Sunday, November 7, 2010

Torching Hot on Burnet Road

"The difference between 'involvement' and 'commitment' is like an eggs-and-ham breakfast: the chicken was 'involved' - the pig was 'committed.'"

Like the pig, I am committed to seeking out the best of the best of Torchy’s Tacos! I’m not just involved in this quest, I am truly committed. Although some of you may think I ought to be committed, that is a topic for another time.

In a previous installment, I introduced you to Torchy’s Tacos, my favorite of all taco eateries. Today, I want to share my review of the newest Torchy’s site in Austin located at 5119 Burnet Road. Gene and I visited this much-needed addition in north Austin on October 29th for a late lunch.

Eric, the quite cordial Taco Associate who took our order, made the suggestion that we try the October Taco of the Month, The Scarecrow.

I took Eric’s advice and ordered The Scarecrow – a tantalizing taco treat consisting of pumpkin breaded fried chicken with escabeche carrots (spicy-hot, pickled, thin strips of carrot), cotija cheese, cilantro, roasted poblano pepper on a flour tortilla with creamy chipolte sauce. Scarecrow, you tickled and torched my tongue with your autumnal array of tastiness. Being a seasonal taco selection, I say to The Scarecrow, as did Dorothy in the Wizard of Oz, “I think I will miss you most of all!”

Gene ordered the Beef Fajita Taco, which although good, is not one of my favorites. The Beef Fajita Taco is made with marinated and grilled skirt steak, grilled onions and peppers, shredded cheese and pico de gallo. For some reason, this taco seems to be somewhat less flavorful to me than most of Torchy’s Tacos. But, spice it up with one of the five great Torchy’s Tacos sauces and even this taco will pass the (hot) mustard.

All menu items are inspired by owner Executive Chef Michael Rypka with over 18 years in the restaurant business. I am so impressed with the unusual flavors Michael Rypka has chosen to combine and the wonderful sauces he’s created. And, all food products and high quality meats are bought from reputable Texas-based businesses. Hats off to the chef!

The Burnet Road location has a simple, but unique interior with a pressed chrome border around the ceiling and a glass partition sporting Torchy’s logo. Each formed chair contains the Torchy’s Tacos icon, a flying red devil.

While a bit more sterile-feeling than my favorite South 1st Street locale, the Burnet Road site has a very airy, comfortable outdoor patio.

In my last blog about Torchy’s, I mentioned the soda fountain drinks, featuring Dublin Dr. Pepper. At the Burnet Road location, there are even more bountiful beverage choices with several flavors of Maine Root handcrafted soda, a carbonated, organic cane-sweetened refreshment.

Take the Torchy’s Tacos Challenge, my piglet friends, and let me know which Torchy’s Tacos spot is your favorite, and which taco you like best. Check out Torchy’s Tacos website this month, and get a coupon for free chips and queso!!

Don’t Be a Chicken, Commit Yourselves, Y’all!!