On the Road

On The Road: Early Morning, San Antonio

We love tacos for lunch and dinner. So why not for the most important meal of the day?

Published Dec. 30, 2021.

San Antonio is obsessed with breakfast tacos, but don’t trip on the name. “Breakfast” merely denotes the time of day and doesn’t necessarily confine you to an eggy filling. Stewed or grilled meat, sausage, beans, vegetables, and yes, if you insist, eggs can legitimately appear in a warmed flour tortilla. And every San Antonian has an opinion about where to find the best ones; someone even tried to sell me on gas station tacos.

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I’m an early riser with little love for traditional breakfast fare, so it was a happy coincidence that I came upon a stout stucco cantina during a 7 a.m. stroll around downtown San Antonio. Had it not been for a fellow hauling produce from a pickup through the back door of a kitchen, I might not have noticed it. Entranced by the smells of roasted pork and cumin, I entered and was greeted warmly, one of a trickle of early customers.

I ordered three (eggless) tacos and devoured them greedily. I returned at the same time the next morning and ordered three more. I was really tapping into the local food scene; surely a place like this would be considered a find, even by the most ardent restaurant hounds. When I unveiled my new dining discovery—in confidence—to local chef Melissa Guerra, her brow furrowed and a look of concern crossed her face. Her response: “Don’t eat there any more. I’ll make you tacos tomorrow.”

I said I’d meet her at 7. She was right: The tacos she made at home were even better.

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