A plaque remaining from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem.

Above, a 1934 plaque from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem. Discarded as trash in 2006. Now a Popeyes fast food restaurant on Google Maps.

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Entry from August 11, 2008
Hippie Church ("gospel brunch” in Austin)

The city of Austin has an unofficial slogan of “Keep Austin Weird,” and the hippie influence has been a part of Austin ever since there were “hippies.” Austin’s version of the “gospel brunch” is its “hippie church.”

For “hippie church,” people meet at Taco Xpress (2529 South Lamar Boulevard in South Austin) between 12 p.m.-2 p.m. for entertainment and food. 

Taco Xpress
Neighborhood: 78704 (South Austin)
2529 S Lamar Blvd
Austin, TX 78704
(512) 444-0261

Taco Xpress
Sundays: Gospel Brunch/Hippie Church 12 - 2 p.m.

How to Enjoy Maria’s Taco Xpress
By JacobCottingham
On the south side of Austin, Texas there’s a famous taco stand that stands out for its atmosphere, live music and eclectic crowd. If you’re going to be staying in the city, you should try to spend a meal at Maria’s Taco Xpress on Lamar Street.

Difficulty: Moderately Easy
Step 1
Go on a Sunday. Despite it’s name, “Hippie Sunday Church” is for everyone. Make sure to get there early, as it can get a bit difficult to find an outdoor table after 12:30. Great old-time gospel music is the regular fare here, but it can come in many different forms.
Order the Al Pastor, along with some breakfast tacos. You’re going to be having a brunch, so mix up a little bit of a flavorful lunch item, such as Maria’s best selling al pastor, with a hefty portion of breakfast.
Order some morning drinks. Indulge in a Bloody Mary, mango margarita or mimosa. Get your groove going and relax.
Wear a flower. Most weekends an older man or a young girl wanders the crowd giving out free flower blossoms. Especially if you’re a lady, grab one to tuck behind your ear.
Dance. Once those drinks set in and you’ve got the flower power, get up and dance. Try to get into the music, which should be channeling the energy of the crowd. This is the part where you begin to commune with your own spirit.
Enjoy the weather and setting. Bask in the sunshine and take time to notice the little odd details of Maria’s. There’s flowers on the ceiling rafters, neckties around posts and all manner of oddities hanging around the place, from art to antiques. The crowd could be anything from hung over business-types to families to aging hippies.

Hippy Church in Austin Texas!!!!!
From: mysticdragon
Added: July 03, 2007
I Love this Place,great people,great music...GREAT MAngo Margarita’s!!!1Thanks Maria’s Taco Express

Hippie Church in Austin, TX
From: staceydmr
Added: March 21, 2008
Sunday Salvation with the Imerial Golden Crown Harmonizers at Maria’s Taco Express

SXSW Hippie Church 1
April 04, 2008
Maria’s Taco Xpress, Austin 2008

The Dish!
Friday, May 9, 2008
Hippie Church
While we were in Austin last week, we headed to Hippie Church. I’d heard about this Austin phenomenon before, but had never been. Hippie Church is a gathering at Taco Express on South Lamar where they play “gospel” music and people have beer and tacos for “communion.” smile We honestly had a really good time (even though we were only there for a few minutes to drop something off to our friends). It was definitely an “Austin” experience and a good way to end our trip! 

Hippie Church
Added: 5/11/2008
Runtime: 7:22

Dirty Linen (June/July 2008)
Gospel & Tacos in South Austin, Texas
A photo essay

by Annette C. Eshleman
On any given Sunday, the air around a small taco establishment in South Austin, Texas, is filled with the sounds of gospel music. Maria’s Taco Xpress presents a Gospel Brunch, also known as “Hippie Church,” every Sunday with a rotating roster of music performers and some of the best breakfast tacos to be found anywhere. The music and musicians change from week to week, covering genres from old-time gospel, to rock ‘n’ roll, to reggae.

Maria Corbalan started Taco Xpress with her 1997 income tax refund, and from its meager beginnings in a tiny trailer the business has grown to become an institution in the funky atmosphere of South Austin. The establishment was painted by local folk artist Michael Peschka and is adorned with more charm per square foot than one might believe possible. Maria’s small patio stage presents live music several times a week, but it’s the Sunday Gospel Brunch, nicknamed “Hippie Church” by locals, that routinely packs the parking lot and several neighboring side streets. The line to enter the restaurant and place an order regularly stretches out the door, while out on the dog-friendly patio, patrons eat, relax, listen to music, and dance.

Maria’s Taco Xpress 2529 S. Lamar Blvd./ Austin, TX 78704

Posted by Barry Popik
Texas (Lone Star State Dictionary) • (1) Comments • Monday, August 11, 2008 • Permalink