Breakfast in Texas means tacos, and breakfast has been on my mind a lot lately. So, I’d thought I’d offer my current top 10 places for the proper way to begin a day—anywhere, not just in the Lone Star State.
Taqueria La Salsa Verde
Although its appearance shows otherwise, the taquera working this Richardson gas-station counter claims the taco de cabeza (above) is prepared al vapor. Whatever its preparation, the taco is still excellent. Which is really all that matters to me first thing in the morning. The choriqueso is the cabeza’s equal. 14225 Coit Road, 972-330-0403
The chorizo and cheese at this South Congress shack offers buckshot heat in a large tortilla, giving any road trip a fiery start. 4406 S. Congress Ave., Austin, 512-443-9308 Continue reading
Filed under Austin, Best of, breakfast tacos, DFW, East Dallas, North Texas, Oak Cliff, Plano, Richardson, San Antonio, Tex-Mex, Texas
Amid construction, industrial workshops and medical office buildings sits the Taco Pronto Café, a greasy spoon with house-made flour tortillas and specialties like spam and beans. A wood-carved portly, bearded man, tattooed with the years of greetings and messages from customers and adorned with religious paraphernalia stands just inside the entrance. It’s the kind of eating establishment that even when frantically busy is a place where one can take a load off, sip coffee and decompress with comforting tacos, maybe menudo.
Although we didn’t request the stomach soup, my family did order the fresh flour tortillas the waitress recommended. “The corn tortillas are store-bought. Go with the flour.” They transformed what could have been mediocre tacos into meritorious ones packed with stick-to-your-ribs goods, particularly the long list of breakfast tacos served all day.
“Meet and Eat” is an occasional—rare, really—series about adventures and discussions with food writers, chefs, restaurateurs and others orbiting the food world.
The Park Cities/Upper Greenville area has a new breakfast tacos destination: Digg’s Taco Shop. The Hillcrest Avenue restaurant opened across from Southern Methodist University in February 2011. But only recently did the good, comfortable joint that bills itself as influenced by the Austin music and taco scenes begin serving breakfast tacos.
So, why did Digg’s chef Richard Rivera and business partners wait until Sept. 24 to offer breakfast tacos?
San Antonio offers a few culinary amenities in the vicinity of the Stone Oak neighborhood. There’s Hacienda de los Barrios, a gastronomic playground for classic Tex-Mex, for example. Or, in the case of those jonesing for specialty breakfast tacos, there’s Guero’s Taco Diner, a small, corner store in one of the myriad, practically identical adobe-colored shopping centers.
On the way out of town, my friend and driver, Matt, and I stopped into this sleepy restaurant to fill up before the long drive to Dallas.
What we discovered was an operation that could compete with the best of the upmarket breakfast taco joints, including Tacodeli, Good 2 Go Taco and Taco Garage. (I should’ve known something was up when the owner greeted us in front of the restaurant with an honorable, trustworthy handshake.) Continue reading
San Antonio and Tex-Mex are as inseparable as Philadelphia and cheesesteaks. The Alamo City’s influence on our homegrown cuisine is greater than any other Texas municipality. It thrust Tex-Mex into the national spotlight with chili queens, later with the puffy taco and the prized breakfast taco. The latter has been gaining traction in American cities such as New York but remains the wake-up meal of San Antone, where its burst free of the egg-and-one-protein (maybe some cheese) restrictions.
On a recent visit to San Antonio, that variety kept a friend, and I sated during a duo of breakfast stops.
The first, Taco Garage, can be best described as a Tex-Mex joint with a rock-n-roll sensibility slapped with grease lightning housed in a former auto mechanic’s shop. Jones, my amigo and driver, went for the huevos divorciados, a segmented platter of eggs, beans, bacon and green and red salsas he had lauded on the ride from Dallas. I went for a trio of substantial morning munchers.
A version of this post was originally published on MSN Postbox, which until the project was terminated Sept. 1 was my day job. The piece was part of the website’s Campus Guide topic. Now that students have settled into the course load I’d like to share it with Taco Trail readers and recommend several places to get your taco fix near Southern Methodist University.
Pizza fuels many a college town in the Northeast. In Texas, however, higher education finds nourishment in tacos. No other Dallas university campus is as sustained by taco shops and Tex-Mex restaurants than that of Southern Methodist University.
Across from SMU on Hillside Avenue is Digg’s Taco Shop. The fast-casual operation takes inspiration from Austin’s music scene (wall-mounted LPs), but it’s not a dump with sticky counters. The restaurant’s clean orange and white color scheme marks it as acceptable for mom and dad on parents’ day. More than acceptable are the mahi and the carnitas tacos, kicked up a notch with a margarita ice pop. Continue reading
Last week, I decried the fact that no food truck, much less a taco truck, was serving breakfast tacos. Then, I went to the Grand Prairie Farmers Market’s Hatch Chile Festival, hungry. There weren’t any taco trucks stationed on the west end of the market, but Taste of Home, a rig specializing in Chicago-style sausages, was selling breakfast tacos, Hatch chilies optional.
The line for the tacos was five deep. The number of people waiting for their orders was twice that, while the wait for said orders was 30 minutes. One woman paced, barely containing her exasperation. Shortly thereafter, her name was called with the wrong order repeated to her. She darted out of view when she got the correct tacos. But the natives were getting restless. Other customers grumbled. One threatened to demand reimbursement. Another remarked, “These breakfast tacos better come with gold plate.” Continue reading
The regular tacos at Tepa are terrible. The breakfast tacos, on the other hand, are a fine haul. That’s not to say they’re perfect. The flour tortillas aren’t as spongy as I’d like them to be. However, they are cooked to order. I watched as the taquera placed the dough on to the griddle and flipped the flatbread discs when each began to puff. Shortly thereafter, I was handed a trio that cool at an unusually fast rate, which shouldn’t be a problem. You’re not going to chatter on about the day’s headlines with these babies nearby.
I had originally wanted to post a review of one of the fish taco shacks I patronized during my week in San Diego. However, as impressive and disastrous as the local specialties were, what became apparent while I was in SoCal for my best friend’s wedding was my how formidable is my love of Tex-Mex, especially when it comes to queso and breakfast tacos. My craving for the former was particularly shocking. I’ve not experienced those feelings until visiting San Diego. Not new to me was the gloomy nebula produced by a dearth of breakfast tacos.
So, one morning, the groom and I conducted an Internet search for the Tex-Mex beauty. The one result we found had so many negative reviews, my buddy immediately nixed the possibility of eating there. Another opportunity didn’t present itself until after the wedding and my responsibilities as the best man had ended. It came on the day of my departure for Dallas at the San Diego International Airport. Continue reading
This might come as a shock: I’m crazy about breakfast tacos. The eggs and whatever (maybe just barbacoa) filling a slightly spongy, warm flour tortilla preparation is my preferred morning meal. Breakfast tacos where you don’t expect them are even better, which led me to the Mixing Bowl Bakery.
The small operation, run out of a converted and slightly dilapidated house on Hampton Road south of Jefferson Boulevard, offers simple breakfast tacos Wednesday to Friday weekly and is decorated with seemingly every implement in every Abuelita’s kitchen armamentarium. Handheld mixers, graters, mezzalunas and spatulas are crammed in next to cartoon character-themed glassware, rusty lunchboxes and mid-century tchotchkes. In Spanish, one could say, “de todo un poco,” or call it a “mezcla.” Continue reading