by Laura Dooley
The vacant restaurant space at 5119 Burnet Road won’t be vacant for much longer. The sixth location of locally-owned Torchy’s Tacos will be taking over the space this summer, and in my opinion, not a moment too soon!
So, in the interest of keeping my finger on the pulse of our neighborhood, I offer a new concept in restaurant reviews: a restaurant preview. I did some research at the Torchy’s on the “other” side of MoPac at 4211 Spicewood Springs Road and if the Torchy’s on Burnet is anything like this one, we’re in for a treat.
I made a breakfast taco run on the Friday morning of South by Southwest weekend. Most everyone in my house thought that was a good idea after staying out a bit too late Thursday night. My friend Coleen, though, was skeptical, since she doesn’t like eggs. I told her to give it a chance, and she was in no mood to argue.
I returned with a Migas taco for her (eggs, green chilies, corn tortillas, pico de gallo, avocado, and cheese; $2.50), a Monk’s Special for me (eggs, bacon, green chilies, and cheese; $2.25), and three custom breakfast tacos (build-your-own; $2 each) for my husband and kids. For a total of $11.64, I thought it was a pretty good breakfast deal!
When presented with her taco, Coleen slowly took a bite, considered it for a moment, and said, “This is the best taco I’ve ever had. And I don’t even like eggs.” When she finished, she said, “Can we get these every morning?”
The response from the others in the house was similar. And for the record, we did go back the next morning and once again the tacos were exceptional.
Felipe Ruiz, the manager of the Spicewood Springs location, told me that the restaurant is unique in that all of their ingredients are fresh; he doesn’t even have a freezer. Ingredients are brought in fresh daily.
A few days later, I had the opportunity to eat at Torchy’s with family for lunch. While breakfast tacos are served all day, I thought it was time for more traditional lunch fare. I ordered the Green Chili Pork Taco (pork with green chilies, queso fresco, cilantro, onions, and green salsa; $3.25) and was not disappointed. The flavors combined for a spectacular taste. My husband enjoyed the Brushfire Taco (Jamaican jerk chicken, grilled jalapenos, mango, sour cream, and cilantro with a habanero chile sauce; $3.75). My cousin Valerie said of her Mr. Pink taco (ahi tuna, cabbage slaw, queso fresco, and cilantro with chipolte sauce; $4), “It freakin’ rocked!”
And while Valerie and I snickered like teenagers, my aunt ordered a Dirty Sanchez (scrambled eggs with guacamole, poblano chili, escabeche carrots, and cheese with a poblano ranch sauce; $3.50). The prices are on the higher side for tacos, but each of us was satisfied with one taco each. They’re filling!