I’m not used to getting rolled by a taco vendor on the East Side of Austin. Yes, it’s business as usual to charge north of $2 for a simple little taco on the west side of the interstate but it used to be that that sort of behavior would get a taquero little more than a rusty shanking on the East Side.
This new Austin that we’re living in is getting less savory by the minute.
Rolling up on Paco’s it initially seems pretty promising. The house in which it resides is old and weather beaten. A dirt parking lot always gives me a little hope for what’s going on in the kitchen. If they’re so busy concentrating on the food that they can’t be bothered with parking lot filigrees then it’s normally a good sign.
My opening salvo at the counter is always the same; “which of the tortillas is homemade?”
With more and more frequency the response is “neither”.
It never ceases to amaze me the number of new taco shops that run by HEB Supermarket in the morning, grab a few plastic bags of tortillas and call it a days’ work.
Austin will never challenge San Antonio for primacy in the taco wars. I’ve eaten tacos all over our southern neighbor and have yet to get a tortilla from a plastic bag.
It’s cheaper to make them from scratch, they taste better and it improves the quality of the food immeasurably. Yes it take talent and energy but why bother going into the restaurant field if you’re not talented and energetic?
THE FOOD PART OF THE ARTICLE:
Paco’s bacon egg and cheese breakfast taco is not a good one.
Heft is substantial, it’s a two egg version which means it’s nigh onto enormous. The eggs have been cooked on a too hot grill however, the result being that there are little leathery bits throughout the mix.
The corn tortillas are the best of the local commercial offerings; El Milagro but due to lack of skill on the taquero’s part they are undercooked. I keep this brand in my fridge for a quick, cheap taco and they greatly benefit from being cooked on an extremely hot comal with a daub of fat. A thimble of molten white cheese adds little flavor to this taco.
I’m given one of each salsa and neither is notable. The green is a standard tomatilla version, the red a slightly different take in that it is creamy with a good bit of chile flavor.
At $2.27 the only thing memorable about the bacon egg and cheese breakfast taco at Paco’s is the price. If you’re pulling in 6 figures, don’t care whether your tortilla is made from scratch and are in the neighborhood, then this may be a good breakfast option, otherwise you’d do well to look elsewhere.
1304 E 51st St
About the Stars:
★★★★ Extraordinary, life changing
★★ Very good
Quality, price, service and ambiance are all taken into account when rating