I always believe that the true measure of a restaurant’s quality is how crowded it is. Panchito’s Mexican Restaurant at 4100 McCullough is always llena de gente (yay-na day hen-tay…full of people).
Why? Because their food is just so darned tasty, and it’s reasonably priced. Plus, their staff is top notch. If we’ve been out of town for awhile, Panchito’s is the first restaurant we hit when we get back home to San Antonio.
From downtown, take the number 5 VIA bus north up McCullough and ask the driver to please let you off just past Hildebrand. From 281/37 (McAllister Freeway) or Interstate 10, take the Hildebrand exit. Panchito’s is on the corner of Annie and McCullough.
You may go into the brightly decorated restaurant and snag a booth or a table, or if you’re in a rush or want to take your food someplace else to eat, you may order it to go. The to-go area is at the back of the restaurant, off of the parking lot.
For my family, to-go tacos from Panchito’s are a weekend tradition. My personal favorite? Bean and rice on corn ($1.29 each). My daughter’s favorite is bean on flour ($1.15 each), and my husband’s is bean on corn ($1.15 each). The staff will pack your foil-wrapped tacos in a paper sack for you, and they will provide you with a lifetime supply of napkins, salt and salsa. The salsa alone is worth the trip. It’s the perfect hot. Not too hot, but not whimpy either.
On our most recent visit, we sat inside the restaurant at a booth. At 8:30 in the morning, the restaurant was already hopping. Many patrons had brought their Sunday papers along to read while they enjoyed their breakfast fare and drank their bottomless cups of coffee.
Breakfast tacos are one of San Antonio’s certifiable delicacies. Austin was recently named the Breakfast Taco Capital of the World by the New York Times. What’s up with that? Just ask anyone in town. San Antonio wears that crown. No question.
I chose a migas (egg, potato and cut-up corn tortilla chips) with cheese breakfast taco ($1.49) and a potato and egg breakfast taco ($1.29). I drizzled salsa on each. My daughter chose her usual, bean on flour ($1.15 each), and my husband had one of his usuals, a bean on corn ($1.15), and once-in-a-blue-moon treat, a brisket taco ($1.99). Coffee and hot chocolate ($1.49 each) rounded out our order. For those of you who’ve never had a homemade flour or corn tortilla filled with your favorite breakfast item, you have not yet lived. Your eyes will roll back into your head and a spontaneous MMMM will issue from your vocal chords. Last fall, my family hosted a student from Spain, which is world renown for its culinary delights, and Javier wrote that what he misses the most about San Antonio are our breakfast tacos.
Other breakfast tacos that Panchito’s serves include refried bean and egg ($1.29), ham and egg ($1.59), chorizo and refried beans ($1.29), papa rancheras (potatoes with grilled onion, tomatoes, etc. for $1.29), weiners and egg ($1.29), chorizo and egg ($1.39), bacon and egg ($1.39), country sausage and egg ($1.39), country sausage and gravy ($1.39), papas con chorizo ($1.39), huevos a la Mexicana ($1.59), chorizo a la Mexicana ($1.69), chilaquiles (same as migas, see above, but with pico de gallo, for $1.69), papas a la Mexicana ($1.29), pork chop taco ($2.99), egg taco ($1.29), country frito taco ($1.59), bacon taco ($1.49), potato taco ($1.29), refried bean and cheese ($1.39), Pachito’s special (potato and egg with chorizo and refried beans for $1.49), Panchito’s deluxe (refried beans, potatoes, country gravy and cheese for $1.79), and machacado and egg (dried beef pan fried with fresh scrambled egg, tomato, onion and chile for $1.99). Bring an appetite with you, or plan to visit more than once while you’re in town!
Panchito’s also has breakfast plates that are served with refried beans, pan fried potatoes and homemade corn or flour tortillas. You may choose huevos rancheros ($4.99), huevos a la Mexicana ($5.49), machacado plate ($6.99), migas with cheese ($5.49), bacon and egg ($5.29) and more, like pancakes!
I haven’t even touched the lunch or the dinner menus, which contain five pages of food choices and one page of drinks from their full bar. In other words, you may stay all day…breakfast, lunch and dinner…with walks around the block to gear up for the next round! Don’t miss their homemade tres leches cake if you’ve got a sweet tooth. And who doesn’t?
Panchito’s is open on Sundays from 7:30 a.m. until 8 p.m.; Mondays from 6:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.; Tuesdays through Thursdays from 6:30 a.m. to 9 p.m.; and Fridays and Saturdays from 6:30 a.m. to 10 p.m. They have one more location in San Antonio, 1705 S. Zarzamora, but they’re only open for breakfast through lunch.
Find your way over to Panchito’s while you’re in town. Sure, you’ll miss the tacos when you’re back at home, but it’ll give you great incentive to book your next trip to San Antonio A.S.A.P.