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Real, Austin-Style Breakfast Tacos Finally Land in NYC With King David

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Robert Sietsema finds the cart a stellar version of the cuisine

Two people stand under an umbrella at a small red food cart, whose sign reads “King David Tacos” in capital letters
The cart for King David Tacos
Photo by Robert Sietsema

You wouldn’t think it would be so hard to replicate the legendary breakfast tacos of Austin, Texas: a flour tortilla, some scrambled eggs, a little grated jack cheese, and a minimalist extra ingredient or two from a list that runs from refried beans and chorizo to potatoes, bacon, and chile pepper strips. But time after time, New Yorkers have effed them up. Usually, it’s with extraneous ingredients that don’t belong, from spinach to feta cheese to truffle oil to — totally wrong! — corn tortillas.

But the cruel memory of all those bad breakfast tacos was wiped from my mind when I bit into a breakfast taco from King David Tacos. I felt like I was standing on the edge of Barton Springs, admiring the ripples.

King David Tacos
The three breakfast taco choices
Photo by Robert Sietsema

This humble taco cart perches from 6 a.m. to 10 a.m. in Mannahatta Park on the eastern end of Wall Street and Water Street. Three choices are offered at $3.95 each (six for $19.95), including bacon, potato, egg, and cheese; egg, potato, cheese, and refried beans; and chorizo, potato, egg, and cheese. This is just the sort of selection one finds in the Texas capital.

The eggs are fluffy, the potato cubes creamy, the cheese (a blend of jack and cheddar) cheesy, and the sausage and bacon relatively nondescript, but adding a nice touch of grease and salt. I won’t lie; the vegetarian was my favorite, but all three were good enough to come back for, whether you work in the FiDi or not. Two types of salsa are offered alongside: red and green. Both are relatively fiery, though the green was tarter. “The green goes best with the chorizo,” cart owner and Austin expat Liz Solomon told me, and indeed it did.

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