Finally, a Texas-style taco breakfast is opening in DC

Photo courtesy of La Tejana.

La Tejana’s weekend pop-ups regularly drew lines for Texas-style breakfast tacos with handmade flour tortillas. Now couple Ana-Maria Jaramillo and Gus May are finally opening a brick-and-mortar store in Mount Pleasant at 7:30 a.m. on Saturday, August 6. The opening menu will only include five breakfast taco options, including scrambled eggs, bacon and potatoes or refried pinto beans and cheese, plus fries and queso. More extensive taco offerings, a dinner menu, and margins are coming soon.

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 Takoma Park native May at a wedding in Philadelphia in 2017, and the two began dating remotely. During a first visit to Austin, Jaramillo sent May to pick up some breakfast tacos from her favorite spot, Taco Joint, after a long night of drinking.

“He was like, ‘Baby, if this lasts between you and me — whatever we do, this long-distance thing — and you get to DC, we have to open a breakfast taco shop,'” Jaramillo says. .

It went on – they recently got married – and the couple staged their first pop-up from the front porch of their Mount Pleasant apartment in 2019. The operation grew from there with pop-ups at Room 11, Grand Duchess, Nido and beyond. Jaramillo did it all while working full-time as a bilingual pediatric speech-language pathologist who has his own clinic in downtown DC. May’s experience spans from catering to selling wine at Domestic to working at Mount Pleasant Elle Bakery/Restaurant.

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

Their brick-and-mortar restaurant will kick off with the same basic breakfast tacos they’re known for, plus this queso, which is made with Velveeta, Monterey Jack, three types of chiles, 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 extra-spicy off-menu habanero salsa. Drinks will include Topo Chico Coffee, Mexican Coke and Lost Sock Drip Coffee and Cold Brew.

In the fall, La Tejana plans to expand to breakfast tacos — pork, chicken, carne asada, mushrooms — on flour or corn tortillas. They also have plans for guac and baked goods, such as conchas or donuts, as well as drink specials like cold brew horchata and agua frescas. Once the restaurant gets its liquor license, expect margaritas (frozen and on the rocks), a legit michelada, ranch water, big boy Tecate and Modelos, and more.

They’ll also eventually offer upstairs dining with an expanded menu of nachos, quesadillas, and maybe some scratch-from-scratch riffs on Taco Bell classics like a Cheesy Gordita Crunch.

The restaurant, housed in a historic storefront built in 1909, aims to look more like a cafe than a taqueria with Texan homages. Diners will find Selena’s signature illuminated and a Gregg Popovich candle, as well as locally crafted countertops and shelving from a red oak tree that was felled at May’s childhood home in Takoma Park.

“In Austin, and almost all of Texas, you can find your favorite breakfast tacos at your neighborhood coffee shop. That’s how it works,” says Jaramillo. “So we wanted to do something very similar. We wanted it very well lit, bright, fun, relaxed, relaxing, unpretentious. Reggaeton is going to explode any moment.

The Tejana. 3211 Mt. Pleasant St., NW. Open Wednesday to Sunday from 7:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. or until sold out.

Jessica Sidman

food editor

Jessica Sidman covers the people and trends behind DC’s food and drink scene. before joining Washingtonian as of July 2016, she was a food editor and Young & Hungry columnist at the Washington City Paper. She is originally from Colorado and graduated from the University of Pennsylvania.

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