No self-respecting Texan would ever proudly list Torchy’s Tacos as their favorite taco joint, no. But you know who might? Our state’s many recent transplants, including all those pesky tech bros from Califor-ni-yay, who would probably find some familiar West Coast comforts in this Austin-sprung chain’s lauded offerings. And, hey, no shame there!
Truth is, the tacos at Torchy’s are indeed as “damn good” as their tagline implies; it’s just that, in a state as blessed with tacos as ours is, the approachability that Torchy’s initially built its brand upon has lost some of its sheen. On the other hand, that’s also led to familiarity statewide.
It feels like most Texans have a go-to order at Torchy’s at this point—I’m a Trailer Park (done up trashy-style) and Fried Baja Shrimp guy, always on flour—and everyone knows that ordering the queso is a must.
Actually, it’s fitting that former President Barack Obama visited the flagship Torchy’s location for lunch while attending South by Southwest toward the end of his second term. Torchy’s might not hit every mark on your taqueria checklist, but when you consider some of the lesser alternatives, you could really do a lot worse.