Houston Breakfasts vs. Austin Breakfasts

This plate of huevos rancheros with bacon and homemade flour tortillas set me back $2.29 at Taqueria Jesus Maria in South Houston. You can breakfast equally well at dozens of other taquerias all over town -- Kiko's on Fulton and Pancho Villa's on Wilcrest both charge $2.99. Dos Amigos on Washington gets $3.25 for an excellent Tex-Mex breakfast special.

So imagine my amazement when a commenter recently bemoaned the fact that Houston didn't have any breakfast restaurants on par with Magnolia Café and Kerby Lane in Austin. I have been told that the food quality at those two establishments has improved since the years when I was the restaurant critic of the Austin Chronicle. Back in those days, the pancakes were leaden and the hashbrowns were underdone. Regulars put up with such slop because they were trying to get a date with someone on the waitstaff.

But hey, whatever floats your Cheerios. If you demand an overpriced breakfast served by somebody sporting some ink, then eat at an Austin-themed restaurant like Dry Creek Café or Cedar Creek Café in the Heights. One bite of that cutesy little $6 "Egg Samich" or $8 "Sixth Street Migas," and you'll swear you're back in weird old Austin.

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