The Tamale House – the original – the best, the one that’s on, like, 51st and Airport? Used to have a meat market on one side and dirty book store on the other, right?
That place. I seldom, if ever, wander that far north. Too far, and I’m not cool enough for the North Austin climate. But I did have (family related) business to attend that far north, and I did stop.
Six bacon and egg breakfast tacos, just a little over five bucks. On the wall, there’s a sign, says something about not complaining about the heat so they don’t have to charge extra for AC. Forgot my camera, but I didn’t think it would be a good idea to snap pictures – not in that crowd.
There was a truck driver (brand name gave him away), a field supervisor for an AC repair place, and a hispanic man driving a truck that was towing a flatbed trailer full of lawn trimming gear. The place as crowded, the other morning.
I might have it wrong, but the woman taking my order? I think she’s been there, like, forever. I can’t even recall the last time I was here. One out of the three or four working. That says something in longevity.
The food is every bit as good as I recall, the standard fare, eggs and bacon, wrapped in a whole wheat tortilla. There’s something about being able to truly savor the flavor of the eggs, too, and the crunchy bacon pieces, I suspect, the tag line should read, “Made with real bacon.”
Along with being designated to fetch breakfast tacos, I was supposed to grab coffee, too. Around the corner, or, literally, just down the street, at 51st and Duval, there’s the Flight Path, a perennial favorite. Pisces guy was making the coffee, and that rounds out the food for the morning, a warm, spring-like April morning.
The Flight Path was half the size it is now, and planes used to fly over head, hence the name. The old airport is now “365,000 square feet of retail space.”
Thankfully, the blue collars, drifters and grifters like me, there’s still the Tamale House. So far.
Two Meat Tuesday (the book)
I cruised by a buddy’s place – an address that is no longer there. In the blink of an eye, to be honest, it’s been a year or more, the old place was leveled and new house had been erected in its spot. To me, it’s sad, the inescapable march of progress at the expense of the neighborhood. That house, while not exactly historic, it was a family heirloom, a vintage 1920s two-bed, one bath, shotgun farm house. At the time, it was backed by a rail line and the cotton fields. Now, it’s just plot that’s slightly canted, perhaps a plot that’s not exactly a regular shape, and its house is no longer the vintage farm house.
I’m guessing that the two-floor affair there now, I’m guessing that it is three to four times the usable floor space, or living space, and I’m guessing, outside a historic neighborhood, the old farm house wasn’t protected.
The Tamale House #3 is still there. The Flight Path is still there. The old farm house is now gone.
(cure for the common horoscope)