500 Tacos: Los Jaliscienses

 
 
A taco a day for 2015 — and then some
 
Los Jaliscienses
6201 U.S. 290 E. (map), 512-452-3332. Hours: 7am-11pm Mon-Thu; 7am-midnight Fri-Sun
 
By Mike Sutter | © Fed Man Walking | 05.14.15
 
Los Jaliscienses is one of Austin's accidental landmarks: It looks like a nun’s hat next to a motel swimming pool off I-35. And it combines two of my favorite taqueria standards: super-cheap breakfast tacos and the mixed-grill party of the combinado plate.
 
Taco A: Breakfast taco special
Before 11 a.m., three breakfast tacos with the same two ingredients are just $2.89. That’s a helluva value for eggs and frijoles on handmade corn tortillas. Or chorizo or bacon or ham or potatoes. The beans are scrambled right into the eggs, hard-cooked and salty, a canvas for painting a sunrise with bright red salsa.
 
 
Taco B: Jalisco Special
The “Plato Combinado” is always the best plato at Jalisco-style taquerias. That’s especially true here. The Jalisco Special ($9.99) throws together chewy beef skirt and seared al pastor just starting to turn orange with adobo spices, carried along by caramelized onions and grilled nopalitos. There’s Mexican rice with corn, peas and carrots, a side of beans flavored with smoked sausage and an iceberg nest with avocado, lime and tomato. Oh, right, tacos: Everything I just described tastes good in hot, handmade flour or corn tortillas. Get a few of each, then find the combinado that works best for you.
 
 Tortillas: I call them windowpanes, these opalescent handmade flour tortillas. As thick and rippled as Civil War glass, with alternating spots of toast and gloss. The corn tortillas, also handmade, billow with air pockets and layers, like rolled-out cornbread biscuits.
 Salsa: A mild blended red makes the breakfast value package complete. There’s also what I’d call a taco sauce, one with speckles of roasted tomatoes smothered by chili powder. An emulsified jalapeño green sauce — a whirl of oil and peppers — carried a sour twang that suggested, at least on this visit, that it had gone bad.
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The 500 Tacos Project
 
 
(Photos by Mike Sutter © Fed Man Walking)