I really like to find bargains and I really love breakfast tacos. I am addicted, in fact, to bargains and breakfast tacos.
To me, a vegan breakfast taco=beans+potatoes+cilantro+onions+salsa.
While there are of course many other ways to construct a vegan breakfast taco, most Mexican restaurants and taquerias only offer the standard, not-so-veggie-friendly options. For vegans, this means our bfast taco selection is typically limited to potatoes, rice, beans, and avocado…if we’re lucky. I am usually wary of the “vegetarian taco” at cheap meaty restaurants. When ordered sans cheese, this taco usually consists of lettuce, tomato, and really greasy bell peppers. It’s just not worth it. Anyway, I stick to beans and potatoes and sometimes beans and rice. This way I am rarely disappointed.
When ordering vegan breakfast tacos at a new place, key questions that need to be asked are:
1. Is there lard or pork fat in your beans?
2. Is there chicken broth in your rice?
*Asking “Are your beans vegetarian?” is usually not specific enough. Sadly, most people don’t understand what this means. You really have to spell it out. Use the words chicken broth (caldo de pollo) and lard (manteca). Just to be sure, it doesn’t hurt to ask again next time with a different waiter. It also doesn’t hurt to ask a question two different ways. Once I asked if there was lard in the beans and the waiter said “no.” Then I asked if there was “pig fat” and the waiter said “yes.”)
*If you know that a place has recently changed ownership, you need to be sure to ask all the same questions again. It is likely that their beans and rice may no longer be vegetarian.
I am compiling a list of all the Tex-Mex, bfast taco places in Austin and I will ask the questions above. I will make a spreadsheet with the results and publish it soon.
This morning, I went to La Tapatia on Ben White. I’ve been there three times and have asked three different waiters about their beans. They all said that there is no lard in their beans. I ordered 3 bean and potato tacos with cilantro and onions. The red salsa was a little watery, but pretty tasty. The beans were runny and refried, The potato chunks were large and deliciously crispy. The cilantro was not super fresh, but good enough to be enjoyable. The food came out extremely fast and since I ordered between 6am and 11am, I got 3 large tacos for $1.99! You really can’t beat that price! When I ordered coffee, the waitress was quick to refill my cup when it was empty. She also gave me an entire tray piled with little cream packets. Of course I didn’t open them, but I thought it was a little odd. I counted 16 cream packets! Who would consume that much cream with their coffee?
Fellow Austinites: If you have any questions, suggestions, or comments about places in Austin that serve good breakfast tacos, please let me know and I’ll add them to my list.