Of all the societal problems that people could pin on McDonald’s, the one that galls the owner of Garcia’s Tortilla House is breakfast taco confusion.
“They don’t have a clue,” Chad Waldrop says of eaters he’s encountered outside of Texas. “They think it’s a McDonald’s breakfast burrito.”
Waldrop is a native South Carolinian, but he learned the ways of real breakfast tacos from his wife, who grew up in San Antonio. After living there with her, he became persuaded that the genre could take off in his home state. Waldrop this week opened Garcia’s in the former Sweet & Savory Café on Spring Street, using recipes from his wife’s mother and grandmother.
Garcia’s is still very much in development: Prices on the electronic menu board are in flux, and the restaurant has no online presence. But the gleaming white tortilla machine, which Waldrop says can produce 900 fresh tortillas in an hour, is up and running.
“Eventually, we want to do retail,” he says.
He’s also planning to turn Garcia’s into a franchise. Waldrop is looking to open the next round of taco shops in Columbia (which was where Waldrop originally planned to open his first location), Greenville and Charlotte.
Right now, the morning menu features bacon, smoked sausage, steak and carnitas tacos, all of which can be embellished with queso, cheddar, bean, potatoes, guacamole and grilled peppers and onions. Breakfast is served all day, with lunch options such as steak, shrimp and fish available from 11 a.m.-3 p.m. There’s also a vegetarian taco made with kale and spinach.
I ordered a chorizo-and-potato taco, which may have been a tip-off. “Not too many people know about chorizo,” Waldrop told me. Considering Garcia’s is two days old, the taco was on point: The tortilla was perhaps a little sweeter and puffier than I prefer, but the sausage was smoky; the eggs were perfectly cooked; and the whole shebang tasted pretty Southwestern for Spring Street.
Located at 100 Spring St., Garcia’s is open Tues.-Sat. from 7 a.m.-3 p.m. As of yet, there’s no listed website phone number.