500 Tacos: La Mexicana Bakery

 
 
A taco a day for 2015 — and then some
 
La Mexicana Bakery
1924 S. First St. (map), 512-443-6369, www.la-mexicana-bakery.com. Open 24 hours.
 
By Mike Sutter | Fed Man Walking | 01.02.15
 
Of all the 24 hours, the hours between midnight and day are the most unpredictable. Up all night to get lucky? Great. Lucky to make it through the night? More likely. La Mexicana is there in those unscheduled hours. With Mexican flag polvorones and pineapple empanadas, with flakeaway orejas and pan de huevo and fresh flour tortillas at 10 for $1.50 — the same tortillas they wrap around tacos for around a buck and a half day or night.
 
The taco: Migas
Migas take many forms, but La Mexicana brings together the building blocks with the same solid if not spectacular workmanship it brings to faded cases full of pastries that — aside from their artificially bright colors — taste pretty much one like another. I’ve had other tacos here, with bacon past its prime and gassy chorizo and chicken that looked and tasted like a shampooed blonde wig. But migas dodge the sins of their kin with scrambled eggs, tomatoes, onion, strips of corn tortilla and fat shreds of cheddar cheese for a five-hour energy boost no tiny bottle can touch. ($2)
 Tortilla: A thick, buttery soft, irregular flour tortilla fresh from the bakery. The best reason to have this taco.
 Salsa: Tomato red and tomatillo green salsas stay fresh in big stainless bowls on beds of ice. But La Mexicana’s best salsa is a room-temp smoky red with the slow burn of dried chilies.
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The 500 Tacos Project
 

(Photos by Mike Sutter © Fed Man Walking)