Breakfast tacos are such an integral addition to Austin diets that we sometimes forget food trailers and whole buildings devoted to the tortilla-wrapped treat aren’t so common outside the city.
But lest we start taking breakfast tacos for granted, the writers behind blog Taco Journalism have put together a mouthwatering homage to one of our favorite meals with “Austin Breakfast Tacos: The Story of the Most Important Taco of the Day” (History Press, $14.99).
To be released on Friday, the book by Mando Rayo and Jarod Neece is as much a history of Mexican-American culture and cuisine in Austin as it is a love letter to the simple combination of tortilla, beans and egg — or whatever ingredients strike your fancy — that Hispanics have been eating for decades, before tacos were considered the official breakfast of Austin.
Longtime Austin restaurateurs, such as the owners of Joe’s Bakery and Restaurant and Tamale House, explain how their eateries first gave locals an appetite for breakfast tacos and other Mexican fare around the middle of the 20th century.
Austinites like Celeste and Adrian Quesada, former member of Grupo Fantasma, detail what kind of breakfast tacos they like and how to make them. And throughout, Rayo and Neece’s playful narration, sprinkled with basic Spanish words, spices up the photo-filled read.
“Our mission with the book is to tell the story of the breakfast taco,” Rayo said. “What’s in it, where you should go to get it, why so many people love them. It’s breakfast taco 101.”
To celebrate the book’s release, they are having a free launch party from 5 to 7 p.m. Saturday at Tamale House East, 1707 E. Sixth St. RSVP at austinbreakfasttacos-efbevent.eventbrite.com.
One of the Austinites featured is council member Mike Martinez, who shared his love of breakfast tacos from Joe’s Bakery on East Seventh and a recipe for a version to make at home.
Mike Martinez’s Breakfast Taco
6 large eggs
2 Tbsp. water
1/2 tsp. cayenne pepper
1 Tbsp. butter
1 poblano or aneheim pepper, seeded and diced
Salt and pepper, to taste
4 tortillas, your choice
1 large avocado, cubed
1 bunch cilantro, chopped
2 oz. cotija cheese, crumbled
Warm pan on medium heat. Vigorously whisk eggs with water and cayenne pepper; set aside.
Melt butter in pan. Once foam subsides, add diced peppers and season with salt and black pepper to taste. Sauté until soft, about 5 minutes.
Add egg mixture to pan with the peppers and scramble until almost done. Remove pan from heat and scramble another minute until cooked through.
Divide egg and pepper mixture among 4 warmed tortillas. Garnish each taco with ¼ of the avocado, roasted salsa, chopped cilantro and cotija cheese.
— Mike Martinez