Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Monty's Faves - Torchy's Tacos

In addition to having a place of my own to publish my Moonlight Motel comic strip on my own terms until perhaps a syndicate takes me under their wing (and, yes, new strips are coming; sorry that has been so difficult to find the time to do), I created this site to voice my opinions on everything under the sun (especially movies and munchies) and perhaps meet some like-minded people. One of the things I really wanted to do was showcase some of my favorite places in Austin, though I admit that I haven't been to many yet in the short time I've been here. I do already have some serious faves though. You all know how much I ADORE the Alamo Drafthouse. And there's one other place I love just as much. At least, when it comes to grabbing dinner (they don't show movies at this other place just yet).

I'm speaking of Torchy's Tacos. If you've spent some time in Austin, you're probably familiar with it. The food there is dynamite! Everyone I've introduced it to falls in love with it! What is it? Well, tacos, of course! But, some of the most unique tacos I've ever seen, and definitely the most delicious I've ever tasted. Here's a bit of background on the place I snapped a photo of on one of my recent visits. Click on the image to see it larger if you can't read it. Or, if you get bored easily, skip ahead to my review of sorts, if you can call it that. It is mostly me talking about what I love to order whenever I visit and raving about how delicious it is.

 And, for your convenience, I even snapped a pic of the menu.

Now, Torchy's has several locations all over Austin and even a few outside of Austin now. I've been to... I believe... three of their locations so far. The two I visit most frequently are the South Lamar location, which I went to a lot during my first year in Austin, back when I lived on Slaughter, and the Burnet Rd. location, which is over here on the north side of Austin, and so is the one I visit most frequently now that I live up by the Domain. In this review, I'll be talking about the Burnet location, though I still get around to the S. Lamar one on occasion, which happens to be the most mainstream looking one, while the others are very Austin homestyle lookin'. 

To start things off, here is an outside shot of Torchy's on Burnet...

Walking into Torchy's on Burnet, you'll find there is both indoor and outdoor seating (pretty standard in Austin), though at this location, the outdoor seating is loosely enclosed.

Let me tell ya, it wasn't easy to get these pics. I was approached by the manager at one point and asked what I was doing. Apparently, they thought I was filming, which is not allowed, though I was told photos were okay. I always get both perturbed and suspicious after encounters like that. But then, if I see a girl in a long dress or skirt, I also assume she has hairy legs, so I'm a bit neurotic and paranoid. Luckily, I love the food here, so I let it slide. Also, like most places in Austin, they have some really cute ladies on their staff (and among their clientele), so I was more embarrassed than anything, ha.

Anyway, on my latest visit, I ordered the same thing I usually do here, because what I order is freakin' amazing, and that's a little something called the Trailer Park. What is the Trailer Park? It's a fried chicken taco, that's what it is. And the flavor of the fried chicken strips Torchy's makes and puts in their Trailer Park taco is unbelievable. It is the most delicious thing in the world! Could be a little spicy for some, but soooo good!

Now, you can order the Trailer Park regular, or you can order it trashy. Trashy means you trade the lettuce for a cheese sauce. Sounds like a good deal, and I hear it's amazing. However, I've never tried it. I'm not a big veggie eater, so I try to squeeze in lettuce and stuff whenever I can. I take my trailer park regular in a flower tortilla, hold the green chile and pico. That basically means I get it with lettuce and shredded cheese, and then I add the poblano sauce, which is spicy stuff that looks a bit like ranch dressing and comes on the side in a tiny cup. Oh, by the way, I usually order two trailer parks, ha....

Honestly, just writing about this is making my mouth water!

Anyway, in addition to one, sometimes two Trailer Parks, I have gotten into the habit of adding on a Beef Fajita taco too. Again, I strip mine down a bit, having it with only the cheese. Even cutting out the onions, peppers and pico, this marinated beef skirt is a taste explosion!

Yeah, the Fajita Taco, which I also order on flour, comes with some kind of sauce too, but I have never used it. It's pretty shocking that I even apply the Poblano Sauce to my Trailer Parks, but it adds just the right touch to them.

Of course, I wouldn't wanna choke these down without a drink, and Torchy's is uniquely Austin in that department too, offering local Maine Root beverages via fountain. This actually includes a Mexican Cola variety, which is a real treat for those of us who appreciate those oldschool bottles of Mexican Coke that have come back into circulation; the ones that use real sugar rather than corn syrup. I'm assuming that is what Maine Root's Mexican Cola does too... Anyway, it's good stuff!

There's one more thing I add to my order whenever they have them too, and that's a little, local dessert item called a Love Puppy. 

Love Puppies are local brownies with all-natural ingredients that come in a variety of flavors. I know I've tried some sort of chocolate variety in the past, a long time ago so I forget the name, but the one I've become hooked on is a blondie called "Trailer-Park-Chic", which has pecans and dark chocolate chips, and most notably, this deliciously custard flavor that has me craving them often. Don't worry, I AM trying to drop some weight and don't indulge every craving (kinda would like to get a girlfriend before I'm 40), ha, but if I'm at Torchy's and they have some Trailer-Park-Chic Love Puppies on hand, it's a must-have.


And, that's about it for what I order and why I love it. It is one delicious meal. Everything is intensely flavorful, but that's what I really like, even if it is a sure sign you're not eating health food. I don't eat there every week or anything, ha, more like every two months, though I'd probably go more often if I could afford it. The meal laid out above, 2 trailer parks, a beef fajita taco, fountain drink and Love Puppy will set you back about 17 and change, so for me that means it's a special treat for myself, ha. Ah, hopefully someday my budget will be a little more user friendly than that. A meal at Torchy's is well worth that price though. Try it once and you'll know what I mean!

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