Frida Mexican Kitchen: The Art of Delicious Breakfast Tacos (Elvis Might Love This Place)
Next time, I'll use the green sauce, too.
Photos by John Kiely
"I'm sorry, but we're out of potatoes right now," said the voice from the drive-through box at Taco Cabana. A potato famine wouldn't surprise me on a Monday morning, due to weekend supply deficiencies, but this was 9 a.m. on a Thursday. Maybe they just had an unusual surge of customers that day.
Since I was ordering potato-and-egg tacos for someone else, I called her and asked where I could find breakfast tacos in the Oak Forest/Garden Oaks area to her taste. "The buzz is that Frida has great breakfast tacos."
Frida Mexican Kitchen is a vibrant sign of life in a forlorn shopping strip next to the railroad tracks on Ella near 34th Street. The outside of the building is adorned with a large mural of Frida Kahlo, and the interior is a pleasantly dark refuge from the Houston sun, with copies of Frida Kahlo paintings on every table and lining all of the walls. It's the sort of thing that would be creepy with any face but Frida or Elvis.
I never order potato-and-egg breakfast tacos, as I find them as exciting as oatmeal, but when I opened the bag to check the order, the aroma of the hot potatoes was so welcoming, I ordered a potato-and-egg, with a bacon-and-egg to hedge my bet, to be picked up after I made the delivery.
Good call, as the tacos lived up to the buzz. The potatoes were hot and as flavorful as hash browns, and rather than being blended, the eggs were a combination of bright yellow yolks and whites. The bacon in the other taco was thoroughly crisp.
It's the Sauce
These tacos have enough flavor to be eaten plain, but the hot sauce puts them up a few levels. The red salsa is served warm, and it's smoky with red pepper, with a good balance of tomato and other spices. If I had a bowl of it I would eat it as a soup. I didn't use the green salsa (like the Dr. Seuss character, I don't like green eggs), but realized I'd made a mistake, as it's creamy and tart with flecks of chili and cilantro. This is the best green sauce I've tasted, ever.
The flour tortillas are exceptional. To me, a great tortilla has just the right mix of shortening and flour to make it translucent. I could indeed see the fillings through the tortilla before I opened the tacos up.
Frida Mexican Kitchen has a large new breakfast menu, with traditional Mexican favorites, omelets, waffles, and pancakes, and will soon be serving brunch. I'm looking forward to dinner, to try the other items with neighborhood buzz (the chicken mole and the spinach enchiladas) and a margarita from Frida's new bar, but for now I have the restaurant's phone number listed under "Breakfast Tacos".