|Photo by Katharine Shilcutt|
|Vigilantes rellenos from Manena's|
Grabbing breakfast on the go can get stale very easily. Egg McMuffins, breakfast tacos, Starbucks muffins, kolaches, donuts...
All the quickly-obtained breakfasts of the busy, the mindless consumption of fast food, wearing upon you after so many Mondays spent idling in neutral at Whataburger, inhaling fumes from cars ahead of you while you wait for your taquito and Diet Coke. It's certainly no way to start your week.
So it warms the belly and the heart to run across a place that serves a fast and cheap breakfast that's honestly good. Manena's Pastry Shop and Deli on Westheimer at Wilcrest offers just that. Drop in when they open at 8:30 a.m. and you're greeted with the fresh, yeasty scent of just-baked bread and the equally welcomed scent of strong coffee.
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Breakfasts at Manena's can be as simple as grabbing a pre-bagged trio of vigilantes rellenos, sweet croissants that have an unexpected filling of quince jam, for only $1.50 and a cup of their dark, rich coffee for 99 cents. But if you've got a few more minutes (and a little extra cash), you'll want to grab an empanada or two.
Of the half-dozen empandadas on the menu, the jamon y queso and the carne are savory, delicious ways to start the day. Since they're freshly baked, you'll need to give them about five minutes to pull one out of the oven for you. At only $1.90 each, they won't break the bank either.
With your bag of vigilantes and cup of coffee in hand, take your piping hot empanadas to go. Let them cool off in the car (I recommend opening the Styrofoam box they come in; condensation is not our friend) and by the time you get to work they'll be the perfect temperature to wolf down and you'll be the envy of your entire office.
If you don't want to incur the wrath of your coworkers, just grab a dozen assorted empanadas when you're at Manena's: they throw in two free for every ten you buy, making them far cheaper (and more delicious) than a box of grocery store kolaches.