Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Breaking the fast with tacos

Breakfast tacos are one of those simple things you don’t really think about much, until you can’t find one. Take New York City. Most New Yorkers’ quick breakfast of choice is either a bagel or an egg sandwich—a scrambled or fried egg with a slab of American cheese (and sometimes bacon or sausage) on a Kaiser roll. Every deli, bakery and street cart sells these (well, not all carts make eggs), and while quality varies, there is no shortage of supply. If that’s what you want to eat for breakfast, then your desire will be fulfilled

That’s how breakfast tacos are to Texans: they are our go-to breakfast, so ubiquitous you don’t think about it much. Sure, it may be from an authentic taqueria that has carnitas or babacoa to add to the eggs, or it may be from Whataburger, where the meat on offer is the less exotic (but no less satisfying) bacon or sausage. And while quality varies, you always know you’ll find one and even a not-so-good one is never that bad.

Tacos have taken New York City by storm, but it’s still not a breakfast taco town. A couple of places do sell them, but none of them are close to me—and that’s the key to a breakfast taco: it should be ready and available; it’s just not quick and convenient if it becomes destination food. (Though in Texas there are breakfast-taco joints that become destinations due to their excellence, but it’s not for the everyday.)

Lots of New York restaurants offer breakfast burritos, but sadly, that’s not the same thing. They’re always in that overstuffed, football-sized Mission style, which, despite my having a hearty appetite, is just a bit much for breaking the fast. Not to mention, these can run you $7 to even $13, which is expensive for a quick, morning meal.

Breakfast tacos on the other hand are nimble and efficient. They easily fit in your hand and your mouth, with all your breakfast needs self-contained in one neat, little package. While I don’t advocate eating and driving (or eating and walking) these are up to the task, though they are equally as delicious in a more proper, sit-down forum.

A breakfast taco is a regular 8-inch flour tortilla (almost always flour, but sometimes you see soft corn) stuffed with scrambled eggs, cheese and breakfast meat (or a sautéed vegetable such as peppers or cactus pads). You can also get them with potatoes, but I tend to not add those since starch within starch is just a bit much. And if you’re feeling wild, you can add a thin spread of refried beans.

Because they’re not bursting at the seams with everything in the kitchen thrown into them, you usually don’t eat just one. Most places sell them as 2 or 3 for about $3, so you can experiment with different fillings, say a chorizo breakfast taco, a nopalitos (sautéed cactus pad) breakfast taco and a bacon breakfast taco. This way, you never get bored. And you can moderate how many you need to eat to feel fulfilled, instead of being saddled with one big thing.

As the days are growing chillier, I’m excited to wake up in the morning and eat breakfast again. After a summer of smoothies and salads in the early hours, it’s refreshing to eat a hot meal in the morning. And since I can’t buy breakfast tacos on the way to work, I make them at home. They’re simple to prepare—as long as it takes you to scramble a couple of eggs, you can put together the fixings for a breakfast taco. Or sometimes I make them the night before and just heat them before I leave for work—not as fresh but still better than not having a breakfast taco.

The secret to an excellent breakfast taco is a thick, chewy flour tortilla and a spicy salsa. If these two ingredients are lacking, you might as well just eat your eggs on a plate. And as I said, whether you choose to add breakfast meat or vegetables isn’t that big of a deal, just don’t add them all at once or your breakfast taco will be unwieldy and hard to handle.

If you’ve never had a breakfast taco, you’re missing out on a wonderful way to start the day. And with the spike in taco popularity here in New York, hopefully they’ll soon be just as easy to find as a bagel or an egg sandwich. But in the meantime, I’m quite fine with making my own.

Breakfast Tacos

Ingredients:
4 eggs
1/4 cup of milk or half-and-half
4 slices of bacon, or 4 sausage patties or 1 cup of chorizo
1 cup of refried beans, heated
1/2 cup of salsa
1 cup of shredded Longhorn cheddar
4 flour tortillas
1 tablespoon of butter
Salt and pepper to taste

Method:
1. Whisk eggs with milk.
2. Heat up iron skillet on medium-high, and melt tablespoon of butter.
3. When butter is melted, pour in eggs and scramble for about three minutes or until done to your liking. Add salt and pepper to taste.
4. Heat up your flour tortillas either on a skillet, or by laying them on top of a gas burner. When tortilla starts to puff (about 20 seconds) turn it over and cook for another 20 seconds.
5. Take a tortilla and spread 1/4 cup of refried beans in the center of the tortilla. Add 1/4 of the scrambled eggs, 1/8 cup of salsa, 1/4 cup of cheese and either a slice of bacon or sausage patty.
6. Fold in bottom 1 inch of the tortilla, and then roll from left to right until self-contained.
Makes four tacos.

The variations are endless, so I’m providing a basic recipe with which you can experiment and change to your heart’s desire. You an also make them with chopped steak, sautéed vegetables, cut peppers, hash browns, or anything else you want.

Related Stories Widget by LinkWithin

105 comments:

jerry said...

This is something my wife would wholeheartedly agree with you on. Being an expat Californian in Texas, it's hard for me to find a good breakfast burrito, which are generally of the taco size there, and sold in twos. Name your filling, please.

One of the very first things she told me I just "Had to try" when arriving was a Whataburger Double Meat-Double Cheese and a breakfast taco we got somewhere just outside of Amarillo.

I was pleasantly surprised by both, and i'll miss them when we leave.

Myanderings said...

My favorite tex-mex breakfast is machaca which I just finally learned to make to my husband's taste. It is not hand friendly, though, so I make it mostly on weekends. My daughter does stuff hers into a tortilla, though. Will have to try the tacos this weekend.

Garrett said...

*sigh* I wished I lived with you. I'd so be the kitchen bitch and do all the dishes and everything just so i could eat your food...

Mike said...

re: "Because they’re not bursting at the seams with everything in the kitchen thrown into them, you usually don’t eat just one"

That's a key to a great b/f taco...just keep the basics intact and your in business.

I've yet to find the "hole in the wall" joint that sells a really good ones...there are too many "Le Peeps" and "La Madelines" around...still searching for a "La Breakfast Taco"

Larry said...

Lisa, next time you are in Austin, be sure to try Maria's Taco Express - great breakfast tacos and migas to die for - just above Matt's El Rancho.
And I do agree with you - hmmm, been three days since we had chorizo and egg b/f tacos!!

Kristofer said...

Normally I'm not naive enough to ask another person whether they've been to my favorite local food stand just on the basis of their being a fellow Texan, but since you've not only been to but made it a point to stop at Larry's in Richmond, I'll risk it: Have you been to Bob's Taco Station in Rosenberg? I sincerely hope you have, but if you haven't, next time you're close to Richmond/Rosenberg before 3pm, skip Larry's and keep going on 90 until you reach a run down old gas station painted red with a rocky parking lot filled with cars. You won't be disappointed.

Lesley said...

mmmm...breakfast tacos! Thanks for the tribute to one of my favorite breakfast foods. I make them at home all the time since I can't find them in Maryland. They have always been a staple pre-game food for my family because they are great for a grab-and-go situation. But I also love sitting down at Kerby Lane in Austin for their Migas or going to Juan in a Million for the Don Juan - a mound of eggs, cheese, bacon, and potatoes with flour tortillas and salsa...I don't think you'd like it since it has potatoes and a LOT of filling. But I do miss it!

Frank said...

Yet another item that I tend to take for granted until I read about so many that don't have them. I have probably 7-10 taco trucks within a 2 mile radius of mi casa( in Austin), and they are pretty much all excellent. My current fave is called 'Torchy's on S.1st-BF taco with eggs and pork w/verde sauce-Ayyyeee!!!

FM

Chef JP said...

Excellent post---I've always thought that Texas food is pretty grounded in breakfast (huevos rancheros etc)--chefjp

Gena said...

I went to college in Abilene, TX, and there was the best breakfast taco place there. There's nothing like it here in NC. Back then, though, I used to make my own chorizo breakfast tacos, freeze them, and pop them in the microwave for a quickie breakfast as I walked across campus to class. I'll have to make some this weekend!

Lissa said...

Hi Gena! I'm a Homesick Texan near Raleigh, NC. :-)

Lisa, I love this post. It brings back memories of the first time my NC-raised husband was exposed to breakfast tacos. Taco Cabana in Katy, TX on a Saturday morning.

It wasn't on the menu there, but I prefer mine with fajita beef, eggs and cheese with lots of pico de gallo. No potatoes for me.

He thought it was the oddest thing, even though he loves Mexican food. I make them for myself all the time, and even though I make my own pico, it still doesn't taste quite as good as it does in Texas.

ann said...

so, um, Lisa, let's talk. I have some savings, maybe you have some savings... yeah, you see where I'm going with this... Maybe we set up in Union Square, or maybe in Grand Central, or maybe down by the battery, but, oh hellz yeah, someone needs to make this happen. Dang. I would love to be able to grab a breakfast taco on my way into the office...

Lydia said...

I never had really good breakfast tacos before I traveled in the southwest. If you find them anywhere in NYC, please let us know where.

Mallow said...

I know what I'm making for breakfast tomorrow. (Or midnight snack?)

lobstersquad said...

sounds like a wonderful dinner. we don´t eat eggs for breakfast, but I´m definitely trying this

Anonymous said...

Too bad my grandparents are no longer in Richmond, TX, or I'd have a couple of places to try.

Mmm, Whataburger.

Su-Lin said...

I'm definitely going to make these for a Sunday brunch! They're never going to materialise on a weekday in my flat...I can barely comb my hair in the morning on those days.

Meeta said...

This really is my kind of breakfast. When we visit my uncle in Houston - he always takes us out at least once for one of these. Lisa, you've not only brought back memories but also my cravings for this!

Homesick Texan said...

Jerry--Ha! That old breakfast burrito vs. breakfast taco debate! Californians always miss them when they come to Texas.

Myanderings--How do you make your machaca?

Garrett--Anytime you're in New York, come on over and I'll cook you some food!

Mike--Yes, keeping it simple it is the key. And good luck with your quest!

Larry--Will do!

Kristofer--I haven't, but will definitely go there next time I'm in Houston. I love the name!

Lesley--Migas are another thing you can't find on the East Coast. Sigh, nothing's better than breakfast in Texas.

Frank--Oh man, you're making me hungry...I love pork with verde salsa!

Chef JP--Yep, Texans know how to make a fine breakfast.

Gena--I like to do that too, saves time in the morning.

Lissa--Taco Cabana makes excellent breakfast tacos. When I was in Austin back in April for a wedding, the morning after a friend made a Taco Cabana run. I swooned!

Ann--I think Union Square would be best, especially on market days!

Lydia--Will do. There's a place in the East Village that has them on the menu, but I haven't tried them yet.

Mallow--Midnight snack or breakfast, anytime is a great time for a breakfast taco!

Lobstersquad--You could make tortilla in a tortilla!

Anon--I love how the mere mention of Whataburger makes people say, "Mmmm!"

Su-Lin--Ha! Enjoy!

Meeta--It's good stuff--I'm glad I brought back pleasant memories for you. Give them a try!

Andrea said...

I know what I'm making for breakfast this weekend!

AllyB said...

Thanks for the recipe, this sounds fabulous! I'll be trying it out this weekend. Love your blog btw.

christine (myplateoryours) said...

I am trying to get my head around "tacos have taken New York City by storm. I guess I have been away way too long. But I skipped breakfast today and am in the process of skipping lunch and I badly want a breakfast taco. NOW.

Cynthia said...

If this is what I can have for breakfast then I want to have breakfast daily.

diane said...

I work in downtown Houston, and about 1/2 a block down Preston is a little pink building called La Palapa~no doubt they have the best breakfast tacos! I always get extra sauce, as it is the best too! As I stand there, after ordering, there is always a girl stirring a gigantic pot of beans that is filled to the very tip top! Just one wrong move, and right over the top, the beans would go before they are cooked down for the day's noon meals! The flour tortillas are so warm and just the right thickness. Truly mouth watering.....I love Texas!

Amber said...

Diane - The pink trailer at San Jacinto and Preston? I worked downtown during college ten years ago and ate their tacos daily. I'm so pleased they are still there. (apologies for the conversation.)

Jenn said...

I work right down the street from one of the bajillions of Tacqueria Guadalajaras in San Antonio, and am guilty of eating three breakfast tacos at least once (okay, twice, maybe three times!) a week. My favorite: bean, cheese, and bacon. They always have the crispiest, most delicious bacon, and the beans are so glossy and are just *perfection*. . .

I guess I know what I'll eat before work tomorrow!

persephone113 said...

I have a similar version,that I make for my daughter and me. But I usuallly make about 2-3 dozen. I wrap them in a wax sandwich paper and put them in a ziplock and freeze them. When my daughter was in college I would always make her a huge batch when I went to visit. Hell she still begs me to make her a batch when I go visit her. Sometimes I use chorizo, but most of the time I use Jimmy Dean or some of the local sausage from my local butcher. I do a dozen eggs at a time in whiz them up in the blender. I first brown the sausage and then add the eggs, salsa, and some cilantro,and spices. After the eggs are done and I've turned off the heat I add the cheese. Then I spoon the filling into a tortilla and I wrap them up in those wax sandwich papers like you get a Sam's. I also like the smaller tortillas. They freeze very well and only take about a minute in the microwave. Nothing better than your own homemade fast food. People at work always beg me to make them when we have a fundraiser too. BTW, I grew up in Pasadena, and also lived in Ft. Stockton. Tex-Mex is one of my great loves. The Mexican food here in Florida is good but it is just not the same. I still mail-order my chili powder from Pendrey's and my brisket rub and bean spices from Bolners Fiesta.

YGBSM said...

an absolute favorite breakfast taco of mine, that gets stares from every taqueria counter girl i've ever ordered it from is: chorizo con huevos, with a veneer of frijoles refritos, shredded cheese and a slice of bacon. my friends refer to it as the hand-held heart attack. gotta love living in sa, where there's no shortage of great breakfast taco places.

Homesick Texan said...

Andrea--Hope you like them!

AllyB--Thanks and enjoy!

Christine--There have been taco trucks since I moved here 12 years ago, but it seems recently they've not only multiplied, but the mainstream press has discovered them as well. So yes, tacos are hip.

Cynthia--Yep, you can definitely eat these every day--they make breakfast fun!

Diane--I'll have to check out La Palapa next time I'm home. I love the image of the woman stirring the full pot of beans!

Amber--No apologies necessary, keep the conversation going!

Jenn--Glossy, perfect beans--my mouth is watering! I bet they use bacon grease or lard to achieve that incredible taste!

Persephone113--I like your blender idea, I'll have to try that. And yes, freezing a bunch so they're ready to go is an easy way to get your breakfast taco fix.

YGBSM--Ooooh! That does sound like a hand-held heart attack, but a delicious one!

Tommy said...

We have a serious lack of Mexican places in Toronto. I think I would drop dead with joy if I ever saw a taco truck in TO. Our city is so ready for good real Mexican food.

Anyone in Toronto keeping any secrets ?

intheyearofthepig said...

Oh I miss Mi Madres on Manor Road, and Tamale House, and Porfirio's, and Taco Deli, and Dos Hermanos, and Taqueria Arrandas #s 3 and 7, and the truck in the parking lot across from the preschool my mom runs on S. Lamar, and I can't really go on because it makes me sad. Here in NC every dad-burned thing is on a biscuit. Except in my kitchen of course.

Another great post to inspire some nostalgia and some cooking in all us homesick Texans.

intheyearofthepig said...

don't get me wrong, i like biscuits too, I like them a lot.

Vicky said...

You are correct..they ARE breakfast TACOs not burritos. I'm a Homesick Texan in Alabama and my family was eating breakfast tacos 30+ years ago before they hit fast food fame. I probably would have starved during my single years if not for breakfast tacos for any meal of the day! I used to go to a family owned tortilla factory to get fresh tortillas to keep in my freezer just so I could have descent tortillas because at the time I didn't have time to make them homemade.

I love potatoes in mine! I guess the two starches never bothered me. Maybe that accounts for those extra pounds I carry around now.

Great Blog!

veron said...

Oh wow, what a hearty breakfast! I would love to wake up to this in the morning! Thanks for the inspiration( especially now with the cooler season coming).

Terry B said...

Homesick--These sound terrific! I'm definitely going to make them sooner rather than later.

Your comment that "even a not-so-good one is never that bad" reminds me of a wonderful quote by British comedian and actor Max Wall: "Show business is like sex. When it’s wonderful, it’s wonderful. But when is isn’t very good. It’s still all right."

Anh said...

This is so new to me! Breakfast taco, how yummy it can be!

neil said...

There's a bit of a shortage of tasty Mexican in Oz, just run-of-the-mill stuff. Never heard of a breakfast taco, is it like huevos rancheros rolled up, or is that too much filling? Like the sound of it though, gets those taste buds rockin' first thing in the morning!

Mercedes said...

Bah, this is how culturally confused I am. Since it is both Ramadan and Yom Kippur, I thought this was going to be about tacos for breaking that kind of fast. Add to this the fact that when a Muslim person invites you over for the evening meal to break the Ramadan fast, they invite you over for "breakfast" at 5 pm.

Anyway, once I got myself straightened out, I quite enjoyed reading about breakfast tacos. Frankly, I always thought breakfast burritos were odd things, but a breakfast taco I can wrap my head around. I even like the idea of making it ahead and grabbing it on those mornings I'm running late for work.

Homesick Texan said...

Tommy--Taco trucks have taken the US by storm, so I reckon it's only a matter of time before they hit Toronto as well. I had a decent meal at El Sol on Danforth a couple of years ago--have you ever eaten there? Not much spice, but the flavor was fine.

Intheyearofthepig--I love Taqueria Arrandas! And of course, biscuits are wonderful, but it's true, sometimes you just want a breakfast taco.

Vicky--Your family owns a tortilla factory? How cool is that! I was in Alabama last summer, and I saw a few taco trucks--perhaps they'll start serving breakfast tacos soon.

Veron--You're welcome! They're a terrific way to begin the day--the spice just sort of jump-starts your body and mind.

Terry B--Briliant! You could also apply that to pizza and hamburgers.

Anh--Soooo yummy! Give them a try!

Neil--They're simpler than huevos rancheros--just scrambled eggs with meat or veggies, perhaps a smear of refried beans, some cheese and salsa. You can add cilantro and peppers, of course, but a breakfast taco's simplicity is what makes it so grand. And yes--the fire definitley wakes up the old taste buds!

Mercedes--Ha! It wasn't until after I posted this that I remembered that it was also Ramadan and close to Yom Kippur--two religious periods which call for fasting. So while my post's title may be misleading, I reckon these breakfast tacos are fine anytime. I'm glad you can wrap you head around it!

Scribbit said...

I've never had a time when tacos didn't sound good--and breakfast tacos are so good!

Paola said...

Fantastic blog!! Your photos are brilliant!

paola

Cara said...

Amen to breakfast tacos! We live on them! Don't know what to eat for dinner? whip up some potato and egg tacos and were good to go! loved the post!

Vanessa Carlson said...

Just home from Austin. And I have to say that I literally ate my way through the week. So many things I miss. Anyway, on the breakfast taco subject, have a great recipe created by a friend of mine. Basically they potato chorizo (mexican not peurto rican)tacos.

Chorizo potato breakfast tacos:

2-3 baking potatoes (already baked with skins removed)
1/4 - 1/2 lb chorizo
1/2 yellow onion
salt and pepper to taste
warm flour tortillas
favorite salsa on the side
grated mexican blend cheese

To make:

Saute chopped onion in olive oil. Once onion is soft and opaque add chorizo. Cook sausage through. Crumble baked potatoes into pan. Add salt and pepper, stir to mix and to heat potatoes through.

To assemble:

Scoop sausage potato mixture into warm tortilla. Garnish with cheese and salsa. Enjoy!

Lisa said...

I'll take mine with chorizo, please! I'm over here dying for one (or three), now.

meronym said...

That sounds so delicious! I think I will have to make these from now on :) Thank YOU!
Living in Iceland, there doesn't seem to be much call for Mexican food, which is mine and my boyfriends fave food! Both the Mexican take away place and Mexican general food store have closed.. leaving us with meager European attempts at spicy sauces and everything else :(

Yvo said...

Basically anything I can find in the fridge, right? I like this idea. I posted once about making breakfast sandwiches for myself but as you said- it was the ubiquitous scrambled eggs, cheese, and sausage on a fluffy roll. http://feistyfoodie.blogspot.com/2006/12/homemeade-breakfast-sandwich.html But a taco seems a bit quicker- I know this is near sacriliege, but think I can substitute some store-bought tortillas? Hmm... this could be the low carb answer... :) Yum! Thanks!!!

Homesick Houstonian said...

I really miss migas too

Lee said...

I didn't think I could get any more homesick, but reading your blog and seeing the wonderful pictures and recipes has done it. I am an ex pat Texan living in Bavaria, Germany. Sometimes I sit around and fantasize about which Dallas Mexican food restaurant I want to eat dinner in...everything from El Fenix to Ciudad. I'm counting the days until my trip home in October!

Homesick Texan said...

Scribbit--You're correct--tacos are good anytime!

Paola--Thank you!

Cara--Amen indeed!

Vanessa--Yep, I do that when I go home as well--nonstop eating! Thanks for the recipe, I can't wait to try it.

Lisa--I love chorizo too, it's perfect with eggs.

Meronym--That's a sad state of affairs, but hopefully you can find the proper spices so you can make Mexican food at home.

Yvo--You can substitute store-bought tortillas, this is supposed to be an easy breakfast after all!

Homesick Houstonian--I know, nobody does migas here, just chilaquiles, which aren't the same.

Lee--I can totally relate! I do the same thing and the first thing I do when I hop off the plane is head for some Tex-Mex.

Chef Tom said...

My girlfriend and I were camping 2 weeks ago and I made similar breakfast tacos one morning over the grill. They came out great! These look really good too!

Olivia said...

Mmmm, the nopalitos sound really good!

Kay said...

I recently blogged about the best breakfast taco in Austin for my Statesman blog...it's interesting how many great b'fast tacos we have in this city but that no restaurant can claim more than one. Juan in a Million has it's "Don Juan". Taco Cabana has the best bean & cheese. Taco Shack has a good fajita and egg but ask them to add avocado and put it on corn tortillas and it is incredible. Mi Madres has the best bacon & egg taco. I could go on and on, of course.

Do you make your own flour tortillas? They're leagues better than store bought and with practice, easy. In mi familia we call mass produced store bought ones "alien tortillas" courtesy of a cousin's young son who had never eaten anything but his grandmother's home made tortillas. He refused to finish the "alien tortilla". It was funny for such a young kid to be so adamant and the moniker stuck.

renee said...

your tortillas are beautiful! i am so close to getting a press. almost there for an almost foodie!

verily said...

My first introduction to breakfast tacos was when I was a little girl and my family would drive down to Texas to help out on my great-grandmother's cattle ranch during fall round-up. My cousin would make the tastiest breakfast tacos and would pack them with the right mix of starch and protein to fuel the real cowboys working the ranch (and us little cowgirls in training, too).

I've lived in Texas for 20ish years now and I can't find a place that makes them quite like hers. Though Tacodeli does a mean version...

I've tried to duplicate her exact recipe, but I think she adds something secret to the mix that she won't tell me about. But the basic mix-up is this:
scrambled eggs, hash browns (cubes), pico de gallo (not salsa), monterrey jack, spicy pork sausage, and kidney beans. Never overstuff them...so you can eat lots of them. ;)

Anonymous said...

Hey - I'd like to bring breakfast tacos in to a group I'm supervising in the Financial District. Is there anywhere to get them?

The best bf tacos are at Maudie's - the Tatiana Special. They have little pieces of pork tamale in them. I'm crying just thinking about them.

Homesick Texan said...

Chef Tom--Thanks! An that's cool you made them over the grill.

Olivia--Aren't nopalitos delicious?

Kay--Alien tortillas--ha! I love it! And yes, I do make my own flour tortillas, so easy and they taste so much better.

Renee--Yea! You won't regret it!

Verily--What a great memory! And too bad you don't know what her secret ingredient is--though yours sound might tasty!

Anon--Sadly, there's nothing here like there is in Texas, but you might try Puebla in the East Village on 1st around 4th Street.

Glenn said...

I'm dying here...I'm living in Portland, OR (the new culinary mecca according to a multitude of magazines and Food TV mouthpieces) and I can't find a breakfast taco, a freshly made flour tortilla, or a plate of migas for 1200 miles anyplace but my own kitchen. Ahhhhh...Taco Cabana, Tamale Hut, Lupita's, Sombrero Rosa, huevos, chorizo, papas...

Anonymous said...

What!? No jalapeños?

Anonymous said...

Ahhhh... I am SOOOOOO homesick! I just googled breakfast tacos & found your blog you did on them. I'm a recent transplant from Killeen, Texas to Redmond, WA. There are NO breakfast tacos here. I'm SERIOUSLY going thru withdrawals. I have made them, but they are not as good as my restaurant I'd frequent often in Killeen. Sigh. I think I'm going to have to move back. I just can't handle the traffic. And the cold weather. And the traffic. And the lack of breakfast tacos!

:)
M~

Rig Mover said...

ANOTHER VOTE FOR BOB'S TACO STATION! An offshore tug company brings us Bob's tacos every Friday morning...like manna from Heaven.

debradtate said...

Wow, as a citizen of Austin, TX I am truly blessed with Tacodeli Tacos and salsa for breakfast, lunch, and any meal in between if I bring home leftovers. I crave them whenever I leave town and Tacodeli is the first thing I eat when I get back home. I was in Brooklyn for the holidays and am always on the lookout for great food. On our most recent trip we stumbled into three fantastic places that felt like home! (We typically avoid restaurants that try to serve Mexican or BBQ because it just doesn't stack up...) I met the owners of Bonita and Diner in Brooklyn through an unfortunate flat tire incident on New Year's Day. They are precious owners who love fresh and local food. I was blown away by the Soup at both restaurants! Bonita had wonderful Soupa De Lima and a crazy fabulous hot chocolate with tequila in it. Diner's soup of the day was a Carrot Ginger. I could have devoured three bowls. And for BBQ...The owner of Waterfront Ale House in Brooklyn Heights apparently has an obsession with BBQ, and the pulled pork sandwich would win an award in Texas if the judges didn't know it was from NY! So, for those of you who rightfuly yearn for a taste that feels a bit like Texas...there's hope in Brooklyn!

Adam Fields said...

Robert Rodriguez has a quick video - 10 minute cooking school - from the Sin City DVD showing how he makes breakfast tacos.

cardiff giant said...

I am a homesick New Yorker living in Austin. I miss my favorite bacon, egg and cheese on a kaiser roll. I just wanted to say that breakfast tacos have replaced my egg sandwich! I love them.

I am going to Rosies tamale house in the AM for a migas and a chorizo, potato and egg!

Justin said...

I am an Austinite living in Tennessee, where Mexican food is more like a joke- and the joke's on me. And you can forget about Tex-Mex.

Knowing that there's someone out there who understands the plight of the away-from-home Texan is comforting.

Thank you.

TexasDixon said...

I made fresh pico de gallo last night (nice and spicy, always better on day 2 or 3)
Vine ripened tomatoes, Red onion, Jalepeno, Cilantro, Lime, Garlic, Dash or 4 of my fajita seasoning
Fresh pico begs for breakfast tacos. I make them a little un-traditional in that I use fried eggs rather than scrambled.

Fried egg over easy, slice of bacon, melted colby jack cheese and fresh beak of the rooster on a warm flour tortilla. Does it get any better????

Anonymous said...

I love your sight, and I'm dying for a good Huevos Ranchero recipe. I used to live in Costa Mesa, CA and a neighbor of mine would make the sauce from scratch, and I have yet to be able to duplicate it. WE have since lost touch and I would love to make it for my family. I know he would put bacon in the gravy (sauce) and boil the veggie (although I'm not sure which ones...) but that's about it. Any ideas?

Joseph said...

can anyone in san antonio tell me if "el milagrito" still exists down on st. mary's? damn good breakfast taco. damn good.

Anonymous said...

I am a Houston transplant in NJ I've gotten my native NJ boyfriend hooked on breakfast tacos during our visits to Houston. I miss the homemade tortillas more than anything. If there was a Mexican place that had them NJ/NY wouldn't know what hit them! I actually had to get my moms recipe and start making them from scratch!

Anonymous said...

Oh and the best breakfast tacos in downtown Houston was Brothers Tacos!

Anonymous said...

Ha ha ha – this post has me cracking up. I found it because I was trying to find a recipe for the Don Juan at Juan in a Million in Austin.

I live in Austin, TX but grew up elsewhere. Breakfast tacos never tempted me until a woman at work started bringing them in to sell in the morning. Wow. Eat one every day for at least half a week and you will be ADDICTED!! And the part that I want to stress is that there was really no secret to the ingredients or how she put them together. They are the most simple thing in the world. Anyway, I figured out that I was hooked when she stopped bringing them and I went into this weird morning withdrawal. Seriously, very addictive. Hard to explain until you have them.

Mike said...

Hello from Phoenix, by way of Austin. Lordy-lordy, do I miss these tacos. And migas, too. Neither exist out here, though fry bread and other regional flavors compensate somewhat.

Randy Lucas said...

If you can find Freer, TX you must stop at Ramos' Cafe (it's really more of a stand - no inside dining, but a picnic table under the awning. They have the best 'taquitos' (as we call them down in South Texas - that's also the name Whataburger uses for them). My favorites are the bacon, potato, egg, and cheese, the bacon and bean, or if it's close to lunch, the carne guisada taquito.

spittingtacks said...

I googled breakfast taco and you were the number one ranking! I live in LA and desperately miss them. Breakfast burritos are alright, but not the same. I swear, they must easily be the most missed item after BBQ by most Texans.

Marc said...

Oh my God. Juan in a Million...Kerby Lane...Mi Madre....-sigh- Maria's. I am an expat Austinite living in Portland now. My eyes get a little brighter when try to explain to the NW folk about the simple joy that is the breakfast taco. "So, like a breakfast burrito then....?" "No..it's different..better.." I try to explain. But it is tough; there are only four kinds of non-Pace salsa in the grocery store and no one has even heard of chips and queso. I am really quite surprised this is not a national, no international, phenomenon.

Anonymous said...

i'm sorry to ask what is probably a stupid question - but what is a breakfast burrito? how is it different than a breakfast taco?

and more on topic - in Brownsville (RIGHT on the border at the very very southern tip of Texas) where I was raised, breakfast tacos are as big as a plate. the same filling as here in Houston, but the tortillas are gigantic and the filling is so so good. I want to go to Bertha's right now (real name: Cafe Amiga, but those in the "know" know its all about Bertha, the owner!)!

Anonymous said...

A good place if your rolling through waco is Lolitas

Anonymous said...

I heard the taco truck at union pool is going to start cooking breakfast tacos for brunch...I hope so!

Lisa (Homesick Texan) said...

Anon--Really? That's great news!

Anonymous said...

I just made the jump from Austin TX, where I've lived my whole life, to NYC for college and while family and friends tried to explain to me that there was no decent mexican food up north, I didn't want to believe them.

I talk about my intense longing for breakfast tacos and nobody knows what I'm talking about! They just mumble and say something about "texans..." Or worse, try to convince me that they've found mexican food here! LIES! People actually consider Taco Bell to be mexican food!

The unfortunate part is that my dorm situation doesn't have any sort of kitchen except a mini-fridge and a microwave! Certainly not the kind of set up I need to make my own texmex. SOMEBODY SEND ME SOME PEPPERS! I'll invest in a blender so at least I'll have some salsa.

I MISS YOU TAMALE HOUSE!

texastacogirl said...

I love this article and I LOVE breakfast tacos! I ate two this morning bc a girl at work brought about 20 for us! yum!
If anyone is ever in Austin try Taco Express or in San Marcos try Lolitas! They are soo good!

Sean said...

You forgot the all important Bean and Cheese breakfast taco! Nothing more simple or ama

Mandie84 said...

I am a Texan who just moved to Michigan where Tex-Mex definitely does not exist, and I am so glad that you posted this! I am going to make some tonight for my husband as comfort food!

Rhesa said...

Just found your website, in a search for a carne guisada recipe - THANKS! BTW, it is one of my great sorrows that there are no breakfast tacos to be had in NYC! I make my own now - Trader Joe's makes decent flour tortillas & I'm fearless when it comes to fillings.

Karen Pestano said...

I adore breakfast tacos, and can identify with the 'alien tortillas' comment. I just made Lisa's Texas Flour Tortillas, and all three of my boys were gobbling them up, saying they were just like Ruthie's in San Antonio. Ruthie's has(had?) breakfast tacos for just 89 cents if you get there before 8am. Missouri has NOTHING like it - I'm so grateful to be able to make my own breakfast tacos complete with fresh tortillas now!! - Karen Pestano, fellow Homesick Texan.

Jenny L said...

Just found your website when I was trying to explain breakfast tacos to a co-worker. "You mean like a burrito?" NO, not a burrito!

Thanks for this, from a Homesick Texan in Illinois!

Henry said...

Next time you're in Houston, and near the east end, you MUST try Villa Arcos. They've been there for 33 years, and the only word for their breakfast tacos, with home-made tortillas and salsa, is sublime.

The huevos con papas version is excellent in its simplicity, and the carne guisada makes a nice break from the traditional egg-based breakfast taco.

Anonymous said...

Hey Lisa,
You may want to try Diablo Truck back on Union Pool in billyburg. Those tacos (including breakfast ones) are so far closest to home (Austin), yet still far off.
Cheers..

Anonymous said...

Another place you may want to try besides Diablo (that is my comment as well) is Good Enough to Eat on the UWS. They actually have decent (Kerbey Lane) style Migas there.

jason said...

try finding them in the south of france i do love potatoes with mine thou

jason from houston

lynda thompson said...

I HATE breakfast and have since I was a young child. When we moved to San Antonio, I fell in love with breakfast tacos, and so many more types than with eggs. Now live in VA and no breakfast tacos are to be found here. So sad... I hate breakfast again.

Paul Black said...

God I am living in Mississippi now, I soooo miss the breakfast tacos I used to get in Leander/Cedar Park and of course Mima's in Wimberly. That is my soul comfort food. Slobbering just thinking bout the tacos....

Diane said...

Hi, me again. I'm a San Antonian but I live in "whiteytown" so there aren't very many authentic taco options in my neck of the woods. Chacho's is a decent place to go to but a limited selection. I also like going to Mimi's Barbacoa for their breakfast tacos. They're the only place even remotely near me that has my favorite taco -- a chorizo, potato, and bean taco. My late father got me started on that combination and now I can't get enough.

Though perhaps the best place in S.A. to get tacos is Rita's Fiesta Cafe on Bandera, which is also our best Mexican restaurant in town. They have a chorizo, potato, and bean taco on their menu, and it's THE perfect breakfast taco to me. I have to visit the cemetery this Father's Day, so after the visit I'll be heading over to Rita's for two of those and a large glass of iced tea (sweetened with Sweet & Low). I'm SO looking forward to it!

Norma said...

Lisa -- VERY late but hope you get it anyway . . . MARY'S TACOS in Kerrville!!! Never had better ANYWHERE! Honestly worth a trip.

Ellie said...

Julio's in Austin makes my favorite breakfast tacos-- the secret is that you have to get them with chorizo. I get bean, potato and chorizo (I don't like eggs) and they are so, so good.

gretchen devero said...

NEW YORK: Fonda Nolita!

janmaus said...

After years in Austin, breakfast tacos are a staple. I not only received my MS, but worked at UT for more than 10 years, and on the drag it was egg and potato. I've been away for a decade and a seach failed to find my favorite place that served the ultimate breakfast taco--eggs, potatoes, cheese, onions, garlic, cilantro, chili peppers--bacon or sausage optional--grilled in a flour tortilla. Served with their salsa, it was breakfast heaven.

Holli said...

YUM! - A co-worker brought breakfast tacos today. I haven't known the joys of a breakfast taco in months. Nothing better than a hot breakfast taco with fresh homemade salsa. What do ya'll drink with yours? I know it's early here in Texas, but I like to drink sweet tea with mine.

Anonymous said...

Moving to either Charlottesvile Va. or Hillsborough NC within the year. I plan to open a place serving the kind of tacos yall are looking for. Just hold on!

Anonymous said...

Don't forget the Carne Guisada tacos with hot sauce, the best taco ever. I love living is SA. I lived in California for 6 months,was the worse time, they didn't even know what Carne Guisada was.

Anonymous said...

I was raised in floresville texas,The homemade flour tortillas were the norm for me.Now i live in san antonio for 30 years and my best taco is the country and egg,bean and cheese,and for lunch carnie guesida or picadillio. san antonio has the best tacos,real tacos,when my grandson was little he used to say 'taco cabena has arificial ,tacos, because they were not made like home

Anonymous said...

The norm in san antonio barbacoa tacos and Big Red,for southside There is a tejano song abt barbacoa and big red,

More Cowbell said...

Breakfast quesadilla! What goes better with eggs than cheese? Truthfully, I'd never even thought of a breakfast taco, but you have just expanded my horizons. ;)

Michael said...

All good and well, but as a born and raised West Texan I can't disagree more on the flour tortilla. Two stacked soft corn tortillas are what make an authentic breakfast taco. The important ingredients are : egg, jalepeño, meat, and corn tortillas.

Sheryl said...

I'm from Michigan, lived in Texas for almost 23 years, and recently moved back to Michigan - and I miss good Mexican food! Most people here have no idea what a breakfast taco is - so if I want one, I have to make them myself.

Anonymous said...

Competely agree! A breakfast burrito is NOT a breakfast taco! After living 3 years outside of Texas I was beginning to think maybe I was imagining it. Thanks for restoring my sanity on this important distinction :)

Post a Comment

Comments are moderated to avoid spam. And if you don't have a blog, please leave your name as it makes it friendlier that way!