Not the healthiest of foods...but OH SO GOOD:) Gorditas are very popular here, and I can totally understand why. My mother-in-law has a little gordita stand in the front of her house. Since our house in top of her house, and we share a courtyard, I smell the gorditas all day, watch her make them, and can have some whenever I want! I don't have them often, but I do have them. I just eat them without the grease soaked cheese and the sodium filled meat.
To start, gorditas are grilled "pockets" made from maize that are filled with cheese and your choice of other filling/s. The fillings you can get are pretty much the same at any of the little stands. You can have picadillo, which is ground beef cooked with garlic, onions, and carrots. You can have deshebrada, which is boiled beef that has been shredded and was flavored while boiling. There is chicharron, which is fried pork skin, and also eggs which have been scrambled and cooked with a little chili oil. If you don't want meat (like me, although I do eat the egg) there are a couple options. Nopales (cactus) with onions and cilantro or by themselves or you can get it with beans. You can do any combination of the fillers, too. My favorite is the nopales or the egg.
To make the gorditas, my mother-in-law takes a golf ball sized piece of maize and slaps it, pats it, turns it, and flattens it with her hands to make a circle about 5 inches in diameter. Once the gordita is formed, it goes on the flat top grill to cook (it only takes a few minutes per side). The maize for the gorditas is like what corn tortillas are made from, but gorditas are thick, unlike tortillas.
Once the maize has cooked, the gorditas are sliced at the top to make an opening and cut in the middle to make a "pocket" for all the filling. When the gordita has been sliced, grease soaked cheese (queso fresco) is then smeared on the inside and the gordita is set back onto the flat top to heat a little more.
After the cheese has heated up inside the gordita, it is filled with whatever the customer wants. All the blue pots on the side of the flat top are the meats, eggs, and beans. Keeping them on the flat top keeps them warm and accessible. Extra meats and other fillings are kept in the kitchen inside, and the blue pots on the flat top are refilled as needed. The nopales are kept on a side table since they do not need to stay hot. Also on the side table is a HUGE molcajete with homemade spicy salsa that can be added to the gorditas. My sister-in-law helps at the stand Tuesdays through Fridays, and on Sundays. On Saturdays and Mondays, it's her gordita stand and my mother-in-law helps her:)
Most days, there are three tables outside on the sidewalk by the stand for customers to sit at and eat. That is usually enough, but on the weekends, the living room inside the house is cleared of furniture (pushed into my brother-in-law's room) and a few extra tables and chairs are put out. The living room is right inside the front door beside the gordita stand. A lot of the people with little food stands will use their front room as extra space for their customers. "¡Mi casa es tu casa!"