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October 17, 2007

La Victoria Bakery, 5245 Burnet Rd.

I'm starting to like Burnet Road as a peculiarly Austin-style culinary destination. It lacks the pretense and arch-hip attitude of South Congress, and is apparently still cheap enough to support tiny family restaurants like Consuelo's and one of the best breakfast taco joints in town, La Victoria bakery. La Victoria (neé Mi Victoria — I guess changing the signage was cheap) pumps out a bewildering array of traditional Mexican pastries (mostly panes dulces) and other sweet Mexican treats like gelatina and flan, but the star attraction here is the taco.

A good breakfast taco needs to satisfy three basic requirements. First, it needs to be cheap — otherwise you might as well sit down and order a plate of food. Second, it needs to be filling, so you can make it through your hellish morning without opening fire on your co-workers. Finally, of course, it needs to taste good — and, given the slightly monochromatic porkiness/saltiness of most breakfast ingredients, that means good salsa.

Now, you clock-punchers who argue that speed is a critical component of the breakfast taco experience can continue to gorge on the execrable steam-table eggs of Taco Shack. The rest of you should set that alarm five minutes earlier and experience the multifarious greasetasticness of fresh, flat-top cooked eggs. It's worth the wait.

Don't be daunted by La Victoria's early morning line; they crank the food out fast enough, and at $0.99 for a two ingredient taco (plus one thin dime for each additional), this is a bargain breakfast. The tacos come out hot and improve with a car ride to work (or a bus ride to the courthouse) because the cheese has time to melt. The salsa won't win any awards, but it's just right for the eggs, a touch of fruitiness and heat to cut through the grease.

If you're still pulling in the unemployment checks and have some time to kill, try to find an open chair or one of their charming, busted old booths and relax in the lost-in-time, semi-industrial ambiance of a place that looks like it hasn't changed a light bulb in thirty years. The "authenticity" police call this atmosphere; most others might note a lack thereof. I'll leave it at funky, weird, angular and damn tasty.

Posted by brentbuford at October 17, 2007 08:28 AM


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