Making tortillas from scratch is such a laborious, painstaking project, most home cooks in Mexico these days have given up on it, said Dario Wolos, the owner of Tacombi.
Dario, who is from Monterrey, Mexico, wanted to preserve the tradition, while supporting the livelihood of small-scale maize farmers. When he found a collection of farms in Oaxaca that grows non-GMO landrace corn, he decided it was time his Tacombi taquerias would provide fresh corn tortillas.
First, the corn is mixed with calcium hydroxide to break down the hull of the corn kernels. Then, the mash is ground into masa powder, which is mixed with water to form a dough that can be pressed into tortilla shapes and cooked. At Tacombi, the traditionally long process is made shorter thanks to a mechanical stone grinder and tortilla press.
Back home, tacos are eaten at any time of day, Wolos explained. But for breakfast, people prefer filling tacos with heavier meats, stopping by their local taco stand for a quick nosh on their way to work.
At Tacombi, chef Jason DeBriere makes a huevos con chorizo taco, the corn tortilla encasing a heap of cage-free scrambled eggs and homemade heritage pork sausage, spicy and piquant ($5.95).
In northern Mexico, where Wolos is from, eggs and dried beef are a traditional pairing, called huevos con machaca ($6.95). In this region, where corn is difficult to cultivate and wheat more commonly grown, flour tortillas are used. Tacombi makes them in-house too. Enhanced with a few dabs of the restaurant’s housemade, explosive hot sauces, this taco is the ultimate cure-all for hunger pangs (and hangovers).
The Huevos a la Mexicana combines Chihuahua cheese, onions, peppers, and pico de gallo for a lighter taco ($4.95).
To wash these down, try Tacombi’s juices, ranging from the savory, V8-like Verde, with celery, kale, pineapple, apple, lime, and mint ($7.95), to the intensely gingery Púrpura, with beets, ginger, strawberries, and orange ($7.95), and the pleasantly sweet Naranja with papaya, carrots, pineapple, and orange ($6.95) and Piña y Ginger with pineapple, ginger, and mint ($6.95).
Breakast tacos are served at Tacombi’s Flatiron and Montauk locations only.
Tacombi Café El Presidente
30 W. 24th St. (between Fifth & Sixth avenues)
Breakfast served all day
Monday to Saturday 11 a.m.–midnight
Sunday 11 a.m.–10:30 p.m.