Breakfast Tacos at Villa Arcos
Look, I am an Upstate New Yorker who moved to Houston via Fairbanks, Alaska, so I'm not going to shine you on like I'm some world-renowned expert on what a breakfast taco is "supposed" to be, okay? But a few weeks ago, after a rigorous 6 a.m. hot yoga class, my yoga buddy Janet suggested we grab some breakfast tacos at a place one of her co-workers had told her about. "It's over near Ninfa's on Navigation," Janet said, "and my friend said they have the best breakfast tacos in Houston." And then I was all, "Um, okay. I like breakfast, and I like tacos--count me in." We punched the words "Villa Arcos" into our phones and hit the road.
These tacos taste approximately 4.5 billion times better than they photograph.
We weren't even inside the small, red house that Villa Arcos calls home when I knew this was going to be an amazing food experience. We arrived around 7:30 a.m., and there was a steady stream of truck drivers grabbing breakfast to go. I worked at a Dunkin' Donuts on the NYS Thruway for a couple of years, and it was always the truck drivers who would steer me to the best food spots in any town. Suffice it to say, I was jumping up and down as we waited in line for our food.
I ordered an egg-and-cheese and a bean-and-cheese taco ($1.70 each), and my friend ordered the chorizo, egg, potato, bean and cheese (super) taco ($3.10); we each added a coffee to our order, bringing us both to $5 and some change, plus tip. They make the tortillas and tacos to order, but we only waited a few minutes before our names were called and we got to dig into our food.
What can I write that will convince you to go to this place? Or maybe you already have--lucky you! The tortillas are like nothing I've ever had before, and I want to wrap all of the food that I eat in them from now on--maybe even sushi. They are soft and warm, and substantial enough to hold the taco innards in. You can't really mess up cheese-and-eggs or cheese-and-beans, although my first egg-and-cheese taco was just slightly more salty than the bean taco.
But this was the first of several visits, and on those I didn't find saltiness to be an issue, so it's possible that I simply overloaded my first egg-and-cheese taco with the spicy green hot sauce they serve on the side.
I did experiment, later, with the "Super" tacos, and while they are delicious, I've decided that I prefer to order two of the basic tacos rather than one super taco.
A quick note for first-timers: Villa Arcos is closed on Mondays, and open 6 a.m.-2 p.m. Tuesdays-Saturdays, and 8 a.m.-1 p.m. on Sundays. It's cash-only, and while there is seating indoors and out, there is no air-conditioning.
Check out our own Katharine Shilcutt's Top 10 East End Favorites, where she shares her thoughts on Villa Arcos and more.
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