THE BREAKFAST TACO is the signature food of Austin. Made with flour tortillas, traditionally stuffed with chorizo and eggs or bacon and eggs, breakfast tacos have given rise to a wide range of riffs, from the breakfast “panaani” at the Whip In convenience store to the waffle recipe here from Jason Umlas at Lucky J’s.
FOR THE BREAKFAST POTATOES
1 tablespoon chili powder
1 tablespoon store-bought seasoned salt
1 tablespoon paprika
1 cup canola oil, for frying the potatoes
1 cup diced (¾-inch) red potatoes
1 cup diced (¾-inch) red onions
FOR THE WAFFLE TACOS
1 tablespoon canola oil
4 large eggs, beaten
4 slices of bacon, cooked and crumbled
¾ cup (about 3 ounces) shredded cheddar cheese
4 Lucky J’s Waffles (recipe follows)
Make the breakfast potatoes: Place the chili powder, seasoned salt, and paprika in a small bowl and stir to mix. Set the chili powder mixture aside.
Heat the 1 cup of oil in a large skillet over high heat. Add the potatoes and onions and cook until the potatoes are crisp and the onions are browned, 10 to 12 minutes. Drain the potatoes and onions and toss them with the chili powder mixture. Keep the breakfast potatoes warm while making the waffle tacos.
Make the waffle tacos: Place the 1 tablespoon of oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the eggs and cook, stirring often. When the eggs are about halfway done, add the bacon, cheese, and breakfast potatoes (see Note) and cook, stirring, until the eggs are set to taste.
Place a waffle in another skillet and heat it over medium-high heat for about 1 minute. Turn the waffle over and spoon the egg mixture on top. Fold the waffle in half. Keep the waffle taco warm while you make the remaining ones. NOTE: If you’d prefer to serve the breakfast potatoes alongside the tacos instead of in the mix, that’s cool.
JASON UMLAS focused on East Asian studies at Brown University. Inspired, he lived in Tokyo for six months. Then he moved to Los Angeles, where he cooked at various restaurants including, God help us all, The Cheesecake Factory. While in LA he also fell, more felicitously, under the spell of Roscoe’s House of Chicken ’n Waffles, the iconic Hollywood restaurant.
When I met Jason he had settled in Austin, where he was frying birds in the tiny red Lucky J’s trailer on Burnet Road. Behind the trailer, flanking a hardware store, Jason had installed picnic tables. On a Sunday afternoon I watched customers perched at those picnic tables pull brown-bagged vodka bottles from their backpacks and pour Bloody Marys while Jason bopped back and forth from the waffle irons in the trailer to a turntable and speakers set up in the parking lot, where he was spinning Sergio Mendes and Brasil ’66, the O’Jays, and Jimi Hendrix.