Anyone who grew up in a Mexican kitchen will experience a taste of home when they enjoy a gordita from the Mas Gorditas food cart.
The Hernandez family, including siblings Ipza and Areli, launched Mas Gorditas in the midst of the Coronavirus pandemic and roughly at the beginning of the Utah winter — a bold move on both counts. But when your recommended menu item is named “La mera, mera” (“the main one” or “the boss” in English), being bold is your brand identity.
According to Ipza, the key to launching a food cart in the middle of a pandemic is “working hard.” That’s characteristically bold in its simplicity, and it’s also something many can understand; hard work is tough no matter what line of work you're in. Ipza figures that, “if you can make it through a pandemic, you can make it through anything,” though she does allow that some hardships are more bearable than others. Whether because of the frigid mornings or snowy days, Ipza said, “we’re definitely looking forward to summer.”
The Hernandez family, whose familia traces back to Talpillo, Mexico, also has bold aspirations for their newly launched business. Mas Gorditas is a family collective business, meaning everyone who works in the operations of the business has equal duties and equal pay. The family’s shared goal is one day opening a local restaurant that serves as an accessible community space whether here on the west side or elsewhere.
For readers who are unfamiliar, a gordita is a pocket-sized pastry made of corn masa (maize dough), hollowed out and stuffed with a variety of ingredients. La mera mera gordita is stuffed with a combination of braised pork, red chili sauce, lettuce, tomatoes and other vegetables. You can also top them with sour cream and cotija queso (cheese) — in a few words, pockets of food heaven!
The weekend recommendation? The fresh pozole; a traditional mexican soup that is slow cooked, with the main ingredients pork and hominy being simmered and bathed in a rich and tasty broth that can be topped with a variety of fresh veggies. Mas Gorditas also offers tasty vegetarian and vegan options.
The Mas Gorditas cart is nomadic, serving a variety of locations within Salt Lake County. For the pleasure of west-side residents, the Hernandez family parks the cart at Club Try-Angles, located near 300 West and 900 South, on Mondays. You can follow The Mas Gorditas food cart on Instagram and Facebook @masgorditas.