After a great barbecue dinner, what do you have for breakfast the next morning? If you are in Texas, tacos of course! Makes perfect sense, right? Actually, this particular meal was due to the fact that the sales guy I was traveling with found out I'm a restaurant blogger, and wanted to show off a couple of his favorite places in town. So that meant the Salt Lick for dinner the first night, and Taco Cabana for breakfast the next day.
We got up and headed out to the Taco Cabana nearest to our hotel. Little did we know that due to the sudden cold front in Austin, the city was running rolling blackouts, and the Taco Cabana was out of power. Fortunately, it turns out it's a Texas chain, and there are quite a few Taco Cabanas floating around. But the next one was also without power. Finally, third time was in fact the charm, we found a location with power and ready to serve.
Taco Cabana is a fast-food restaurant, no doubt. When you walk in, it could be a Taco Bell or any other similar restaurant with tile floors, a formica countertop, and an industrial kitchen. But there was one thing I noticed right away that was different — the tortilla maker. Right there at the front, just behind the cash register was a large round machine with three levels. Sitting on it were balls of dough, and at the bottom, you could see completed tortillas that had gone through the press. It instantly brought back thoughts of the handmade tortillas at Café Coyote in San Diego which were fantastic.
I decided to keep it simple, and just ordered two chorizo and egg tacos. After adding a little bit of freshly made pico de gallo, I took a bite. The tacos were really good. The eggs were light and fluffy, the pico added a nice brightness and bit of acidity, and the tortillas were excellent. They were a little thicker than store-bought variety, and were a little chewier with more flavor —closer to naan or pita bread than store-bought flour tortillas. The only negative was that there wasn’t very much chorizo and what was there was lost in all of the other flavors.
It took us three tries to find an open Taco Cabana, but it was certainly worth it. If there was a little more chorizo, these tacos would have been amazing. As it was, they were just really good. But I’d definitely go back if just for the tortillas. And I was truly impressed by the freshness of everything. Definitely not your typical fast-food restaurant.