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Waking Up to Cowboys, Tacos, Biscuits and Coffee


The 38th annual Cowboy Breakfast is already known as the largest free breakfast in the world. But the organizers, under the sponsorship of Jordan Ford, wanted something more this year.

Shoveling the coals

Shoveling the coals

They wanted the event with the most tacos served at one time.

So, the booth volunteers were working overtime Friday morning to get tacos into the hands of the tens of thousands who showed up despite temperatures in the 30s before the sun rose. (Rain, sleet and who knows what all else Mother Nature dishes up won’t keep people from the Cowboy Breakfast, so you can bet a frigid little breeze was no problem.)

According to organizers, the following was going to be served:

–34,000 Mission Foods tortillas

–10,000 Kiolbassa sausage and eggs tacos

–6,000 Kiolbassa chorizo and egg tacos

–2,500 servings of Pioneer Biscuits and Gravy

–8,000 Pioneer biscuits and Kiolbassa Sausage

–10,000 Rudy’s BBQ beef tacos

–10,000 Delicious tamales

–8,000 Mrs. Bairds sweet rolls

–5,000 pints of Oak Farms milk and juice

–15,000 cups of McDonald’s special roast coffee

Also on the menu were plenty of smiles, despite the workload, and an extra dose of goodwill.

The Cowboy Breakfast is also the unofficial start of the rodeo season in San Antonio. The San Antonio Stock Show and Rodeo gets underway Feb. 11.

Spooning filling into tacos

Spooning filling into tacos

Waiting in line

Waiting in line

Serving up biscuits and gravy

Serving up biscuits and gravy

Warming the tortillas

Warming the tortillas

Who needs coffee?

Who needs coffee?

Prepping the sausage

Prepping the sausage

For many, it's a family outing

For many, it’s a family outing

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Scenes from the Cowboy Breakfast


Crowds fill the parking lot of the Cowboys Dancehall.

Crowds fill the parking lot of the Cowboys Dancehall.

The 37th Cowboy Breakfast drew tens of thousands of people out on a cool but clear Friday morning. The annual event, promoted as the world’s largest cooked breakfast, is always a draw, even when it rains, but in the right weather, the crowd can be fierce. And so, by 5:30 a.m., lines waiting for a free taco or biscuits stretched all the way across the parking lot of the Cowboys Dancehall.

Keeping the coal fires burning so the cooking can continue.

Keeping the coal fires burning so the cooking can continue.

By the end of the event, organizers were planning on having served:

  • 12,000 Kiolbassa Chorizo and egg tacos
  • 10,000 Pruski’s sausage and egg tacos
  • 10,000 Rudy’s BBQ beef tacos
  • 8,000 Pioneer Biscuits and Kiolbassa Sausage
  • 8,000 bacon and egg tacos
  • 5,000 potato and egg tacos
  • 5,000 Kiolbassa Sausage wraps
  • 5,000 pastries from Flowers Baking Company/Buttercrust
  • 5,000 pints Oak Farms milk and orange juice
  • 2,500 servings of Pioneer Biscuits and gravy

No one knows how any cups of coffee McDonald’s would be served or how many Mission Tortillas would be used.

It takes a team to wrap the sausages.

It takes a team to wrap the sausages.

The event is sponsored by Jordan Ford, which provided the vans that transported people from the parking lot at the nearby Rialto movie theater to the breakfast site.

On Thursday, the Cowboy Breakfast showed its appreciation for wounded warriors, their families and support staff by delivering tacos and biscuits and gravy to the Warrior Family Support Center at Brooke Army Medical Center.

How did all this get started? A press release on the event offered a little history: “Paying homage to the trail riders of the Old West, the Cowboy Breakfast began in 1979 with a handful of cooks and grills in the parking lot of Central Park Mall, its home for 23 years, as the sendoff for trail riders beginning the annual trek to the San Antonio Stock Show & Rodeo.”

 

That cooler full of taco filling will empty quickly.

That cooler full of taco filling will empty quickly.

A hot cup of coffee and a taco are worth the wait.

A hot cup of coffee is worth the wait.

The action behind the scenes is non-stop.

The action behind the scenes is non-stop.

Warm tacos and a friendly smile to start the day.

Warm tacos and a friendly smiles a great way to start the day.

It's never too early to ride a mechanical bull.

It’s never too early to ride a mechanical bull.

Waiting for the rest of the day to begin.

Waiting for the rest of the day to begin.

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Volunteer for Cowboy Breakfast — and Earn a Chance to Win a Vegas Trip


Food and prizes — including two round-trip tickets with accommodations to Las Vegas — will highlight the volunteer sign-up party for the 33rd annual Cowboy Breakfast. The event, sponsored by Jordan Ford, is at 6:30 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 13, at Cowboys Dance Hall, 3030 N.E. Loop 410 at Interstate 35

Other prizes for volunteers will include weekend stays at the Courtyard San Antonio North/Stone Oak at Legacy and Residence Inn San Antonio North/Stone Oak; 50 tickets for San Antonio Rose Live; 10 pairs of tickets to Tracy Lawrence’s concert Jan. 21 at Cowboys Dance Hall; a pair of tickets to the San Antonio Stock Show & Rodeo; a pair of Spurs tickets; and a cowboy hat from Herb’s Hat Shop.

More than 300 volunteers are needed for the world’s largest cooked free breakfast, which will be from 4:30-9 a.m. Jan. 28 at the parking lot of Cowboys Dance Hall.

Extra volunteers will be needed for a special delivery of more than 3,000 tacos  to wounded servicemen and servicewomen undergoing treatment and their caregivers at Brooke Army Medical Center on Jan. 27.

Those interested in volunteering who cannot attend the sign-up party may register at www.thecowboybreakfast.com.

Up to 50,000 people attend the Cowboy Breakfast Sponsored by Jordan Ford, which  raises money for scholarships for students in St. Philip’s College’s Culinary Arts Program.

The breakfast, the unofficial kickoff of the San Antonio Stock Show & Rodeo, serves a variety of free tacos, taquitas, biscuits and gravy, sausage and barbecue, all washed down with thousands of gallons of McDonald’s coffee and Nestlé’s Hot Cocoa.

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