Paco's Tacos

More than tacos offered at Mueller hideout



Paco's Tacos may appear as if it was established in 1812, but the business just turned four years old.



The restaurant's owners, Alan and Margaret Baldree, said they previously rented out the space to other users for several years before deciding turn the rental home into a small business venture.



"I didn't really know what to expect to begin with because I had never been in the food industry," Alan said. "Everything down to how the grounds look to how the food's cooked and prepared [is important to me]. I tried to create an environment people would like."



The menu included only six to eight tacos in the beginning, said the couple, who quickly realized they would have to expand the Paco's Tacos operation to keep up with customer demand.



The couple now offers all-day breakfast along with lunch and dinner menus that go well beyond tacos. There is also a salsa bar to complement customers' menu selections with flavor varieties.



There are many taco eateries in Austin, Margaret said, but what sets her and her husband's operation apart is its menu.



"We do offer this very unique tortilla," she said. "It's a blend tortilla, and I don't know where else you're going to find it. We have excellent customer service, and we do a nice variety of tacos. Everything is fresh, everything is made here."



Alan serves as the brainchild behind Paco's Tacos, Margaret said.



"I read some books on the history of Texas, and that's how it all came about," Alan said. "The idea just occurred to me one evening: I'm going to make this thing built like it was built back in 1812."



This is the couple's first experience as restaurant owners. Although the two have contemplated expansion opportunities, Margaret said they plan to excel at the Paco's Tacos existing location where the Baldrees said they are trying to build their loyal customer base.



Breakfast



A variety of breakfast tacos ($1.75-$4.95) are offered. For those who follow a vegetarian diet or who crave grilled Angus steak in the morning, there is a taco made for that. However, if one of the predesigned tacos is not what a customer wants then he or she can build his or her own taco from a selection of breakfast toppings. The breakfast taco menu is served all day but at a slightly higher price after 11 a.m.



Lunch



Tacos, quesadillas, gorditas, rice bowls and burger sliders allow for a diverse lunch experience. The Gringo Taco ($4.25) and the Carnitas Taco ($3.75) are two that owner Margaret Baldree recommends to get a taste of the unique flavor Paco's Tacos has to offer. The owners also blended Texas barbecue with Tex-Mex to create a brisket taco.



Dinner



Enchilada plates and house specials create an array of dinner options. The Pollo Mexicana plate ($6.50) is one for those with the spiciest of palates since it combines the heat of salsa and peppers to create a unique flavor. Paco's Zarape ($9.25) is a burrito stuffed in a 10-inch, blended tortilla for those who have a larger appetite.



Established in 1812, sort of



The atmosphere at Paco's Tacos reflects research Alan Baldree said he conducted when he decided to start the restaurant. He pulled inspiration from Texas in 1812, when what was used for buildings came from the environment and supplies in the area, he said. Although the restaurant does have some indoor seating, a large outdoor seating area is on the grounds for those who wish to enjoy the Austin weather while they eat their meals.



Paco's Tacos, 1304 E. 51st St., 512-323-6206, www.pacostacosaustin.com, Hours: Tues.—Sat. 6:30 a.m.—9 p.m., Sun. 6:30 a.m.—7 p.m.