Restaurant talk: Doña Tota Gorditas

In my hometown, there is a fast-food joint called Maid Rite. That’s where, as children, our parents would bring us, very rarely and with much excitement on our part, for loose-meat hamburgers the likes of which cannot accurately be replicated anywhere, I am convinced.

While I am sure there could be any number of reasons to travel to Rolla, Mo., I try to get there now and then for one reason only: To eat a Maid Rite sandwich. Its buns are steamed, and bits of its salty, greasy meat fall into the waxed-paper wrapper, so at the end, you scoop it into your mouth savoring it, in remembrance of the sandwich, now woefully gone. And then you think, “Maybe I should order another one.”

This, I figure, must be similar to how natives of Tamaulipas, Mexico feel about Doña Tota Gorditas, which has been around in Mexico for 50 years but recently opened its first North Texas store on Jefferson.

The gordita with picadillo con verduras has that same certain something a Maid Rite sandwich has.

You could no more replicate it at home as you could a Big Mac or a Whopper with cheese. It’s not good for you. It’s maybe not even that good. It’s just fast food, prepared exactly the same way every time. And if you grew up with it, I can see how you would crave it like mad.

The gordita ($1.79) is crispy on the outside and slightly chewy, stuffed with lots of tasty meat. I also ordered refried beans, which were way too salty. But I will be going back for those picadillo gorditas.

The menu also includes breakfasts of scrambled eggs and meat stuffed into gorditas. And the seven gordita choices include two vegetarian options, one with poblano peppers and one with mushrooms.

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  • Granny

    Wowza! Maid-Rite Diner is doing a second pass at opening in the Dallas-Fort Worth market, with a branch opening in 2012 in Arlington.Founded in 1926, Maid-Rite Diner is a Midwestern favorite known for its “loose meat” ground beef sandwiches served on hot buns. 

  • Rachel Stone

    I know, TG. I tried the one that opened way out in Arlington, off Matlock, I think it was. I doubt if they are still open. When I visited, they were kind of a mess. They did not have it together at all. And I was like, “OK. Stop getting your hopes up for Maid Rite in Texas.” It’s not the same.

  • TG

    A Maid-Rite opened in Arlington a couple of years ago:

    can’t say as to whether it would duplicate the childhood experience or not…

  • ericthegardener

    I ate at Doña Tota Gorditas last week and it was great! Nice and clean atmosphere. Love the restaurants on Davis but North Oak Cliff needs more a few more fast-casual places like this.

  • Granny

    I miss Maid Right.   There was one in Springfield, MO. They have the BEST pork tenderloin sandwiches! 

  • George Arroyo

    I don’t know how you had just one Rachel.  :)  When I was a kid, the gorditas we got at bazaars and church carnivals were all fried, so these being grilled makes me feel a little better.  Like you, I will be back…probably again and again.  This is a good place for a quick fix!

  • Kent

    OMG!  I’m from Iowa and I agree Maid Rite is THE BEST.  I lust for one in Dallas.  Also, in Sioux City Iowa, the DQs have loose meats instead of burgers.  I could drive up there RIGHT NOW.  Wanna go?  LOL