>> Gorditas/Esquites Vendor | Eat the World NYC

02 July 2016

Gorditas/Esquites Vendor


Normally the family that causes pedestrian traffic on a corner to be impassable would be reason for anger, but in the case of the group that usually sets up shop on evenings in Sunset Park, it is cause for celebration. On the Northwest corner of 45th Street and 5th Avenue in front of the Metro PCS store, two brothers take and make orders, while mom (wo)mans the fryer, tucked behind a public phone box.

A long list of items is on multiple bright signs, advertising gorditas, empanadas, esquites, elotes, and all manner of drinks. Rarely a week passes that a cup of their beautiful esquites can be resisted, some of the best in the city. When grabbing snacks, follow the form of other customers and grab one of their aguas frescas as well.

To avoid waiting for a bit, the easiest thing to do here is grab an order of esquites ($3, small, below), available in sizes up to $8. They customize every order and it is fascinating to watch everyone ask for their preparations just the right way. Obviously it is best with everything, and that includes a thick slather of mayo, a nice sprinkling of grated cheese, a healthy squeeze of a lime, and topped with spicy pepper powder.

In Mexico, the larger street esquites operations will have a whole separate cart with self-serve condiments that always completely overwhelm with options, so it is nice to have the guys here do it so spot on with their selections. Too much lime, and you kill your own creation.

The gorditas are served with either chicharr贸n or chicken, and always come with at least a six minute wait, sometimes up to 15. Most of the people lingering around are waiting for their order, so it only makes sense to try them as well. If there is one thing you need to know about New York, trust a line, unless it is full of white people.

The gordita ($3, above) is maybe not your favorite Mexican antojito to begin with, but at the same time hard to resist ordering both together, so maybe you subconsciously like it more than you are willing to admit.

The meat portions are admittedly small and hidden inside, when you open it you see the freshly sliced avocado, their nicely picante salsa, and other dressings. This is meant to be eaten by hand and comes wrapped in foil.

They usually start setting up around 5pm, so come after that. For $6, you have pleasantly filled your belly, and had fun doing it. Your hands may be a bit dirty, but you brought a wetnap, right?


Another visit finally yielded the chicharr贸n preparado ($7, below), a massive sheet of chicharr贸n de harina, made from flour rather than the more recognizable pork skin usually associated with this word. The crisp flat sheet has a similar crunch, but is just the vessel of toppings here, and more specifically the cueritos, or pickled pork skin.

These tangy, fleshy chunks intermingle with layers of lettuce (unfortunately just iceberg rather than some more interesting cabbage as found in M茅xico), tomato, avocado, crema, and cheese. Ask for a healthy drizzle of their salsa roja to make sure the whole thing has a good kick.


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