This mini-monster satisfies. 

Image: Cory Garcia

Breakfast comes in all shapes and sizes, but for me, it’s best when it’s simple. That’s why to me there is no more perfect breakfast food than the breakfast taco. Sure, there are other strong contenders–biscuits and gravy, kolaches, and pancakes all come to mind–but for one reason or another they all fall short of the breakfast taco. Straightforward, inexpensive, and mighty delicious, I’ve spent the last five years in Houston looking for a breakfast taco that equals my favorite back home, and while there have been some contenders—tip of the hat to Tacos A Go-Go and Villa Acros—none of them have quite given me the breakfast taco nirvana I’ve hoped for.

What you have to understand is that my breakfast taco order of choice is one of the most basic you can get: plain bacon. There’s nothing healthy about it, I know, but I like what I like, and what I like is a bunch of bacon shoved into a flour tortilla. Simplicity at its finest, if you ask me, but still easy to mess up. There are few things as disappointing as biting into a sad excuse for a tortilla filled with limp bacon.

This is why, when my travel schedule allows it, I will wake up early when heading south on Highway 59 so that I can make a stop at El Pico De Gallo in my hometown of Victoria, Texas. In all my years of visiting the tiny building located at 609 E Rio Grande St. I’ve never walked away disappointed. Befuddled, sure, because Pico isn’t the type of place that’s going to win points for decor, and navigating their many rules for ordering can be weird for first timers, but the results are worth it.

Their breakfast tacos are giant, and my only advice I can give to you in how to tackle them efficiently is to get there before they close the doors to the dining room. Otherwise, you end up like I did most recently, sitting in the shade at Riverside Park, looking at this monster you’ve ordered and trying to figure out the tortilla origami needed to prevent a torrent of bacon for falling out of the taco and onto your lap. But even then, with the car chugging along to keep the air conditioner running on a hot Texas morning, the taste is worth the effort.

This breakfast taco features bacon in all its glory, from the crunchy, almost burned bits to the soft, greasy bits and everything in between. It’s all nestled inside a really great tortilla—perhaps my favorite of all time, and I come from a family of tortilla makers—one that’s so good it’s almost a crime they refuse to sell extras. It’s a messy eat, but proof that portability can be sacrificed at the altar of deliciousness when the tastes are just right.

Although I’ve been known to pack two away over the course of a meal, I can’t say that I recommend it unless you’re planning on epic nap right after you finish. No, if you’re on the road, see if you can sit a spell, at the restaurant itself, at the park, or at Victoria’s downtown square. This isn’t a breakfast taco you could rush, even if you wanted to. No, enjoy the moment while you can, and keep your napkins close by; you’ll need them.

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