Finally, a Texas-style breakfast taco spot opens in DC

Photo courtesy of La Tejana.

La Tejana’s weekend popups regularly crossed the line for Texas-style breakfast tacos with handmade flour tortillas. Now married couple Ana-Maria Jaramillo and Gus May are finally opening a physical place in Mount Pleasant at 7:30 am on Saturday, August 6. The opening menu includes just five breakfast taco options, including scrambled eggs, bacon and potatoes or baked pinto beans and cheese — plus chips and queso. More extensive taco offerings, a dinner menu, and margins are coming.

Jaramillo was born in Texas City, Texas and grew up on both sides of the Mexican border. She says it was “pretty much love at first sight” when she met May, a resident of Takoma Park, at a wedding in Philadelphia in 2017, and the two began dating long distances. On an early visit to Austin, Jaramillo sent May to get some breakfast tacos at her favorite spot, Taco Joint, after a long night of drinking.

“He was like, ‘Baby, if this continues between you and me — whatever we’re doing, this long-distance thing — and you ever get to DC, we should open a breakfast taco shop,'” says Jaramillo.

Before long – they recently married – the couple held their first pop-up from the doorstep of their Mount Pleasant apartment in 2019. The operation grew from there with pop-ups in Room 11, Grand Duchess, Nido and beyond. . Jaramillo did it all while working full time as a bilingual pediatric speech therapist with her own clinic in downtown DC. May’s background stretches from catering to selling wine at Domestique to working at Mount Pleasant bakery/restaurant Elle.

La Tejana makes handmade flour tortillas for its breakfast tacos. Photo courtesy of La Tejana.

Their brick-and-mortar restaurant starts with the same breakfast taco staples they’re known for — plus that queso, which is made with Velveeta, Monterey Jack, three types of peppers, plus a few secret ingredients. (“Anyone who says Velveeta isn’t the best way to make queso is wrong,” May says.) Dress up the tacos with a classic red salsa, cilantro cream, or an extra spicy habanero salsa that isn’t on the menu. . Drinks include Topo Chico, Mexican Coke, and Lost Sock drip coffee and cold-brew.

Come fall, La Tejana plans to expand into lunch tacos — pork, chicken, carne asada, mushrooms — on flour or corn tortillas. They also have plans for guac and pastries, such as conchas or donut holes, plus specialty drinks like a cold-brew horchata and agua frescas. Once the restaurant has its liquor license, expect margaritas (frozen and on the rocks), a legit michelada, ranch water, tall-boy Tecate and Modelos, and more.

They will also eventually offer an upstairs dinner with an extensive menu of nachos, quesadillas, and possibly some riffs on Taco Bell classics like a Cheesy Gordita Crunch.

Housed in a historic 1909 storefront, the restaurant aims to look more like a cafe than a taqueria with Texas tributes. Diners will find Selena’s signature lit and a Gregg Popovich candle, plus locally milled counters and shelves made from a red oak sourced from May’s childhood home in Takoma Park.

“In Austin, and pretty much anywhere in Texas, you can find your favorite breakfast tacos at your neighborhood cafe. That’s how it works,” says Jaramillo. “So we wanted to do something similar. We wanted it to be really well lit, bright, fun, relaxed, was relaxed, unpretentious, Reggaeton will always pop.”

La Tejana. 3211 Mount Pleasant Street, NW. Open Wednesday through Sunday from 7:30 am to 2:00 pm or until sold out.

Jessica Sidman

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Jessica Sidman talks about the people and trends behind DC’s food and drink scene. Before you join Washingtonian in July 2016, she was a Washington City Paper Food Editor and Young & Hungry columnist. She was born in Colorado and is a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania.

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