Torchy’s Tacos in Alamo Heights

16 Jul

As all of my readers know, I have this thing about mom and pop restaurants, especially when it comes to Tex-Mex food.  So I was a bit hesitant to try Torchy’s.  But overall, I am glad I did.  It certainly is not Tex-Mex. Torchy’s offers a variety of food combinations wrapped in tortillas, and although Torchy’s uses many traditional Tex-Mex ingredients, their offerings are in a whole separate category.

Torchy’s is an order-at-the-counter place.  You place your order and pay, get and fill your drink cup, find a table, and hang your order number tag so the food servers can find you.  Then you wait for your food, and it starts to arrive quickly.

We started with the qreen chile queso.

torchy queso

Served with fresh, warm tortilla chips, this is an excellent version of queso.  A generous spoonful of pretty decent guacamole, the queso fresco, and the diablo hot sauce (pretty tasty stuff) topped a velvety queso. But there was just too much cilantro, and it unbalanced the dip.About half that much would have been fine. Plus, the queso had a little bit of a oily aftertaste, which I found odd.  Still, overall it was a good starter.

Then came the tacos.  First was the Democrat:

torchy democrat

Good barbacoa was complemented by a slice of avocado and sprinkled with queso fresco, cilantro, and onion, this taco also came with a slice of lime for squeezing. The fillings were really good; the barbacoa was well-seasoned and not dried out, and a lighter hand had distributed the cilantro here.  The corn tortillas were okay, but obviously not made in-house.

We also tried the green chile pork taco and the fried avocado taco .

torchy green pork and fried av

I really liked the green chile pork taco. The pork carnitas had a rich, slow-cooked taste, and the queso fresco was the perfect topping, along with fresh onion and cilantro. The lime added just the right dash of citrus flavor.  What I didn’t care for was the tortilla.  I go to so many places that make their own fresh that this one was hard to love.  It wasn’t bad, but it wasn’t freshly made in-house.

I also liked the fried avocado tacos.  I have eaten avocado fried tempura-style at other restaurants.  The avocado here was fried in a thinner batter, but the creamy consistency was enjoyable. What I didn’t like was the refried beans that were included.  The beans were fine, but I think they detracted from the really good avocado. Plus, the beans were a little messy. I think I would have liked this taco better beanless ( and with homemade tortillas).

I also liked the natural cane sodas. The root beer ROCKED!!

And I have to compliment the staff.  From the order taker (who was in training, and his trainer was chatty and terrific!) to the folks who brought the food to the table, to the busman who encouraged us to refill our drinks — all were great and represented Torchy’s well.
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