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Multi-Cultural Houston Breakfast

A pool of refried black beans flowed into a pool of crema on the plate. A sweet fried plantain and a pile of scrambled eggs rounded out my Central American breakfast at Xelapan Bakery #1 on Longpoint. Three thick homemade corn tortillas wrapped in paper came on the side. The fried banana was wonderful with the beans and sour cream, but the eggs were dry. I watched with envy as the guy at the next table ate a giant Central American chicken tamale.

Skip the overcooked eggs and you can get a helluva breakfast at Xelapan Bakery. I never paid much attention to this little storefront until a couple of years ago when I drove by with famous Chicago Mexican restaurant owner Rick Bayless. "Hey, there's three languages on that store," he said pointing to the words "Kolaches, Donuts, Pan Dulce" on the sign above the bakery's front door. Houstonians don't even notice such polyglot anomalies. Bayless would have loved the sign on the pastry case that said "kolaches queso."

I had volunteered to take Bayless out for lunch after he did a signing at the Borders on Alabama. We went to the most authentic Mexican restaurant I could think of--El Hidalguense on Longpoint. But Bayless was probably getting tired of eating Mexican food all the time. He pointed out that the cabrito tasted reheated.

"Someday I want to take a multi-cultural food tour of Houston," Bayless told me. Next time I'll take him out for goat curry croissants at Hot Breads, or Vietnamese boiled crawfish or something.

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