Mon-Fri, 8am-6pm; Sat-Sun, 9am-6pm
G, L at Metropolitan Ave.-Lorimer St.; L at Bedford Ave.
Williamsburg’s Whirlybird is the first of its kind on New York’s caffeine scene: a serious coffee bar that doubles as a record-label gallery, with rotating exhibits of indie album covers, a couple standing tables, benches and tree stumps for outdoor seating, and a thoroughly Portlandian cast of characters milling about. It’s also the only place the U.G. knows where you may accompany your cortado or macchiato not with the usual muffin, brownie, cookie, biscotto, or past-its-prime croissant but with a hot, saucy breakfast taco. The combination is inspired, and makes sense, even if purebred Texans might consider the whole enterprise mildly blasphemous. Whirlybird serves two tacos—the No. 1, either vegetarian or with chunky chorizo for an extra buck, and the oversize deluxe Waldorf. Both come on corn tortillas, griddled in corn oil until they’re crisp and wavy. Inside, fluffy egg scrambled with Oaxaca cheese mingles with a hot stewed salsa of multicolored peppers and tomatoes. To finish, a brisk sprinkle of cilantro and a crumbling of jalapeño potato chips. This might not be the breakfast taco of a homesick Texan’s dreams, but it is a thing of slightly sweet, abundantly spiced beauty—a collaboration, it turns out, between owner Jeff Bailey, a Connecticut-bred bass guitarist, and a French-trained Ecuadoran chef who, according to Bailey, “had never even heard of breakfast tacos before.” In breakfast tacos, as in life, ignorance can be bliss.Featured In
Migas taco, breakfast taco with bacon and Cheddar, brisket taco, beans and greens, frozen margarita.