Probably the most striking aspect of Juan in a Million is its lack of a striking façade: it still looks like just kind of a shack on East Cesar Chavez. Perhaps it’s that very absence of conceit that’s given the tex-mex restaurant such striking success since it opened back in 1980. Walking inside, one sees a dining room that could pass for that of most any diner, albeit one with a Latin theme. The thing here, undoubtedly, is the food.
The food’s inexpensive at Juan in a Million: not cheap, because to use such a word would be to understate the quality. To start, the chips and salsa are bar none, but don’t let that distract you from the main meals. The menu has a specific section for its “Legendary Tacos,” and boy, does one in particular live up to the myth. It’s the “’Don Juan’ EL TACO GRANDE,” which deserves its capital letters. This titanic hunk of food in the form of a potato, egg, and bacon taco is remarkably good for such a cheap price, $4.50.
That’s Juan in a Million: reliable and zesty. As a joint known particularly for its breakfast tacos, a unique niche, it forms an indispensable part of the peculiarly and wonderfully heterogeneous landscape of burgeoning culinary Austin.