First Impressions

Matt’s BBQ Goes Tex-Mex

One of Portland’s premier meat slingers is serving Austin-style breakfast tacos on SE Hawthorne.

By Benjamin Tepler March 12, 2019

Left: Brisket breakfast taco. Right: Migas taco, stuffed with fried tortilla chips

Matt Vicedomini has been pretty much dominating Portland’s barbecue game since he opened his first food cart on NE MLK in 2015. His white-oak smoked ribs, brisket, and jalapeno cheddar sausage have racked up local and national accolades. In 2019, Vicedomini underwent rapid expansion: he’s one of three partners at recently-opened Eem on North Williams, a “Thai barbecue cocktail bar” with Langbaan’s Earl Ninsom and Shipwreck’s Eric Nelson. And on Friday, March 8, Vicedomini opened a second food cart at 3207 S.E. Hawthorne Blvd (the former Fried Egg I’m in Love cart)  dedicated to Tex-Mex breakfast tacos stuffed with his crazy-good barbecue. Current hours are Thur-Sun, 8 - 11 a.m. for breakfast and 11 am.- 3 p.m. for lunch. (He hopes to be open every day by the summer.)

What goes into a Matt’s breakfast taco? It all starts with his fluffy, from-scratch flour tortilla, made from dough cut with lard and pressed and cooked to order. Tex-Mex wannabes, take note: this is how you make a flour tortilla. Vicedomini loads it with scrambled eggs, fried, creamy potatoes, and, of course, barbecued meat, either chopped brisket, sliced pork belly, crumbled sausage, or portabello mushroom. Both salsas—a pickled jalapeño number and a chile de árbol blend—are balanced, complex sauces that could reanimate a piece of cardboard.        

Also worth ordering is the migas taco, a steaming pocket filled with fried corn tortilla bits (currently ground in Mississippi-neighborhood cart Little Conejo, although that's subject to change) cooked with egg, cilantro, and onions, and topped with guacamole, pico de gallo, and monterey jack-cheddar mix. It’s sort of like chilaquiles in taco form.

Vicedomini says his inspiration for a flour tortilla-driven breakfast taco cart came from Austin’s famed Tex-Mex spot Valentina’s. “It bothered me that you couldn't get them up here in Portland,” says Vicedomini. The idea behind migas, meanwhile, came from another Austin joint called Veracruz All Natural, with five locations in Texas. 

We’ll be back for the lunch tacos, which roll out at 11 a.m., and include flavors like pork belly burnt ends with refried pinto beans and cotija salsa, plus sandwiches like the BGC (brisket grilled cheese). In the meantime, we can say this with confidence: Matt’s BBQ taco cart is one of the best new breakfasts in the city—better get in line now.

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