Last visit: October 2013
Total DFW locations:7
Other locations: Austin (10); Houston (3)
When I was a kid in the late 60s and early 70s, one of my favorite comic books was Hot Stuff, the Little Devil. What does that say about the parenting in those days, eh? What says wholesome like reading about a devil in a diaper! Of course he performed good deeds, but still.... Anyway, it appears Torchy's felt it the perfect emblem for their budding chain, and even add the moniker "Damn Good Tacos", which they proudly light up in the interior of the restaurant. My, such potty mouths...
Austin based Torchy's is the latest high end taco place to infiltrate Northeast Tarrant county. Like their brethren Fuzzy's, Funky Baja's, Taco Diner, and Tacos y Mas, Torchy's provides a range of tacos far beyond the usual crunchy ground beef, or taqueria styled "street tacos". Ingredients such as pork green chile, fried chicken, ahi tuna, blackened salmon, jalapeno sausage, and jerk chicken, with an array of salsa's to choose from, is what you'll find at Torchy's.
Mrs. RJG and I recently tried Torchy's for the first time, and sampled four of their tacos: Green Chile Pork, Trailer Park, Baja Shrimp, and Chicken Fajita. As well we had three of their salsa's (all conveniently served in a small plastic cup): Tomatillo, Chipotle, and Diablo. And I'm glad to say that everything was absolutely excellent. The tacos are big, per urban protocol, and are loaded with meats, pico, and other fillings depending on the taco. The Green Chile Pork was a bit dry, with very few green chilies, but had a great flavor. It's definitely not the type of green chile one would find in New Mexico or Colorado, but we already guessed that going in. The Trailer Park is a fried chicken taco. One option is to get it "trashy" with queso instead of lettuce, but I wanted to keep it from being too messy so I didn't choose that route. The Baja Shrimp is fried, and superb. And the fajita chicken has a wonderful marinate and a great flavor. The green Tomatillo and the creamy Chipotle sauces were both excellent, the latter having a mild kick. The Diablo sauce is also creamy and reminds me a lot of Fresco's Chile de Arbol salsa. They say it's habanero, but I honestly didn't get the habanero taste this time. And while it was hot, it wasn't screaming spicy. But it was still our favorite. Of course it was...
As well, and it's not readily apparent on their website, Torchy's offers adult beverages like beer and frozen margarita's. I had the latter, and it's a very tasty mix. They serve it in a small plastic cup, but it packs a punch.
If I had to nitpick, I'd say Torchy's is a bit pricey compared to the competition. Considering Torchy's tacos are on par with those at Funky Baja's (size, ingredients), I think we have an apples to apples situation. Funky Baja's charges $3 each, while Torchy's range from $3.25 to $4.75 depending. And the margarita was $4.50, which sounds good until you realize just how small it is. It's a minor gripe, and will have zero impact on our willingness to continue repeat visits, but for those who are on tighter budgets, it might be a tougher sell.
The interior features fun paintings with Torchy's Little Devil embedded into famous art scenes, e.g. Dali's "The Persistence of Memory" and Van Gogh's "The Starry Night".
Torchy's is a great addition to the Northeast Tarrant taco landscape. We'll be returning. Many times I hope.
As an aside, based on some recent feedback, I've been asked not to call these type of taco restaurants "taquerias". So I've come up with a new nomenclature called "Tacos y Margaritas", and I will update the other entries as appropriate.