It was not my initial intention to clue my fellow epicureans in on this Amarillo gem’s B-side. But by the third time I went to El Tejavan—slightly later in the day than during previous visits—it became clear the secret was out.
Consistently named one of the best restaurants in the state of Texas and across the nation for its tacos, El Tejavan has a reputation for great food from either of its locations, 3801 I-40 East, or I-40 West and Paramount. I have never witnessed anyone licking their plate, but I am sure it has crossed the minds of many of El Tejavan’s diners. But don’t stop at tacos; from the freshly made ceviche (small diced chunks of fish make El Tejavan’s recipe a standout), to sizzling hot fajitas served with all the fixings, caldo de res that will warm you up on even the coldest day, pork adobada long simmered in smoky red sauce that is best sopped up with extra tortillas and rice, and enchiladas served with just the right amount of chunky guacamole on the side, it is hard to go wrong ordering from El Tejavan.
But woe to you who would limit the El Tejavan experience to just lunch and dinner. Breakfast at El Tejavan is worth coming back to. Repeatedly.
At El Tejavan, the breakfast experience begins promptly at 8 a.m., promising a culinary journey that will leave patrons feeling satiated for hours to come. Upon arrival, guests are greeted with a delightful basket of the restaurant’s signature chips accompanied by a tantalizingly spicy homemade salsa, setting the tone for a morning filled with flavor and satisfaction. This invigorating combination of crispy chips and zesty salsa serves as the perfect precursor to the main event.
For those seeking a breakfast option that offers both comfort and indulgence, the breakfast burrito at El Tejavan proves to be an irresistible choice. Wrapped lovingly in a homemade flour tortilla, each bite of this savory creation unveils a symphony of flavors, with eggs melding seamlessly with a choice of meat, including sausage, bacon, ham or chorizo. El Tejavan’s breakfast burritos are substantial enough to require the eater to summon the strength to wield a knife and fork and are well worth the effort.
Those with a penchant for perfectly cooked eggs need look no further than El Tejavan’s rendition of huevos rancheros. Served with a choice of either flour or corn tortillas, this classic dish can be enjoyed in its purest form or elevated with an array of mouthwatering accompaniments. Whether opting for guisado with pork in red or green sauce, beef in red sauce, jamon, chorizo, or the robust flavor of asada (steak), or savoring the vibrant blend of huevos a la Mexicana, each variation promises a culinary experience that celebrates the richness of Mexican cuisine.
The crispy crunch of chips in the basket served before the meal may not be enough at El Tejavan. If you need more of their warm but crisp tortilla chips, I recommend the chilaquiles. Served traditionally with just enough sauce to soak into the chips—but not enough to overwhelm the texture—this dish can also be ordered with a bevy of options, from guisado (again, with your choice of pork in red or green sauce or beef in red sauce) or guisado with huevos, chilaquiles with carne asada, or con huevos y carne asada.
At the I-40 and Paramount location, diners will notice a contraption near the kitchen entrance which, when unloaded, looks as if it were used as a method of medieval malintent. Watch it in action, however, and get ready for cravings and amazement. It’s an orange juice machine that stands taller than most visitors and produces the freshest squeezed juice. Watching unpeeled oranges move down the metal roller coaster-like cage into the belly of the machine is a delight. Served at room temperature and with no sugar added, the orange juice is liquid sunshine, and a sip of pure satisfaction. Other libations including mimosas, micheladas, and bloody marys are also available from El Tejavan’s full bar.
Other than encouraging locals to give El Tejavan a starring role in your morning, there’s one other piece of advice that I would like to impart, especially now that I’m a multi-morning regular: Order both the beans and potatoes. You may not be able to finish it all, but trust me, you will be glad that you tried.
3420 I-40 West, 806-354-2444
3801 I-40 East, 806.372.5250
The I-40 West location is open 8 a.m.-9 p.m. daily; the I-40 East location is open 8 a.m.-8 p.m. daily