Photo by Elizabeth Lavin

Love and Marriage and Breakfast Tacos

A salute to our state's greatest contribution to the day's most important meal.

The breakfast taco played a significant role in my courtship of the young lady, a Texas native, who would become my wife. During the first month we were dating, she charmed me with fluffy flour tortillas reheated atop the burners of a gas range, and she had the brown-to-black brands to show for it. The tortillas enveloped a mixture of reddish-orange eggs and soft Mexican sausage that, when cooked, would spread like butter. A heavy-handed topping of shredded Longhorn cheese helped bind the filling. I proposed marriage within weeks. That was in Brooklyn, 12 years ago.

Since moving to Texas seven years ago, I’ve discovered perfectly cooked tortilla-wrapped potatoes and eggs at H&H Cafe & Car Wash in El Paso. The first time I ate this gem, I was serenaded by the swish of brooms sweeping the sidewalk free of dust from the desert. I’ve struggled to finish tacos made with semi-sheer tortillas the size of tricycle wheels in the Rio Grande Valley, the cradle of Texas breakfast tacos. In San Antonio and South Texas dining rooms—where eviscerated piñatas are the interior design standard—I’ve gone “all in” on super tacos: chewy, 10-inch-plus, bed-roll-thick flour tortillas struggling to contain a minimum of five ingredients. Think eggs, bacon, refried beans, cheese, brisket, and avocado wedges. I’ve crisscrossed Austin, sacred ground for local and organic and the cleverly named taco. It’s there that I crunched on fried tortilla strips tucked inside the city’s beloved migas tacos.

But it’s Dallas that I call home, and it’s Dallas’ taco scene with which I am most intimate. It’s Dallas—with a burgeoning pre-dawn taco scene—for which I have a soft spot. I love my wife. But I just might love breakfast tacos more.

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