Despite all those intimidating “Breakfast Defector” ads, Taco Bell didn’t invent the breakfast taco; Texans did. “You can’t throw a rock in Austin without hitting a breakfast taco sign,” says Andy Valdez, whose sister Briana owns HomeState, the Los Feliz haven for homesick (and hungover) Texans.
But while L.A. is flush with a.m. burritos, we’re surprisingly short on the Tex-Mex morning stalwart. “The main difference is the flour tortilla,” says San Antonio native Josef Centeno, who whips up versions of his favorite childhood treat at his downtown restaurant and cantina, Bar Amá. “They have to be made fresh to order, soft and chewy.” It’s a matter of size, too. “The breakfast taco is the original small plate,” says Centeno. “It’s anywhere from three to five bites, which concentrates the whole experience, and you’re meant to try more than one.”
Valdez agrees. “I can easily eat three breakfast tacos and walk out the door.” At HomeState that could include the Trinity (scrambled eggs, bacon, potato, and cheese), the Pecos (brisket and egg), and the Frio (refried beans and bacon). “You’ve got your protein, your carbs, and your veggies,” says Valdez. “It’s a complete, balanced breakfast.”