Sunday, April 6, 2008

Weird food in Austin, Tx

I do not like to be disturbed in the morning. Sleep has always been important to me and despite my love of food, breakfast has never had a strong spot in my daily agenda. Alas, times have changed. For this, I will awake into the cold morning and force myself to the nearest stand in order to obtain the only breakfast that is worth waking for: The Breakfast Taco.
During my stay a friend demanded that I try one of these ubiquitous morning meals before I leave Texas. I wasn't hard pressed to find one, thinking the taco would be much like heuvos rancheros which I can easily find in Cincinnati. Later that evening, when I mentioned to my host, "Someone told me to try this thing, a breakfast taco..." her face dropped as if I had asked what in the world is this apple thing everyone's talking about, "You've never had a breakfast taco?!" she exclaimed. "In Texas we don't bring donuts to the office, we bring breakfast tacos!" And so it was at 8:30 the next morning at a little stand that I stood in line with a growing hoard of Texans and waited for my very first breakfast taco. The menu was straight forward and inexpensive:

I ordered one of each, of course, and slowly ate them all. The bean taco was refried pintos, eggs, and cheese; soft and salty. Next I had the chorizo, the greasiest of all, and then the sausage which tasted exactly like a sausage omelet in a tortilla. The potato and eggs were light and almost my favorite until the migas. The best! Corn was the overpowering flavor but I also tasted onions and peppers wrapped in hot eggs and cheese. Divine. I soon found out a migas is a delicious mixture of day old tortilla strips sauteed with scrambled eggs, chopped onions, peppers. Once one has added the house made pico de gallo and bitten into the hot and savory migas taco, donuts seem like a sad way to start the morning.

Breakfast tacos were the tastiest food I encountered in Austin but the weirdest definitely goes to the Frito Pie at The Shady Grove The Frito Pie is a questionable thing. It isn't really a pie, although it is layered. The Shady Grove has taken the popular combination of Fritos on top of Texas style chili and reversed the placement. So the crunchy, corny Fritos are on the bottom of a pile of The Shady Grove's spicy sirloin chili, cheese, onions, and jalapeno peppers, dutifully soaking up the mess. Like eating nachos with a spoon the odd and junky Frito Pie is one of my Austin favorites.

The Frito pie is served in its original casing.

And in minutes...

There was lots of other food namely smoky beef BBQ and homemade tamales but they will have to wait for another edition of Dinnerella. Let me know what you eat in Austin!

P.S. For a chicken tortilla soup free of heavy cheese and blessed with a clear, lime infused broth full of avacados and tender chicken, head to Reata Grill at the Dallas Fort Worth airport.


jj said...

Those do sound very delicious! loved your pics, too.

Sabrina said...

Thanks for sharing your food adventures. I see a trip to Austin in my future!

amber said...

Thanks for the post on my home state staples. I've lived away from TX now for over 4 years and am CRAVING frito pie and breakfast burritos like crazy! Your pictures are making me drool. P.S. Frito pies are unbeatable at a Friday night football game when you're cold and hungry. You could eat about 6 or 7 of 'em and still want more....well, you've gotta leave room for the boudain balls.