We sometimes get a little skeptical when national chains come to town, but by and large we’ve been delighted by some of our new additions – see Dave’s Hot Chicken and Maple Street Biscuit Company, for starters.
Well, we have another newcomer to add to the list, and over the course of three visits we’re getting a little obsessed already: Torchy’s Tacos.
Torchy’s opened first as a taco truck in Austin, Texas, quickly becoming popular before growing to more than 100 locations all across the country, from Arizona to Oklahoma, Colorado to Florida, North Carolina to now Ohio. Its first Central Ohio store opened last fall on Gemini Place at Polaris (in the former Corner Bakery Cafe), and they’re already working on stores on Route 161 in Dublin and Hamilton Road in Gahanna.
We’ve made three separate visits now, trying something a little different each time, and we’ve quickly become fans. Torchy’s menu of “Damn Good” tacos seems overwhelming at first, but as you get to know it you’ll see that they offer a dozen-ish tacos (with no options to build your own – you get what they have), bowls, a burrito, some kid’s offerings, chips and queso, drinks.
Fort starters, their salsas are top-notch, ranging from roja, tomatillo, poblano, chipotle, avocado, and diablo.
After our visit, we caught some friendly flack on social media for not ordering the queso. They were correct in calling me out, and it’s now become standard to order the Hillbilly Queso, which adds chorizo to their already-rich concoction of green chiles, avocado, cilantro, cotija cheese, and their fiery diablo sauce.
It’s about as good as queso gets: creamy, savory, with a nice oomph from the chiles and the diablo.
Torchy’s tacos all have funny names like Trailer Park, Mofaux, Tipsy Chick. They’re all size-able and come with a side of salsa.
We’ve worked our way through much of the list and haven’t hit a bad bite yet. Here’s the Baja Shrimp and the Green Chile Pork.
The Mr. Orange with blackened salmon and the Trailer Park with fried chicken.
Another look at the Baja Shrimp with lots of pickled veggies.
The Fried Avocado.
The Democrat and the Beef Fajita.
And did I mention BREAKFAST TACOS? I also was told that we can’t miss those. Torchy’s features a half dozen breakfast tacos on the menu, starting with simple combos with eggs, cheese, and a choice of bacon, chorizo, potatoes, or jalapeno cheddar sausage. But they also feature three heartier combinations. Pictured here is the Wrangler: eggs, potatoes, cheese, brisket on a flour tortilla.
To the right is the Brushfire featuring zesty jerk chicken and mango.
And here’s the Ranch Hand: eggs, cheese, a slightly chewy marinated beef on flour tortilla, served with a side of diablo sauce.
We welcome our new taco overlords. Torchy’s is fun, the tacos and queso great, the service quick and friendly. It’s an easy win all around!