Hello, culinary world of Austin, Tejas. I am Anslee and I am a foodaholic.
To kickstart my culinary journey on this wonderful blog, I will begin with my most favorite of all restaurants Austin-style: Torchy's Tacos.
Ahhh, Torchy's! That cute, little cartoon devil on the sign alone is comforting to the soul, in a somewhat twisted way. The logo/name of the place is actually a representation of this great city that prides itself on being weird, having pretty incredible TexMex, and being liberally unassociated with Baptists (or anything that isn't as passive as Buddhism). Whatever way you decide to look at it, Torchy's is 100% Austin and 110% awesome.
My favorite location is on South 1st and El Paso. Parking isn't the best situation, but usually one can find adequate room on El Paso or at the seemingly run down business across the street after hours. (Apparently, this place is still in operation. Who knew!) It looks kind of small, and that would be correct, but there is just as much (if not more) seating outside either off the patio or near El Paso Street. On a nice day, sitting outside is mandatory as there are umbrellas and adequate amount of shade.
As far as the food goes, I can honestly say that I cannot live without it. My favorites are the Baja Shrimp Taco with Chipotle Sauce (12 stars for that mess) and the Brush Fire Taco. The Beef Fajita Taco is another one I enjoy because even though it is plain compared to the other options I tastefully select, there's just something awesome about it. Maybe that is because I put the Chipotle Sauce on that, too. Hmmm. . . Anyway, there is a special taco for everyone like the Fried Avocado Taco, the Trailer Park Taco (Try it "Trashy!" You'll love it!), and the Ranch Hand. The names of the tacos trip me out, but be advised that if you take small children with you, they may ask you what the Dirty Sanchez is. Rest assured that in this case you can describe a tasty taco and not something else. Those taco people are naughty! I like it! Also, please note that they serve breakfast tacos. That's just the best of all taco worlds.
Now, there's something else that absolutely cannot go unmentioned - the Green Chili Queso. If this stuff came in bag form, I would attach a needle to it and feed myself intravenously around the clock. It is so good that I'm sure Mother Teresa herself wouldn't share a bowl of it with anyone else. Do yourself a favor and don't skip out on this one. You'll probably want to thank me with your first born child.
As far as the icing on the cupcake goes, why not kick your arteries while they're down and enjoy the Deep-Fried Chocolate Chip Cookies. That's right - deep-fried chocolate chip cookies. This could be a diabetic's dream (and coincidentally, I happen to be so). I wouldn't advise you to get them every time you go to Torchy's, but if it's a special occasion or you have someone to split them with, you should indulge. You only live once, right?
Some other things to note are that it is a BYOB establishment, but there is a Shell station within a block away. There are recycling containers as well. Also, I believe that the patio is dog friendly. The staff is really great, too. I'm on a first name basis with most of the South 1st and El Paso crew as well as the manager of the one on Guadalupe. Mention that I sent you, and you never know what will happen. But don't forget to get a Taco Junkie card. You'll probably fill it up quicker than you think!
Locations: 1311 South 1st St. (trailer), 2809 South 1st St., and 2801 Guadalupe St. (across from Dirty Martin's on the drag)
Hours: M-W 7am to 10pm, Th-F 7am to 11pm, Sat 8am to 11pm, Sun 8am to 10pm
Accepts: All major credit cards, cash, and full frontal nudity (Just kidding! Or am I?)
Rating: 5 stars (I'm biased.)
Bottom Line: I'm seriously going to Torchy's right this second. I'm completely not kidding.