In San Antonio there are a lot of contenders for "best breakfast tacos," but it's hard to surpass Las Salsas, a modest eatery which serves barbecued lamb on the weekends.
What to do if you’re in San Antonio on a Saturday morning:
First show up at Las Salsas around 11:30 AM.
That’s when the weekend special, barbacoa de borrego, is ready.
The lamb, braised until the meat falls off the bones, comes with fresh cilantro, sliced avocado and onion, atop a trio of small, very thin corn tortillas. A squeeze of lime cuts the richness of the meat.
Next sit down at one of the formica topped tables and order the 3-taco plate. A few minutes later a platter piled with a truck driver’s ration of unctuous barbecued lamb, so tender that it practically melts in your mouth, arrives at your table. The critter’s neck and shoulder have been braised for 5 hours in a big pan on the stove until it falls off the bone, oozing, it must be said, with delicious lamb fat that’s brown and crispy around the edges.
Now load up a delicate corn tortilla with some of that lamb, lay on some avocado, onion and cilantro, and drench the whole thing with lime juice. Roll it up and take a big bite of breakfast taco heaven.
The caldo, a spicy red broth simmered from lamb bones, gets an incendiary kick from a piece of red chipotle pepper floating beneath the surface.
But don’t stop there. On the side, there’s a cup of caldo: savory broth, rich with the flavor of lamb, thick with rice, chickpeas and carrots, bright red and smoky hot—is that a silken piece of chipotle pepper floating beneath the surface? Drink this irresistible chaser--or starter-- while you’re gazing at sepia photos of old time movie queen Maria Felix and the comedian Cantinflas hanging on the faux peeling plaster wall.
Can’t wait till the weekend? OK, you’ll have to settle for the "ordinary" breakfast tacos this modest eatery serves starting at 6 AM daily: thick handmade corn tortillas (flour if you must) rolled around fillings like papa ranchera (fried potato chunks with spicy ranchero sauce), lengua entomatada (tongue simmered with tomatoes and onions), or alambre (a delicious mashup of steak, chicken, bacon, onion and green peppers).
Now isn’t the sun shining a little brighter?
Las Salsas, 2018 San Pedro Avenue, San Antonio, Texas 78216. Orders to go: 210-732-5366.