500 Tacos: Dan’s Hamburgers

A taco a day for 2015 — and then some
Dan’s Hamburgers
4308 Manchaca Road (map), 512-443-6131, www.dans-hamburgers.com
Hours: 6am-10pm Sun-Thu; 6am-11pm Fri-Sat. Breakfast served until 10:30am Mon-Sat, 11:30am Sun.
Also at: 5602 N. Lamar Blvd (map); 844 Airport Blvd. (map); 610 Old San Antonio Road, Buda (map)
By Mike Sutter | © Fed Man Walking | 05.18.15
Daybreak is a time for men in their sunset years, for construction workers and police officers. You’ll find all of them at Dan’s for breakfast, when the burger shop transforms from fast-food joint to sit-down diner where your coffee mug always stays full.
The taco: Potato, egg and sausage
Dan’s made its name with burgers, of course, using freshly ground Angus beef from Lone Star, Austin’s own downtown meatpacker. But at breakfast, that diner remodel isn’t just for show, because Dan’s knows how to pack a warm tortilla with scrambled eggs, spicy seared breakfast sausage and hashbrowns with a degree of crunch, starchy softness and grease reminiscent of Waffle House worship. It’s a blue-collar, gentrified rendition of a taco, but it makes a fortifying argument for renaming the place Dan’s Breakfast Tacos in the morning. ($1.85 plus 35 cents for cheese)
 Biscuit tacos: Not really. But breakfast at Dan’s means biscuits for me. Fresh, hot, flaky, yeasty, crusty biscuits. With or without (but mostly with) thick, salty cream gravy speckled with black pepper and chunks of spicy breakfast sausage. Hang a pair from your rear-view mirror for Austin’s best air freshener. ($2.29 for one biscuit with sausage gravy; 99 cents a la carte)
 Taco trio: For $6.40, Dan’s will throw together three breakfast tacos with combinations of eggs, freshly cooked bacon, sausage, crispy hashbrowns and cheese. Works out to about $2.15 apiece, a real value for tacos packed as thick as sleeping bags.
 Tortillas: Standard storebought flour, an argument for inventing a biscuit taco.
 Salsa: Does gravy count? Because gloopy, dull, bottle-tasting red salsa does not.
The 500 Tacos Project
(Photos by Mike Sutter © Fed Man Walking)