At restaurants all over town, elusive eats await under the radar. Menus are updated, new items are added, and sometimes the best things are not on the menu at all. So, whether it's featured on a hand-written sign taped to a wall, or something that only regulars know to ask for by name, week by week, we'll try to catalog some of Dallas' lesser-known culinary creations.
Located on one-way Haskell Avenue just past Ross Avenue, La Victoria looks at first glance like a dilapidated East Dallas drive-in. That is, until passers-by take notice to the brightly colored signs that boast "Tamales," "Breakfast Burritos" and "Authentic Mexican Food." If the signs don't grab your attention, then the handful of cars usually parked out front will.
Inside, the restaurant's dining area is small -- more than 30 people at once would feel cramped. And, since breakfast is served all day, La Victoria is especially busy on Saturdays when, until the 2 p.m. close, customers can be found munching on fresh tortilla chips and handmade guacamole, and ordering plates of huevos rancheros, migas and breakfast burritos. Ah, the burritos.
All along the hand-off window, more than 40 order tickets hang, the vast majority of which visibly read "burrito" or "SBB" (the 15-inch "Super" breakfast burrito).
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(On the menu, La Victoria's breakfast burritos consist of two-topping combinations, with choices including eggs and either chorizo, potato, sausage, bacon, ham or beans. Cheese and all other additional toppings can be added for 35 cents a pop.)
Although La Victoria's most popular menu item is the bean and cheese with jalapeño burrito, one of our favorites is an off-the-menu burrito known to regulars as "Vicky's Special Burrito." Named for owner Vicky Zamora, it costs $3.50 ($3.79 after tax), which gets diners in the know a 10-inch tortilla filled with beans, cheese, avocado, fresh spinach and, perhaps, most important, picadillo.
Zamora's homemade picadillo is savory-mouthwatering-goodness that's made from ground chuck, roasted poblano peppers and potatoes. She then adds her homemade pico de gallo to the mix, which consists of diced tomato, onion and jalapeno. Because the roasted poblano peppers are so flavorful, Zamora says, "No other spices are used." The entire process of preparing and slow cooking the ingredients for a batch takes anywhere from five to six hours.
The combination of the toasted tortilla, savory picidillo, warm beans and cheese alongside the spinach and buttery avocado makes for a tasty off-the-menu treat.