Breakfast of Champions

Chorizo and Egg tacosI love breakfast tacos. It’s one of the things I miss about Texas. Considering how much I don’t miss about Texas, that’s a pretty big deal. For the record, I also miss the bluebonnets blooming in Spring. I’m having a difficult time coming up with a third one. There are certainly people I miss, but they don’t get on the list that easy. Roads and planes run both directions, after all. I guess I miss good Tex-Mex in general. There are a couple of places around here that make good food, but it’s not the same. That’s why it’s so funny that the best breakfast tacos I can get regularly are in Gibson City, IL.

The thing about Gibson City is that it’s relatively prosperous. There aren’t many closed storefronts on the main drag through town. It’s at the junction of two state highways. One runs from just west of Champaign-Urbana up to the western suburbs of Chicago (and into Wisconsin, eventually). The east-west highway carries traffic from Bloomington-Normal over to the Indiana state line. Keep going and you wind up in Lafayette, IN if you’re into that sort of thing. When you’re in a town like this restaurants never close, they just change owners and names.

So it is with El Rodeo Mexican American Restaurant. When I started going there with Carla and her parents 18 years or so ago it was called the Sunrise. I think it may have been something else briefly after it was the Sunrise, but I’m not sure. When the current owners took over they added the Mexican items onto the menu. We’ve been there for dinner a few times, but breakfast is my favorite meal there. Pictured are my standard breakfast items: chorizo and egg tacos on corn tortillas. It only occurred to me to take this picture after I’d already eaten the first one. You can get a side of rice, beans, guacamole and sour cream if you like, but it gets messy. I’m utterly addicted to their salsa verde.  Both the red and green sauces are made in-house and they’re both fantastic.

The point of all of this is that it confuses me why I can get a good Mexican-American breakfast in at town of 3,500 people, but I’ve yet to find a good one in the metro area of over a million where I actually live. It’s not like we don’t have a population of people here who know how to make such things.  We do. And there are places where you can get amazing tacos (I’m looking at you Taqueria San Miguel). But they don’t do breakfast. Why is that? I’m not talking about places that do hangover food at 11AM.  I’m talking about a place you can go have tacos for breakfast at an hour when people are having breakfast.1

We’re going to Gibson City a lot right now, but that’s not going to last forever. I can’t be driving four hours just to get a good breakfast taco. Somebody get on this, will you?

1If you say “McDonald’s” or “Taco Bell” or “Sonic” to me I will find you and I will hurt you.