“Oh boy! Tacos are thriving in Austin, there’s nothing like that on the East Coast. It’s like clam chowder in New England or kale salad in L.A. That’s what we are doing here, delicious Texas-style tacos with a sense of humor. They are fun and funny because we have special ingredients and new names all the time,” explains the cool manager Grady Smith, one of the best guys to have breakfast with. He came from NYC looking for a better quality of life and now he’s using a flip phone. Boom!
We agree: the atmosphere at Brazos is unbeatable. Located at the creative IX Compound next to the Art Park, they offer spacious and pleasant interiors, and a fabulous outdoor space when the sun pokes out. The concept is simple: keep the taco spirit, add some Austin-style influence and new toppings, and serve tacos and breakfast specialties aaaall day. These tacos are something in between traditional Mexican and American tacos (lettuce, sour cream, hard-shell…), but they also include funky ingredients like mashed potatoes, crisped yams, pickled watermelon, and picadillo beef. At first, people say “whoa!” but then they love it.
Potato-egg-cheese (with bacon or avocado), I-love-you-so-much (house chorizo, scrambled eggs, mashed potatoes, roasted corn and queso fresco) and El-Guapo (black beans, eggs, bacon, avocado and jack cheese) are the flagship morning tacos. For the rest of the day, nobody shades over Carnitas (of course!), This-is-my-Yam (yam, black beans, avocado, queso fresco, roasted pumpkin seeds) and Fish-Aficionado (grilled tilapia, red cabbage slaw, fresh radish and lime). They are all really good. Of course, add colorful margaritas and huge plates of chips with salsa, queso, fresh guacamole and so on…
You hear the music and laughter coming from the kitchen and it feels as if everybody is having a great time at Brazos. A big soda fountain does his job next to the tables and beautiful desert wood lamps hang from the ceiling. This is a personal project by musician Peter Griesar, who was part of the successful Dave Matthews Band during the nineties, and he still keeps some of his rockstar manners. Brazos started as a small pop-up taco shop in 2014, but its success made it clear that it had to stay. Soon after, it won the “Best New Restaurant” award in 2016, by the local C-VILLE Magazine. “Keep Austin Weird” in Charlottesville!
Phone: (434) 984-1163
Hours: Mon-Wed 7 a.m. – 7 p.m., Thu-Sat 7 a.m. – 8 p.m., Sun 8 a.m. – 3 p.m.
Text and photo: Edu Bayer