500 Tacos: Vic’s Bar-B-Que
An Austin taco a day for 2015 — and then some
Hours: 6am-7pm Mon-Tue; 6am-8pm Wed-Fri; 7am-7pm Sat
By Mike Sutter | © Fed Man Walking | 12.26.15
I don’t need a restaurant to pour sugar in my coffee or tell me I’m pretty in the morning, but I can do without the passive indifference on a morning run to Vic’s Bar-B-Que. Sorry to ruin the mood by showing up. To be fair, nobody in this blue-collar line’s getting a laurel and hardy handshake, but this place feels like it’s only open for breakfast because they’re already there smoking meat for pedestrian barbecue anyway, so why not sell equally pedestrian breakfast tacos while they’re at it?
The taco: Brisket
Tacos are a good way to sell yesterday’s warmed-over brisket. The colors are here: the mahogany bark, the coral-colored ring, the half-gold fat. Texturally, though, the sliced brisket and gummy tortilla form a homogenous pasty mass, broken only by the tough and chewy bits at the core. In the morning, there are none of the pleasantries of the barbecue ritual. No onions, no pickles, no peppers. Sauce only if you ask. And for the love of god, are you still here? ($2.75)
► Breakfast tacos: If I lived, worked or were held prisoner in this part of town, I might come back for a brisket taco. I can’t say the same for Vic’s two-ingredient breakfast tacos, the ones with dried-out breakfast sausage or warmed-over bacon or eggs from a steampan. Overpriced even at $1.75 apiece. And under no circumstances would I compound the misery again by adding spackly beans or anything else for an extra 35 cents. Have some truly awful coffee while you’re waiting.
► Tortillas: Waxy commercial flour tortillas.
► Salsa: In addition to its syrupy sweet black-pepper barbecue sauce, Vic’s begrudgingly hands out tiny cups of salsa fresca with high heat and lots of onion.
The 500 Tacos Project
(Photos by Mike Sutter © Fed Man Walking)