It’s what’s for breakfast

That’s here in Austin, and the breakfast of champions is tacos. In just one of the features focusing on Austin in SxSW season, today’s NYT makes this announcement to the world at large: “When it comes to breakfast tacos . . . , Austin trumps all other American cities.” “A Mix of Cultures, All Folded Together,” by John T. Edge, talks about breakfast tacos in general and about the Tamale House, Porfirio’s, Tacodeli, Taqueria La Flor, and Torchy’s in particular. Other outfits make a brief appearance. So does Armando Rayo, of Austin’s own Taco Journalism blog.

There’s a wonderful photograph of Mr. Vasquez of Tamale House fame. For me, the true Tamale House will always be the one in the small establishment beneath the billboard at the intersection of what was then First Streeet (now Cesar Chavez) and Congress, where a bank now stands, but of course we’re all glad that the Tamale House lives on.

I’m a person who demands a large sitdown breakfast and have never eaten breakfast tacos at breakfast time. There was an era when all downtown offices were on regular routes of people who meandered through carrying baskets of foil-wrapped breakfast tacos in every possible permutation of eggs, beans, chorizo, potatos, cheese, and other less common mainstays, along with examples of all the possible custom additions. This service was for the benefit of those who neither ate at home nor had time even to stop on the way to work. Heightened security measures have made a difference in this practice, the the taco trucks are still out there at outdoor workplaces.

On the East Side, Porfirio’s is always especially busy at mid-morning break time. On one of the days off that I hope soon to enjoy, I long to try Torchy’s fabled pork-and-green-sauce specialty. I wonder whether breakfast tacos are a big segment of the aluminum-foil business. I also wonder what outfits were overlooked in this piece, which is sure to inspire discussion, over breakfast tacos.

1 Comment so far

  1. ttrentham on March 10th, 2010 @ 4:05 pm

    Good timing for SXSW on the part of the NY Times. I like both Tacodeli and Torchy’s.

    Nueva Onda near South Congress and Oltorf is one of my favorites. Maria’s on Lamar also does a brisk breakfast taco business. Breakfast tacos are pretty much everywhere in Austin (and anywhere between here and the border). Even Rudy’s BBQ sells them.

    If you’re willing to make a day trip, Taco Taco on Hildebrand in San Antonio has some good ones. They’ve gotten a big boost from Bon Appetit naming them the best tacos in America.

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