500 Tacos: Julio's Cafe
An Austin taco a day for 2015 — and then some
Hours: 8:30am-9pm Mon-Sat; 8:30am-2pm Sun
By Mike Sutter | © Fed Man Walking | 11.23.15
At Julio’s Cafe, being part of Austin’s Rotisserie League has its perks. One of those perks? The tacos that come from the chickens on the golden carousel roaster, the roaster that put Julio’s on the map in Clarksville first, and now in Hyde Park.
The taco: Roasted chicken
Blame our breast-obsessed culture for the ruin of the chicken taco. The blanched, boneless, skinless, soul-less chicken tender removes us from the animal in its full light/dark, bone-in splendor. At Julio’s, they embrace the splendor, pulling meat of all shades from their rotissierie chickens, with bits of bronzed skin for tacos with color and character. It’s dressed simply with shredded leaf lettuce, chopped tomatoes and melted cheddar, letting the slow-roasted benefits of salt and pepper reintroduce us to chicken. ($3.75)
► Migas: I’ve been so focused on rotisserie chicken at Julio’s that I never thought about having breakfast on the tree-shaded patio around this true neighborhood cafe. But they make some of Austin’s best migas, with fresh fried chips and cheddar weaving through soft-scrambled eggs with tomato and green onion, with jalapeños on the side. The plate comes with thick, sweet bacon, velvety refried beans, flour tortillas and fresh fruit for $7.25. Breakfast runs until 11:30. Breakfast tacos start at $2.75 for three ingredients, and plates of huevos rancheros and French toast run $7.25. Ask nicely and they’ll sell you chicken and fajita tacos in the morning, too.
► Tortillas: Basic storebought flour and corn tortillas, lightly toasted.
► Salsa: There’s a cool salsa fresca at the counter, but a more interesting simmered kitchen sauce has a long, smoky finish. Ask for it.
► Cash talks, credit walks: No plastic.
The 500 Tacos Project
(Photos by Mike Sutter © Fed Man Walking)