine are a grandmother, her daughter, and her granddaughter. I should have the courage to ask sometimes despite my terrible Spanish-speaking skills.
I have observed three females running the operation, whom I imagine are a grandmother, her daughter, and her granddaughter. I should have the courage to ask sometimes despite my terrible Spanish-speaking skills. Photo by Zia Ahmad

Information to Know:

Gorditas Rellenas Lolita
San Salvador 432, 5 de Diciembre, 48350 Puerto Vallarta, Jal.
Cash Only
Open 8 a.m. to 2 p.m., closed Sunday
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