500 Tacos: Texas Honey Ham Co.

 
 
A taco a day for 2015 — and then some
 
Texas Honey Ham Co.
3736 Bee Cave Road, Suite 6 (map), 512-330-9888, www.texashoneyham.com
Hours: 7am-6pm, 8am-2pm Sun
 
By Mike Sutter | Fed Man Walking | 01.26.15
 
The ham business is a lot like church. Christmas and Easter are the big days, and the rest you catch when the spirit moves you. Except that West Lake Hills almost lost the option when arson swept Texas Honey Ham away in March of last year. Its strip-mall storefront was boarded up for months, and speculation mounted that the church groups, Westlake High School kids, coffee klatschers and last-minute lunch moms who counted on the place would have to find a new home. When it reopened in September, the wait time on a Sunday morning was 45 minutes. Because the ham business really is like church: We’d better go — just in case.
 
The taco: Ham and egg
Whether it’s in a club sandwich or in a bone-stock soup or diced up with mayo and celery or spiral-sliced or rolled in a pancake or dropped into a tortilla, you always order ham at Texas Honey Ham. It’s a solid flavor base of salt, sweet and smoke, a natural beginning for a breakfast taco, a staple of the all-day breakfast menu. The spatulas clack on the flat-top for eggs scrambled firm, and the veteran Hammers know to add cheese and earthy, skin-on baked potato hash. It’s solid if not exactly challenging food, familiar and satisfying, especially with a $1.89 bottomless cup of local Fara Coffee. ($2.99)
 
 Tortilla: Flour tortillas come to the shop raw, then they’re pressed and cooked to order. The result is better than the taco shop average, with soft flexibility and good color.
 Salsa: When your stock in trade is ham, you have to work on your Tex-Mex accent somehow. Texas Honey Ham does it by corrupting an otherwise innocent red salsa with chili powder, a heavy-handed step that takes away from the fresh brightness of the tomato.
 Bonus breakfast: I can’t recommend Frigas here — migas, with Fritos. But Texas Honey Ham makes a really good buttermilk pancake, and for $3.49, they’ll wrap one around grilled ham for a first-class pig in a blanket.
 Will Rock for Tacos: When my daughter won Best Bassist at Westlake's Battle of the Bands (somehow, inexplicably, over the thrash-metal shredder), her first-ever rock prize was a $25 Honey Ham gift certificate.
 Daft Ham: As I walked out of Honey Ham for this report, Pharrell was singing “...like the legend of the Phoenix” from “Get Lucky.” Verse and title both so true for this Westlake comeback story.
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The 500 Tacos Project
 
 
(Photos by Mike Sutter © Fed Man Walking)