Desert Companion
 
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JULY 2014
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July 7, 14, 21 and 28, 8p. The Las Vegas comedy show featuring both short and long form improv from some of the valley’s most experienced...   
July 2, 16 and 30, 8p. Love improv but want to do more than just watch? In this show, the audience is part of the action. $10. The Sci Fi Center,...   
Through Aug. 1; artist reception July 10, 6-8p. A group exhibition by the fine arts students of CSN, featuring new works that make use of a variety...   
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What is this? What is this decadent clot that looks like it's covered in errant dollops of melted-down green crayons? Oh, friends. Let's not be cavalier or glib. This is a little Styrofoam plateful of mouth-heaven that I recently stumbled upon at a place called Tacos El Gordo downtown near Charleston Boulevard and Eastern Avenue.

Friends, meet the carne asada fries. It's $10, and it handily feeds two voracious people. Perhaps more importantly, it prevents two large-looming hangovers that threaten like sledgehammer clouds on the horizon of your frontal lobe. I visited Tacos El Gordo a few weeks ago on a friend's recommendation, but the carne asada fries were a revelation.

"So, it's carne asada ... on top of fries?" I said (with the exaggerated, rubber-mouthed incredulity that only several strong rum drinks, consumed in rapid succession a bit earlier, can inspire) as I squinted at the marquee menu.

"Yes, sir!" said the man behind the counter. Nearby, a triage team assembled tacos, burritos and combo plates in a grim hustle, like paramedics.

"So, there's fries ... and then there's carne asada on top of that?!"

"Yes, sir!"

"I'll take ... two!"

"Two? How about you try one?"

"One? We're pretty hungry. But okay! So, just to make sure, you're saying ... this is carne asada on top of fries? I mean, that is just a revolutionary idea. Revolutionary! My friend! I think I'm going to sit down now."

One was indeed plenty. Taco El Gordo's carne asada fries represent late-night post-crawl grub at its most unapologetically indulgent: a gravid, swimming strata of cheese, sour cream, guacamole and carne asada atop a tousled nest of skinny, soft, toothsome fries that must have hitchhiked up the street from McDonald's. It is not a paragon of gourmet virtue, nor does it represent good dietary sense. But the happy union of carne asada, fixings and fries does hint at some kinda epic, trend-sparking flavor convergence. (It is here, with only mild shame, that I confess to returning the next night to try to the adobada fries, which comprise marinated pork over the same tastily confusing mess).

Tacos El Gordo (1724 E. Charleston Blvd., 251-8226) and carne asada fries, I salute you. It is with due pride that I induct you into Desert Companion's DEALicious Meals Hall of Honor!


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