I usually do the research for our food travels, but this time Sherry was looking on chowhound and came up with this lunch stop on our way east from Tucson to Austin. Located in a small community south of Interstate 10 just a few exits into Texas and just before El Paso, Little Diner was a perfect stop.
In addition to being a fan of the food traditions from the source, I am also an unapologetic fan of the various regional american incarnations of Mexican food. I love San Diego carne asada burritos and fish tacos, a fantastic green-chile-topped breakfast burrito in Denver, and I'm always up for trying a new local variety. Yellow cheese and all.
But back to Little Diner. First up were their two gorditas, a menu item we don't see in San Diego very often. The chile colorado gordita was fantastic. The meat was perfectly cooked and had a great depth of flavor along with a nice heat.
The other gordita on offer was the "meat" gordita, which ended up being a pretty standard, if tasty, ground beef. We still ate every bite, though, because the real star was the masa pocket itself. Crispy on the outside, but thick enough to have a different texture on the inside. Just great.
We also also tried their "tapatillas", which were basically tostadas. And they were basic, but really good. We got one bean and one avocado. The bean tapatilla was fantastic - great refried beans (which is a critical test, in my opinion, and one that is failed all too often) and the tortilla was perfectly crispy and had clearly been just fried.
To drink, what could we have on our first meal in Texas but tea? It was served unsweetened, but the spoon and prominently placed sugar container suggested modification.
Being staunchly Californian in our approach to iced tea, and knowing that a whole lot of sweet tea awaits us as we travel on, we left ours unadulterated this time.
7209 7th St.