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The Lee Brothers' Austin-Style Brunch


One of Austin’s culinary icons is migas, a fry-up of eggs, onions, fresh chilies and tortilla chips, typically sluiced with a tomato salsa that’s served without fanfare at countless diners, family restaurants, and greasy spoons. Migas means “crumbs” in Spanish, and the roots of the dish can be traced to the Old World, specifically to Portugal and Spain. Popular legend has it that the migas we know and love was introduced to the United States by Mexican immigrants to Texas, who needed to make use of stale corn tortillas they couldn’t bare to discard.

However the dish came about, migas is a dynamite hangover-remedy and brunch dish. On our last trip to Austin, we were chagrined to find that our favorite spot for migas, Las Manitas Avenue Café, owned and operated by sisters Cynthia and Lidia Perez for 25 years, was gone. The building that housed the restaurant had been demolished to make room for a 1,000-room convention-center and hotel. Consider this recipe a tribute to the Perez sisters. There’s talk in town that a new Las Manitas may rise again in a different location, and we certainly hope one does. Perhaps it’s time to replace the “Keep Austin Weird” bumper stickers with a new one: “Keep Austin Delicious.”

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