A Mean Mexican Breakfast at Tacos del Julio

Tacos del Julio -- the subject of this week's cafe review -- is near and dear to my heart, and not just because I spent many a happy lunch there back in my old days of working for a Mexican-owned cement company. It's also the spot of many delicious breakfasts as well.

The restaurant serves its breakfast menu every day starting at 7 a.m. on weekdays and 8 a.m. on weekends (we all deserve to sleep in on weekends). It's not only a great destination for a filling, delicious breakfast -- it's also a happily inexpensive one. Breakfast specials are $2.59 on weekdays and $3.29 on the weekends. For that price, you get a plate heavy with food as well as the complimentary bowl of pork-fattened charro beans that are one of Tacos del Julio's signature items.

On a recent weekday morning, I was presented with enough food for two people that -- along with coffee -- cost less than $5 total. (Not including tip, however.) What did I get for my Lincoln?

The huevos rancheros norteños -- my personal favorite -- come with two eggs cooked over easy on top of a fat slice of ham, on top of two corn tortillas, all topped with that same luscious, chile-laced red sauce that's atop the enchiladas del Julio. And alongside this, a heap of refried beans, roasted potatoes and several thick rashers of bacon.

I like to cut the eggs, ham and tortillas into diagonal strips and tuck them inside another corn tortilla, spread with a thick layer of refried beans. (You also get four hot corn tortillas with your breakfast plate.) Yes, it's a bit redundant, but it's so tasty -- yolk and red sauce soaking into each layer and tying it all together -- that I don't care.

It's a brilliant way to spend a leisurely morning, especially if Hoy! is on the flat-screen TV that hangs from one wall. Come early, though, as Tacos del Julio only serves breakfast until 11 a.m. on weekdays and noon on the weekends.

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Katharine Shilcutt