When I woke up Saturday morning I knew two things: 1) I needed a breakfast taco – a greasy one with beans and cheese and eggs, and 2) I was not going near the Beck rally to procure such taco.
I’m used to rolling out of bed and picking up a delicious chorizo-and-egg burrito from Brother’s Taco House east of Downtown Houston. (For more educación de tacos, see: GunsandTacos.) I’m a newbie in D.C., so, I Yelped “breakfast tacos.” And, yes, I just made Yelp into a verb.
By the end of the day, I realized I wasn’t going to be done with my quest for the unattainable, authentic D.C. breakfast taco for a long time. I also realized I was going to have to settle for a breakfast burrito – served with POTATOES on the side (HORRORS!).
Austin Grill in Old Town seemed the closest, quickest and most suitable fix based on reviews. It sounded like a good time, and I was intrigued by all the reviews that mentioned it is 100% wind-powered. I didn’t realize it was a chain that most locals avoid until we had sat down, opened the menu and saw the numerous location listings. UGH!
Looking on the bright side, our table next to the window on the second floor, directly overlooking King Street on a Saturday afternoon, meant really great people-watching and indulging in my newest hobby: “Where did that tourist come from?” (No one comes to Houston from far away, except if you’re a space freak or a Latin American on a shopping binge.)
Our server, “Tony Orlando,” spoke English like an Italian Mafioso king straight out of New Jersey, but looked like most Hispanics I know. When I mentioned to him the rumor I heard that the restaurant runs on wind power, he had no clue what I was talking about. “We have internet here, people bring their computers to work” he said. So I tried in Spanish. He was shocked. He responded in English, “You speak Spanish good. I understand.” Thanks, Tony Orlando. Can you go ask someone else? He came back and reported that they paid the electric company more for wind power. Huh?
Tony did spend a good portion of his time touting the margaritas. The brunchin’ bitches tend to favor mimosas or Bloody Marys for brunch, but when in Rome … it’s Tequila time. So we went for the Texas Throwdown and The Famous Swirl. Both were equally disappointing. The Throwdown was so overloaded with lime juice, it made Becca pucker. We gave it back to Tony. “Pruebalo, por favor.” He did. He agreed with us. The half lime/half strawberry frozen was bland, but it sufficed.
The tortilla chips were hard like cardboard, but were masked by the spicy salsa. The best decision of the meal, which was not about to be passed up, was ordering the Chile Con Queso – made with Shiner Bock beer. It looked like Velveeta, and probably was, but the Shiner gave it that little something extra. THIS is something I will be experimenting with at home.
So, on to my Breakfast Burrito, or the Chorizo Burrito. It was made with scrambled eggs, chorizo sausage, Anaheim peppers, onions, and Jack and cheddar cheeses, rolled into a flour tortilla and topped with tomato chipotle sauce. It was “Ehhh.” You could barely taste the chipotle. Why even touch those potatoes? The eggs were pretty overwhelming. I wish I had gotten the Austin Eggs Benedict like Becca’s brother.
These ain’t your ordinary Eggs Benedict. Served on quesadillas, instead of biscuits, they were super unique and had a great presentation. Just in case some of you Yanks don’t know the definition of quesadillas, LOOK IT UP. They were supposed to be topped with Chile hollandaise sauce – sounds awesome – but hard to even spot on the plate. Her brother and mother were in town for the weekend (if you didn’t see her tweets, they went to a fabulous wedding on the roof of the W Hotel).
Mom O’Becca thought the Avocado and Tomato omelet sounded “lovely” and on the healthy side. She didn’t share. We didn’t ask for a bite. Avocados arriving on hot eggs sketched me out a bit. Assumptions can be made from the way she didn’t rave about it, as she normally does when she just loves something, but we won’t presume.
Remember the lack of beans (come on, I would have even settled for black beans)? I should mention the griddle potatoes that were on the side of every dish were large, greasy and tasteless. The portions were large enough, and the plates would have been better without.
Becca had Magnolia eggs. We thought that two scrambled eggs with chile con queso on a toasted English muffin would be an auto YUM. It was greasy and filling, but it would have been such a cooler dish served on top of quesadillas, like the Austin eggs Benedict were.
Austin Grill? I’d like to see what an Austinite thinks of that. All the dishes were simple and lacked the kick they needed. BUT, I would totally go back if I needed a shopping break and happened to be in Old Town. But I would only go back for the Shiner Queso.
Where can I get a really, really good breakfast taco, y’all?
The bitches say: C+ Whatcha talking ‘bout Tex-Mex? Take away the taters, add some beans, and find some flavor.
801 King Street