500 Tacos: Cisco’s
A taco a day for 2015 — and then some
1511 E. Sixth St. (map), 512-478-2420. Hours: 7am-2:30pm daily
By Mike Sutter | © Fed Man Walking | 03.03.15
Cisco’s is the Land of the Regulars. And Irregulars. Seems like every time I go, there's PolitiFact Texas heavyweight and Statesman colleague W. Gardner Selby, who channels his inner superhero — 1930s Man — to read the paper over breakfast more times a week than he’s willing to admit. The staff called the folks around me by name, and there were handshakes, hugs and a kiss on the cheek (not from Gardner, mind you; we’re just friends). Cisco’s only took a generation to become an institution, opening in 1950 — or earlier, depending on the storyteller. They’re in no hurry for everybody else to catch up.
The taco: DIY migas with fajitas
Given Cisco’s iconic status among Austin’s migas elite, only a migas taco will do. Sure, they’ll sell you one lonely migas taco for $3, or any combination of eggs, bacon and the morning zoo crew. But I wanted to re-create the plate that made Cisco’s famous, the migas with eggs and tomato and full-size chips, with refried beans on one side and a splash of ranchero sauce on the other. It comes with a hard puck of sausage and a couple of biscuits or tortillas for $8.50. Chuck the puck of sausage for fajita meat as thin as milanesa for $4 more. Now comes the construction: flour tortilla, beans on the left, fajita on the right, eggs in the middle. Beans bring their earthy cohesion, the eggs bring warm familiarity and the fajitas add power and salt. It costs more. But if we’re building a legacy, let’s build one. ($12.50 for the plate — enough for about three tacos —plus 50 cents for extra tortillas)
► Tortillas: Commercial grade flour from El Milagro.
► Not tortillas: If biscuits were horses, then dreamers would ride. And I wouldn’t have to build a taco on a sad tortilla instead of a hot-roll biscuit with a squeeze butter smile.
► Salsa: Cisco’s ranchero sauce is a simmered red with tomatoes, peppers and onions that finishes hot. The template on which jarred sauces are built, it’s a luchador that smothers the food until it taps out.
The 500 Tacos Project
(Photos by Mike Sutter © Fed Man Walking)