500 Tacos: El Primo

A taco a day for 2015 — and then some
El Primo
2101 S. First St. (map), 512-227-5060, www.elprimomex.com
Hours: 7:30am-5pm Mon-Thu, 7:30am-10pm Fri, 8am-4pm Sat, closed Sun
By Mike Sutter | © Fed Man Walking | 01.10.15
The trailer life can be mean, opening the service window on a January morning when the steady rain is just one degree away from turning into a Dan Fogelberg song. But El Primo abides, a one-man trailer in the parking lot of a goth kids clothier and a two-pump minimart.
The taco: Egg, bean and cheese
We are not cold-hardy people, we Austinites. We cling to our TVs and dogs even at the whisper of a freeze. We seek comfort in this brief season of non-Summer, and comfort tastes like beans and cheese with scrambled eggs in a warm flour tortilla, wrapped in foil from a trailer in the most South Austin-y part of South Austin, where automotive shops and coffee bars and bungalow businesses elbow each other for overpriced real estate. El Primo was in the vanguard of trailer food’s new dawning, and this simple taco is why.
Beto Reyes builds it to order, scooping mashed and seasoned beans onto his one-man flat-top grill the second he hears the order, then cracking an egg, dropping a tortilla down and going to work with a spackling trowel in the measured, steely scrapes of a man who does this hundreds of times a day. Eggs and beans and cheese are the cornerstones of the breakfast taco, and when they’re laid down hot and fresh by a master mason, they make even a trailer strong as a monument. Reyes follows the same made-to-order process with aromatic, greasy al pastor, and his migas taco brings ham into the domain of corn chips, tomatoes and onions. ($2 for migas; $2.25 for al pastor)
 Tortillas: Small, stiff storebought flour and doubled-up corn warmed on the flat-top
 Salsa: Squeeze bottles of fresh green jalapeño-cilantro salsa and a hotter, smoky, dried-pepper red
The 500 Tacos Project
(Photos by Mike Sutter © Fed Man Walking)