New empanada concept Gorditos opens at Tampa's Sparkman Wharf this week

The shipping container-turned-kitchen will sling shaved ice desserts, too.

click to enlarge Sparkman Wharf/Facebook
Sparkman Wharf/Facebook
We all know that Sparkman Wharf can be absolutely sweltering in the summertime, but luckily a new empanada and shaved ice concept can help cool things down next time you're strolling around the popular Tampa hotspot.

Gorditos is the newest concept to join Sparkman Wharf at 615 Channelside Dr., and will soon live next to neighboring Proper House Group concepts like Dang Dude and Gallito Taqueria.

After hosting a “sneak peek” soft opening last week, PHG's Chef Ferrell Alvarez took to social media to announce Gorditos' official grand opening, happening this Wednesday, Nov. 15.

In addition to its lineup of fresh empanadas with fillings like beef, chicken, spinach and cheese, mojo pork and guava and cream cheese, Gorditos also dishes out various flavors of shaved ice to help cool off on a hot Florida day.

The shaved ice itself is topped with different syrups and fruits, and comes in flavors like piña colada, mucho mango, watermelon and lime, strawberries and cream, and even coconut Thai tea, complete with lychee boba and toasted coconut.

Different dipping sauces for Gorditos' variety of housemade empanadas include a cumin crema, mango chutney, chimichurri, jalapeño ranch and sriracha mayochup. Empanadas run for $4.50 each while its shaved ice desserts range from $10-$13.

Gorditos opens in the shipping container-turned-kitchen that formerly housed PHG's Lunch Lady, a sandwich and salad concept that opened just last fall. It’s unsure when Lunch Lady closed its doors in preparation for Gorditos' debut, although posts on social media indicate a late September closure. When Gorditos opens this week, it will be Proper House Group's fifth concept in Tampa alongside the Bib Gourmand recipient Rooster & the Till, burger spot Nebraska Mini Mart and Sparkman Wharf neighbor Dang Dude. 

PHG also plans to open the music-focused cocktail lounge Alter Ego and upscale Italian eatery Ash at Water Street Tampa sometime in 2024.

For the latest updates on Gorditos' operating hours and grand opening, head to its Instagram at @gorditostampa.

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About The Author

Kyla Fields

Kyla Fields is the Managing Editor of Creative Loafing Tampa Bay who started their journey at CL as summer 2019 intern. They are the proud owner of a charming, sausage-shaped, four-year-old rescue mutt named Piña.
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