It’s a time-honored Austin breakfast tradition unlike any other. And for some reason – despite it’s awesomeness – it just hasn’t made the jump to mainstream breakfast noshing in either of my home cities: NYC and San Francisco. What is this breakfast tradition I speak of? Why, Breakfast Tacos, of course. Now, get on it SF and NYC. I want breakfast tacos!
Breakfast tacos really are a perfect handheld breakfast food (second of course to the most revered handheld breakfast items of all: bagel with lox). There’s just something about folding really flavorful, high quality meats into a fresh tortilla with soft scrambled eggs, cheese, veggies, herbs and salsa that leads to a consistently special breakfast experience.
And at the original location of the very popular Tacodeli mini-chain in the off-the-beaten path Zilker/Barton Hills part of Austin you can reliably get your fill on some really great ones. It’s a fast-casual operation with really friendly service, a few small tables inside, and a nice patio out front with even more seating. Tacodeli is a pretty big deal to Austinites and on the weekends, people of all ages flock there to get their taco fix. But, fortunately, unlike a lot of other super-popular Austin hot spots, the lines at Tacodeli never seem to take very long since it’s such a well run shop and it’s so fast and easy to put these glorious Tex-Mex breakfast dishes together.
Since I was making this particular visit at around 11:15 AM, I knew I had to kick off the meal with a breakfast taco or two so I started with a make-your-own Chorizo, Egg, Jack Cheese, and Avocado Breakfast Taco. Much like in San Francisco, Austin cares quite a lot about using local and high quality ingredients at their restaurants. Tacodeli has a large sign plastered to the wall naming all of their local ingredient purveyors, so you know the taco fillings are gonna be great before you even take a bite.
But, the high-quality ingredients used will be all too obvious when do actually take a bite as well. The fresh, local, scrambled eggs were nice and fluffy. And the locally sourced chorizo was smokey and had a wonderful texture, though it was a little mild for this spice-nut. But there was no need to worry – all it took was a bit of the Roja Salsa from the salsa bar poured over top to really kick it up a notch and bring the heat. The creamy avocado slices nicely rounded it all out making for a delicious and wholly satisfying handheld breakfast bite.
But, just because we were eating tacos for breakfast didn’t mean we had to stick to the “breakfast taco” section of the menu. I think that their now-famous Cowboy Taco which comes loaded with beef tenderloin, grilled corn, caramelized onions, roasted peppers, guacamole, and queso fresco is even better than their eggy breakfast taco options and has become a must-have on every trip to Tacodeli for me.
The guac is super creamy and limey – it’s awesome. But really, this dish is all about that aggressively spice-rubbed beef tenderloin. Is it really a surprise to anyone that Texans know how to barbecue up some seriously craveable beef? It shouldn’t be. This beef tenderloin was insanely tender and extraordinarily bold, just how I like it. The already incredible taco never really even needs any salsa add to it because it’s so flavorful as provided, but I still like some of that outstanding Roja salsa on top because – why not.
So, as you can probably see, I’m a big fan of these incredibly delicious and very cheap breakfast tacos at Tacodeli. Most of these hearty handheld Tex-Mex tacos will only run you between $2 and $3 and even the most fully loaded, fancy ones won’t cost you more than $4, so run wild and eat your face off. And just remember, just because the famed Cowboy Taco isn’t listed on the “breakfast taco” section of the menu doesn’t mean you can’t eat it for breakfast. Go big or go home, I always say.
Where do you go to get your breakfast taco fix in Austin? Let me know in the comments below.
1500 Spyglass Dr. Austin, TX 78746