Posts Tagged ‘Polvos’

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.

S 1st St – The more things change, the more they stay the same

It’s been a short 12-weeks since I wrote my first Austin met blog entry, and I’ve come to realize that while I see change all the time, actually it happens very slowly.

In my first post on the alterations of Chavez and access to the S 1st Bridge, I wondered if they were going to finish on schedule, they didn’t and still have not. I didn’t hear of any serious collisions between joggers and cars though, so thats good news.

The VMUification of S 1st still hasn’t taken its first step. While the buildings mentioned in the articles are new developments, neither is being done under the Citys much vaunted VMU classification. Not much progress has been made on either.

In my post on 603 W Live Oak, the former home of Las Manos Magicas, I said they were taking the house away. They jacked it up, cut it in half, put on trailers, tarped it and then found out they needed a permit. Who’da figured? So the house is still there. Permits are an interesting thing.

On the City Permits database(*), it’s interesting to note that a small new bakeshop, Sugar Mama’s will be opening soon next to Secret Oktober, and have been busy applying for permits to cover all their work. You can chart their progress and sign-up to the mailing list on their website.

Those that regularly eat at Polvos might not have noticed the changes going on there. It was only when I saw the permit application for the sign for Sugar Mamas and searched, that it became clear Polvos didn’t apply for one for the monster they installed mid-2007. It appears from City records they also didn’t apply for permits for the work thats being going one around the back and side of the restaurant either, although this is mostly out of sight of the dinners.

Parking continues to be a problem for Polvos and residents, on a good day for the restaurant, W Johanna for 2-blocks, S 2nd for 2 blocks is completely full with customer cars, and damage to cars in the streets is a regular happening from customers who either can’t parallel park, can’t reverse or have had too much to drink(nah surely not…). Interestingly, the parking for Polvos was a significant enough problem to have been called out in the 2002 Bouldin Creeek Neighborhood Plan for action(See action item 62-64). Who’da guessed.

When I moved in, the big yellow building at 2009 was empty, and so it will be again soon. La Luz moved in, and now they are moving out. According to signs on their myspace web page and in the store, La Luz will be shutting its doors and merging with Prototype Vintage Design on South Congress beginning early August!

The more things change on South 1st, the more they stay the same.

(*) When searching the permits database the best results can be found by lugging the street name in the the project name entry field. It’s also worth limiting the search by date at the bottom.

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