Created Friday, 21 August 2009 21:17
An Ode to the World’s Most Perfect Breakfast Food
By Julia Hayden
Sing, Muses, of nature’s – and San Antonio’s most perfect breakfast entree, the food of the Gods, infinite in variety and nourishment! Unhappy mortals in less blessed locations may sing of their croissant and cafe au lait, the mixed breakfast grill, or toast with honey, jam on bread, even disgusting concoctions like sausage gravy, as vomitous in appearance as in taste … but little do they know of the sublime perfection in the simple breakfast taco!
By the breakfast taco, I mean the real thing, the honest, southwest concoction served in thousands of little eateries scattered along the San Antonio highways and byways, painted in bright pink, aqua, yellow or lavender, with a Virgin of Guadalupe painted inside or out, hand painted advertisements for menudo and barbacoa, and a corrida blasting out of the radio in back. This is not the fake, processed muck wrapped in something that might be white cardboard and oozing orange grease, foisted off on those deprived mortals who have never, ever tasted a real breakfast taco, oh no.
This is fluffy scrambled egg and a scattering of browned country sausage, enfolded in a tender, home-made fresh tortilla, irregular as to shape, two delicate layers baked swiftly on a griddle, a spoonful of roasted tomato and jalapeno chile salsa dribbled onto the eggs. There is the potato and egg variant, the chorizo version, the egg and bacon variety, the sub-category of chorizo-bean-and-cheese, infinite diversity in infinite combinations, all wrapped in a fresh flour tortilla. With salsa on it, you have the major food groups in one simple package.
This is the breakfast of the 21st century, combining solid nourishment, gustatory satisfaction, and unmatched ease of consumption. Until you have eaten a real breakfast taco, you cannot say that you have really, really had breakfast. Every major avenue in San Antonio has at least three places serving breakfast tacos in every block, and at least one of them will offer drive-through service.
You will know them by the construction pickup trucks parked out front, by a gathering of automobiles at every hour, by hand-painted signs in the windows, by the delicious odors wafting forth, and by the people departing them bearing away paper sacks bulging full of the bounteous and sacred tacos, each wrapped in a square of tinfoil, and accompanied by handful of little plastic cups, each containing a spoonful of thin red or green sauce … oh, be careful of the sauce, the home-made variety is nuclear-fission in a cup, but it wouldn’t be a breakfast taco without the sauce.