Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Torchy's Tacos! (Review)

So if you happen to be following along my taco journey, you're aware that I am on the hunt to seek out the best fish tacos in Houston...

It is therefore a miracle that we have just now checked out the famous Torchy's Tacos! I have heard from several accounts that this place is simply amazing and their Mr. Orange taco should definitely be a contender. Welp, this past weekend we decided to take the plunge and finally check out this formerly famous food truck fare.

To view their menu, click HERE

Torchy's has 3 or 4 locations around town but this particular one sits among a bustling strip in the Rice Village area, we somehow managed to find a parking spot despite it being prime time on a Saturday evening. The place itself isn't that large but offers more space on their outdoor patio, the decor and vibe is what some might call a hipster haven with nothing but all natural sodas at the fountain, marquee lighted letters, and unique menu lingo. The menu of course offers pretty much any type of taco you could ever imagine - from breakfast tacos, to ones that contain ingredients like "pickled jalapenos & onions" and "escabeche carrots" with an array of proteins and even some vegetarian options with your choice of a flour or corn tortilla.

I heard from everyone that you HAVE to order the Green Chili Queso & Chips under punishment of death...or at least public shaming. It's easy to see why people are so enthralled with this bowl of melty goodness, it makes all other quesos look/taste like cheese whiz. The depth of flavor in this is amazing and makes this dish truly unique. Instead of just getting bite after bite of heavy cheese, you get the mild heat from the roasted green chilies at the bottom mixed and the drizzle of hot sauce on top with the cool creamy texture of the dollop of guac, the slight texture from diced onions, and finally the fresh zing of cilantro. I say on behalf of all my fellow foodie Texans, ORDER THIS.

Behold, the Mr. Orange! Blackened salmon topped with grilled corn, black bean relish, fresh cilantro, shredded queso blanco, drizzled with avocado salsa all nestled on a corn tortilla. This taco definitely ranks high on my list! At first I was hesitant on the salmon - sometimes often times it can be super fishy, dried out, and a bit of a flavor hog but this piece of fish was cooked perfectly and was either marinated or cooked in what I can only guess is an orange based sauce. Really nice use of favor and textures here.

Below is the Brushfire which had Jamaican jerk chicken, grilled jalapenos, diced mango, fresh cilantro, and a drizzle of sour cream. This taco was pretty good, it was a little on the dry side but it was full of flavor.

Front and center is The Democrat - shredded beef topped with creamy slices of avocado, shredded queso fresco, cilantro, onions and a side of tomatillo salsa (Lewis's fav). Behind it was The Baja Shrimp Tacos - fried shrimp, cabbage slaw, pickled jalapenos and onions, shredded queso fresco, cilantro with chipotle sauce. While the shrimp taco had nice flavor profiles, it was a tad dry, I would not mind at all if they smothered a dollop green chili queso on this...just saying!

The Verdict

Yeah...that pretty much sums it up. With off the wall tacos using quality ingredients, it's easy to see how this once teeny Austin Taco truck made it in the big city. As far as where it stands on my taco scale I am gonna have to say it now ties easily for first place along with Hobbit Cafe.

Torchy's Tacos on Urbanspoon

Have a fish taco suggestion for me? Please let me know!

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