Casual Dining at Torchy’s Tacos
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Started in Texas!
This fun Torchy’s Tacos chain originated with the expertise of Chef Michael Rypka in Austin, Texas.
Chef Rypka started with a food truck before having his first brick and mortar location. From what I read as he began experimenting with different types of tacos, often the expression “damn good!” was heard as people were eating his selections.
Those patron approved tacos made it on to a permanent menu, but even today they offer a taco of the month with different flavor combinations.
My husband and I were spending some time in the Houston Heights one day. I was photographing some murals and other items for future blog posts. We noticed the cleverly decorated Torchy’s Tacos building at 350 W. 19th Street and decided to stop in and try some of the food.
A little red devil staring out of a window as one passes is hard to miss seeing! We have returned several times since and have always enjoyed delicious food.
Customers can pick up a laminated menu by the door and study it as they stand in line to order. We have yet to visit when there has not been a line. It is a favorite place!
Once the order has been placed one is given a number to hang on a stand by the table or booth. The food order when ready is brought to the table.
There are some outside tables available as well as inside.
As of this writing, there are 8 locations in the Houston area of Torchy’s Tacos, 11 locations in Texas, two sites in Colorado, and one in Oklahoma. Perhaps they will keep expanding all across the nation. I guess time will tell!
My husband and I enjoy their food offerings. We love their red salsa, black beans, and their queso is a real treat for the tastebuds. Several times if we have not been that hungry but just wanted to eat a little something, we have ordered their refried black beans and their salsa. Both come with chips. I have not photographed everything we have ever tried but snapped a few pictures.
The names of the different tacos have some quirky names.
The Democrat taco is shredded beef barbacoa. Most of it served in the United States comes from the cheeks of cows. It is delicious! The barbacoa has toppings of avocado, queso fresco, cilantro, onions and a wedge of lime. Tomatillo sauce comes on the side, and it is typically served on a corn tortilla.
Choices of tortillas can be made when ordering at the counter if one prefers flour ones over corn.
Mr. Orange is a blackened salmon taco. It is topped with grilled corn, a black bean relish, queso fresco & cilantro. Drizzled with avocado salsa and served with a wedge of lime on a corn tortilla, it is as pretty as it is tasty.
Trailer Park has some boneless fried chicken on a flour tortilla with green chiles, pico de gallo, lettuce and cheese. A poblano sauce is served on the side.
Baja Shrimp is a tasty fried shrimp taco served on one’s choice of tortillas. My favorite was corn. With the shrimp were a cooked cabbage slaw, pickled jalapeno onions, cilantro, and queso fresco. A wedge of lime is also served as well as a chipotle sauce on the side.
The other location that we have personally visited in Katy which is due west of Houston is in the La Centerra shopping center in Cinco Ranch.
I like this upscale location! As you can see from the photos, it is beautifully landscaped with water features weaving through the La Centerra shopping center. This is also the location of Las Alamedas restaurant.
If dining at the outside tables one is likely to have some ducks begging for scraps of food. One lady we watched shared some of her tortilla chips with them, and the ducks happily gobbled them up.
I learned an informative thing in reading about Torchy’s Tacos. A portion of their profits goes to support three good causes.
- One of them is the MD Anderson Cancer Center. Is there any family who has not been touched in knowing someone suffering from cancer?
- Another is the Make-A-Wish foundation which helps grant wishes of children who have life-threatening medical conditions.
- The third cause that Torchy’s Tacos helps support is the Phoenix House which treats people for substance abuse and mental health issues.
It is always wonderful to know that businesses help to support their communities and good causes. It makes one happier to spend some of our income with them!
Location of Torchy’s Tacos in Katy: 23501 Cinco Ranch Blvd. N100, Katy, Texas 77494.