When I invited a friend to go out for birthday breakfast tacos, she said she wanted to try a place some chef friends had told her about on Nogalitos. Just saying Nogalitos (No-gah-LEE-toes) makes me happy, so I said yes, and HIJO (EEE-ho = son), am I glad that I did.
Maria’s Cafe at 1105 Nogalitos, just off of Interstate 35 and above the soon-to-be revamped San Pedro Creek, is another restaurant that will definitely make it into the second edition of my book. The decor alone is worth a visit, but throw in delicious food and friendly people–both staff and patrons–and you’ve got a winner.
My friend was running late, so I started talking with two regulars, Helen and Irma, who’ve been eating at Maria’s for years. They said it was their Cheers. Everyone knows their name. Some patrons eat at Maria’s every day. I can understand why. Maria and her daughter, Leslie, make everyone feel at home.
(Local color: Leslie took accordion lessons from Santiago Jimenez, Jr., and Valerio Longoria when she was a kid through the Guadalupe’s program. She still plays.)
When my friend arrived, we ordered. I asked for a bean and cheese taco on corn and a bacon and egg on corn, my standard choices for a new place. My friend ordered a potato and egg on flour, her standard. Helen and Irma said that I ought to order an extra slice of bacon for the bean and cheese. I didn’t, but after I had the bacon and egg taco, I understood why. From now on, I’ll order bacon for everything.
A gentleman sitting nearby ordered huevos rancheros, and I’ll be giving those a try soon. I have been back to grab a bean and cheese taco on corn with a slice of bacon to take to work, and I believe I heard angels singing while I ate it. I bought an extra one for a colleague, and she felt the same way. Maria’s is exactly one of the reasons why San Antonio can lay claim to having the best breakfast tacos on the planet. Take that, Austin.
Maria’s is open Mondays through Fridays from 6:30 a.m. until 2 p.m. and on Saturdays from 7 a.m. until 2 p.m. Call (210) 227-7005 for to-go orders or for catering.
For even more ideas of fun things to do and see in San Antonio, visit Barnes & Noble, The Twig, Whole Foods, Half Price Books on Broadway, Costco, Sam’s and Hudson News to purchase “100 Things To Do in San Antonio Before You Die” by yours truly. ¡Viva San Antonio!