Over the course of the next few months, I'm counting down 100 of my favorite Houston dishes. I chose some because they are such quintessential Houston creations, others for their cultural or historical significance, and others because they are just so damn tasty. Share your own nominations in the comments.
#83 El Ultimo Taco Truck's Breakfast Tacos
Breakfast tacos are not authentic Mexican food -- they are a Tex-Mex creation. They rose in popularity in the 1970s and 1980s at the same time that fast food restaurants started offering breakfast. They were a way for Tex-Mex joints (and taco trucks) to compete with Egg McMuffins, as I told John T. Edge for his excellent article on Austin breakfast tacos in the New York Times today.
My favorite Houston breakfast tacos are served at the El Ultimo Taco Truck. Look for the big white taco truck parked in front of a do-it-yourself car wash on Longpoint at Antoine. The big fat breakfast tacos come with your choice of scrambled eggs with bacon, ham, potatoes, nopalitos, machacado (shredded beef), chorizo or roasted peppers on a corn or flour tortilla. The flour tortillas are handmade, and the chorizo is truly exceptional. The thick, green salsa is tart and hot.
El Ultimo doesn't have any coffee, but there are fresh-fruit aguas frescas available. Check out the advertising illustrations painted on the sides of the truck -- they are among the most interesting examples of taco truck art in the city. And if you're worried about the sanitary standards, the fact that everybody behind the counter wears hairnets is sure to set you at ease.
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The list to date: #100: Green Chile Chicken Kebabs at Chatkhara Grill #99: The All-Day Burrito at Cherry Top Bakery #98: "You Buy We Fry" Trout Basket at Hank's Fish Market #97: Chicharron de Barriga at La Michoacana Meat Market # 10 #96: Pakistani Breakfast at Kings Chicken #95: Fried Mojarra at Taqueria Jesus Maria #94: Chocolate-Peanut Butter Cake Ball at Coffee Groundz #93:Cheeseburger at Leonard's Famous Burgers #92: Lasagna at Doyle's #91: Cochinita Pibil at Tacos La Bala #90: Fajita Tacos at Taqueria El Charro #89: Kubideh and Zereshk Polo at Kasra Persian Grill #88: Trentino Gelato's Dulce de Leche at Shisha #87 Deviled Eggs at Nielsen's Deli #86: Italian-Cuban Sandwich at Logan Farms #85: Vegetable Trio in Sichuan Sauce at Spicy Sichuan #84: Salchi-Burger at Brisa Cocina