It's the "battle of the breakfast taco." A controversy has started over where the breakfast taco originated and it’s even getting national attention. Some say San Antonio, others say Austin. It all started when a local writer for austin.eater.com posted an article with a title saying "How Austin became the home of the crucial breakfast taco." Overnight the article has started the feuds of all feuds. Social media went crazy with people outraged over the article, some politicians jumped in on the debate, even an online petition is going around to exile the author from Texas for “Taco Negligence.”
So remains the question. Where did the breakfast taco come from? Austin or San Antonio? “I'm going to go with San Antonio because it's kind of the home office of Mexican food in the State of Texas,” said Kelle Shanks who was dining at Gloria Pearl in San Antonio. Donnie Williamson was at Maria’s in Austin “I do not know explicitly where it originated, but the best taco for breakfast I've ever had is from right here from Maria's when it was on a taco stand.”
San Antonio Chef Johnny Hernandez has been cooking for decades; he cooks at multiple restaurants including La Gloria Pearl, in San Antonio. “I've been making breakfast tacos a long time; I've been eating a bunch.” He said Mexican food is his area of expertise. “Mexican food in general is very regional by design so it's not uncommon for regions of styles of food to have controversy. Let's just say we are closer to the border laughs so if food found its way traveling south, I have to believe it made its first stop in San Antonio,” he said.
Hector Muillo has been cooking tacos for Maria's Taco Express for nearly 20 years. “Austin or San Antonio? I think Austin, Austin,” he said.
Maria's has become an Austin hot spot for breakfast tacos. Salomon Oliveros-Parra works at Maria’s. “We make them with love, we all care about our product, and we want make it good for other people. We want people to enjoy what they eat,” he said.
Chef Hernandez said not to divide our cities over where the breakfast taco came from, but a little competition, with proceeds going to charity, never hurt. “My challenge is to Austin chefs, let's have some fun with this and find out who makes the best breakfast tacos. And we'll let other people decide who made them first,” he said.
We did speak with breakfast taco expert and author Mando Rayo who’s from Austin for some clarity on the debate. “It's more of a region of where they originated than cities; you have to go to South Texas. It's San Antonio, The Valley, even towards Corpus Christi. It's definitely not Austin.”