For all the Drag has to offer, Frederick Lee and Evan Van Tassel were surprised by a subpar selection of one of Austin’s favorite foods.
“We noticed a bit of a taco deficit near campus, which was weird since Austin is like the taco capital of the world,” Van Tassel said. “So we figured a taco truck would make sense here.”
Located in a small truck directly across from the Belo Center for New Media, TIFFANYS offers a limited menu of breakfast tacos, cold brew coffee and sweet treats to hungry students on their way to morning classes. Van Tassel said the point of their small menu is to avoid overcomplicating things and to be able to serve students as quickly as possible.
“The tacos are made in batches before we open,” Van Tassel said. “It’s all just grab and go so you don’t have to wait around for things to cook while you’re rushing to class.”
Though breakfast tacos are the main attraction at TIFFANYS, Van Tassel said he takes a lot pride in the cold brew coffee that they steep for over 16 hours, replacing heat with time.
“When you do it like that without the heat, since the acids are soluble at high temperatures, it comes out way less acidic and it just has a smoother taste that’s really easy to drink,” Van Tassel said. “A lot of people that have stomach problems with coffee can drink cold brew with less of an issue. It’s pretty neat.”
He said one of the main ideas behind TIFFANYS is to keep ingredients as local as they possibly can.
“There aren’t that many local businesses left on the Drag, so it’s a really good thing to keep the spirit of the Drag alive by supporting local businesses,” Van Tassel said.
Though they only offer three to four taco variations a day at TIFFANYS, it’s clear that the ingredients in them are of good quality. The potato, egg and cheese taco, which is their main option, is probably the best one on the menu. The potatoes inside have a nice peppery flavor and a good little outer crisp similar to home fries. There’s nothing super notable about the eggs or the cheese, but overall the three ingredients make for a pretty satisfying taco.
The only problem with the tacos is that since they’re made in batches and just kept warm as people order them, the tortillas can get a little too moist and sticky if the tacos are ordered closer to the afternoon. It’s not enough to ruin them, but it does make them a little messier to eat. Customers can get one taco for $3 or four tacos for $10, which is sure to fill them up since the tacos are stuffed very generously.
Any of the tacos’ shortcomings can be easily remedied with TIFFANYS house-made pickle salsa, which is exactly what it sounds like: a pickle-based salsa. Although it sounds like a weird idea, and the pickle flavor is definitely noticeable, it’s actually a pretty awesome take on salsa verde with a great blend of tanginess and spice.
The cold brew coffee at TIFFANYS is also worth checking out. Made with Austin’s own Ruta Maya organic coffee beans, the drink has a very nice earthy flavor. Like Van Tassel said, the cold brewing process definitely keeps the coffee’s acidity at a bare minimum. Though they serve the cold brew with a side of housemade creamer, the coffee is actually much better black due to its milder flavor.
The tacos and coffee at TIFFANYS aren’t the absolute best that Austin has to offer, but they’re a great and quick option to keep students’ stomachs full during those obnoxious morning classes.