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New food truck serving gorditas opens near Penrose Park

A road near Penrose Park is once again a hot spot for Mexican food, with the opening of a new truck serving up gorditas.

It was during the pandemic when the corner of S. Courthouse Road and 6th Street S. became the home of La Tingera, a popular birria taco food truck that would often see long lines. Then, in late 2021, it moved to a permanent location in Falls Church and started earning regional recognition.

But owner and chef David Andres Peña had always said that Arlington was home, and now he’s helping another food truck stake its claim to that unassuming street corner in South Arlington just off Columbia Pike.

Las Mexican gorditas, as the name suggests, serves up hand-made, on-the-spot gorditas, elote (Mexican corn), and aguas frescas (fruit drinks). It started serving in August, employees told ARLnow, and will be open from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. on weekends.

And it’s run and operated by Peña’s mother.

The gordita truck is separate from La Tingeria, but employees from the brick-and-mortar location in Falls Church are helping the truck get on its feet. Several employees were donning La Tingera t-shirts when ARLnow stopped by Saturday afternoon. Peña also gave his mom his old trailer.

This isn’t the first time Peña and his mom have worked together. During La Tingera’s days along S. Courthouse Road, his truck was often accompanied by an aguas frescas stand which his mom operated.

La Tingera first got started more than a decade ago, serving up tacos from a truck that traveled around Arlington, primarily in Ballston, Courthouse, and Rosslyn. In July 2020, after closing for several months due to the pandemic, he began to serve again, this time in a stationary spot along Courthouse Road near Penrose Park.

The truck became the talk of the neighborhood, and Peña looked to expand. After securing the Falls Church location, he signed a contract with Audi Field to serve tacos at all D.C. United, Washington Spirit, and D.C. Defenders games. Peña also began looking to open more eateries, including potentially in Woodbridge, Fairfax City, and, now, Fredericksburg.

But, for the moment, he’s helping his mom again make S. Courthouse Road the home of some of the most popular Mexican food in Arlington.

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