Besides a toothbrush, the most recent issue of Saveur, and my favorite sweatshirt, my vacation packing list always includes one thing: a food list. Researching the local eats is my favorite part of trip planning, and since I typically have way more places in mind than time allows, I rarely get to the same place twice. Or so it was until last Friday morning.
I spent last week weekend in Austin, Texas, where one of my best friends was getting married. Most of meals had been planned out, so I didn't compile my usual spreadsheet of potential meals—just a few highlights in case unaccounted-for feeding opportunities presented themselves. Sure enough, they did, and by Sunday afternoon, we'd squeezed in trips to Frank, Torchy's, Amy's Ice Cream, Home Slice, Gourdough's doughnut trailer, and a record three stops at Izzoz, one of the city's most beloved taco trailers on the south side of town.
It was the breakfast tacos that I'd come for. Austin is basically the nation's capital when it comes to scrambled eggs and fixin's wrapped in tortillas, and I'd been craving them since my last trip here almost a year and a half ago. Izzoz came highly recommended by a coworker of mine, and as luck would have it I was staying just down the road from the trailer park where they set up shop.
I could have happily eaten my way through the whole menu, but the Migas taco ($2.50) was my first stop, and also my most frequent. (The Padre—carnitas, avocado, pineapple, and tomatillo salsa—is also outstanding.) Swaddled inside the soft flour tortilla (not homemade, but still quite good) were scrambled eggs with chopped tomato and onion, strips of corn tortilla, shredded cheddar, and tangy pico de gallo. Thimble-sized containers of their housemade hot sauce were tossed in the cardboard boat alongside the tortilla, and after taking a test swipe, I scraped every last drop of the stuff onto the taco. Its smoky tang comes from charring chiles de arbol and processing them—blackened skins and all—with tomatillos, tomato, and a cocktail of spices. When I asked if I could buy a supply to bring back to Boston, they nice proprietress had to let me down easy when she said they don't bottle the stuff.
The good news was that we got there early in the trip. The even better news was that my friends were just as addicted to the place as I was and didn't mind going back for second and third helpings. In fact, they suggested we grab lunch there before heading off to the wedding, blithely ignoring the fact that we'd be jumping into bridesmaids' dresses an hour later. (That's what Spanx are for, right?)
About the author: Liz Bomze lives in Brookline, MA, and works as the Associate Features Editor for Cook's Illustrated Magazine. In her free time, she freelances regularly for the Boston Globe, Boston Magazine, the Improper Bostonian, and Martha's Vineyard Magazine; practices bread-baking and canning; takes photos; reads; and watches baseball. Top 5 foods: fresh noodles, gravlax, sour cherry pie, burrata, ma po tofu.