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Casual Dining at Torchy's Tacos in Houston

I live in Houston and have worked as a nurse. I have a lifelong passion for traveling, nature, and photography (preferably all together!).

Trailer Park Taco at Torchy's Tacos

Trailer Park Taco at Torchy's Tacos

It Started in Texas!

The fun Torchy's Tacos chain originated with the expertise of Chef Michael Rypka in Austin, Texas.

Chef Rypka started with a food truck before having his first brick and mortar location. From what I've read, almost as soon as he began experimenting with different types of tacos, "damn good!" was a frequently heard expression of appreciation from his customers.

Those patron-approved tacos made it on to a permanent menu. Still, even today, they offer a taco of the month with different flavor combinations.

As of this writing, there are eight locations in the Houston area, 11 locations in Texas, two sites in Colorado, and one in Oklahoma. Perhaps they will keep expanding all across the nation. I guess time will tell!

This is the Houston Heights location of Torchy's

This is the Houston Heights location of Torchy's

Little Red Devil

My husband and I were spending some time in the Houston Heights one day. I was photographing some murals and other items for future articles. We noticed the cleverly decorated Torchy's Tacos building at 350 W. 19th Street, so we decided to stop in and try some of the food.

Our attention was drawn to the little red devil staring out of a window. It was hard to miss! We have returned several times since and have always enjoyed delicious food selections.

A little red devil stares out the window of the shop

A little red devil stares out the window of the shop

Looking out onto the street

Looking out onto the street

Placing Orders

Customers can pick up a laminated menu by the door and study it as they stand in line to order. We have yet to visit when there has not been a line. It seems to be popular!

Once an order is placed, one is given a number to hang on a stand by the table or booth. The food order, when ready, is brought to the table.

There are some outside tables available, as well as inside.

Food Offerings

My husband and I enjoy their food offerings. We love their red salsa, black beans, and their queso is a real treat for the tastebuds. Several times, when we have not been that hungry but just wanted to eat a little something, we have ordered their refried black beans and their salsa. Both come with chips. I have not photographed everything we have ever tried but snapped a few pictures.

The names of the different tacos have some quirky names. You can read about a few of those names below.

  • Democrat Taco: Shredded beef barbacoa. Most of it served in the United States comes from the cheeks of cows. It is delicious! The barbacoa has toppings of avocado, queso fresco, cilantro, onions, and a wedge of lime. Tomatillo sauce comes on the side, and it is typically served on a corn tortilla.
  • Mr. Orange Taco: Blackened salmon taco on a corn tortilla. It also includes grilled corn, a black bean relish, queso fresco & cilantro. Avocado salsa tops it off, and it is served with a wedge of lime. This taco is as pretty as it is tasty.
  • Trailer Park Taco: Boneless fried chicken on a flour tortilla. Accompanying it is green chiles, pico de gallo, lettuce and cheese. A poblano sauce is served on the side.
  • Baja Shrimp Taco: Tasty fried shrimp taco served on one's choice of tortillas. My favorite was corn. With the shrimp were a cooked cabbage slaw, pickled jalapeno onions, cilantro, and queso fresco. A wedge of lime is also served as well as a chipotle sauce on the side.

Choices of tortillas can be made when ordering at the counter if one prefers flour ones over corn.

La Centerra Location in Katy, TX

The other location that we have personally visited is in Katy, which is due west of Houston. It is in the La Centerra shopping center in Cinco Ranch. I like this upscale location! As you can see from the photos, it is beautifully landscaped with water features weaving through the shopping center.

If dining at the outside tables, one is likely to have some ducks begging for scraps of food. One lady we watched shared some of her tortilla chips with them, and the ducks happily gobbled them up.

Location of Torchy's Tacos in Katy: 23501 Cinco Ranch Blvd. N100, Katy, Texas 77494.

Supporting Good Causes

Torchy's gives a portion of its profits to support three good causes.

  • MD Anderson Cancer Center: Is there any family who has not known someone suffering from cancer?
  • Make-A-Wish Foundation: Helps grant the wishes of children who have life-threatening medical conditions.
  • Phoenix House: Treats people for substance abuse and mental health issues.

It is always wonderful to know that businesses help to support their communities and good causes. It makes one happier to spend some of our income with them!

When it's done properly, taco should be a verb.

— Jonathan Gold


© 2020 Peggy Woods


Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on August 17, 2020:

Hi Donna,

We love eating Mexican food also. The location in Katy is particularly pretty with all of the surrounding water views and birds.

Donna on August 17, 2020:

Always ready to try a new place featuring Mexican inspired food. The Katy location looks very peaceful and inviting.

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on July 08, 2020:

Hi Rajan,

Yes, they do have some fun and innovative names for their tacos. We do like the Katy location with the waterways, birds, etc.

Rajan Singh Jolly on July 08, 2020:

The tacos are very appealing and the Katy location looks like a fun place to be at. Love their unique naming of tacos.

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on April 28, 2020:

Hi FlourishAnyway,

Barbacoa, which comes from the cheeks of cows, is tender and delicious. If you ever see it on a menu and like beef, do give it a try.

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on April 28, 2020:

Hi Robert,

It is fun eating at Torchy's Tacos. It is a very casual place that serves delicious food in unique settings. The food is also reasonably priced.

FlourishAnyway from USA on April 24, 2020:

I like the creativity they use in naming their food. They’ve puzzled me with the inside cheeks of cows. Very unusual but I guess if you’re going to eat animals then use every part and don’t waste. I bet that chain would do well in my area.

Robert Sacchi on April 24, 2020:

It seems a fun place to eat.

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on April 24, 2020:

Hi Ruchira,

These tacoes are really good. I am sure that the spiciness can be adjusted to taste.

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on April 24, 2020:

Hi Patricia,

It is good to know that you have gotten to eat at Torchys and like it as much as we do.

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on April 24, 2020:

Hi Ruby,

I also like it when corporations give back to good causes.

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on April 24, 2020:

Hi Bill,

I would happily do that except for two things. #1, we are not going to restaurants right now. #2, I don't think that they would get to you quickly enough to be eaten fresh. Ha!

Ruchira from United States on April 24, 2020:

Love the name of this diner. What a menu and the pictures suggest they cater to people who like it spicy too.

Patricia Scott from North Central Florida on April 23, 2020:

O yes

Love Torchys... My sister introduced me to it when I was in Austin and it became my go-to place while I was there. Take care and be safe. Many Angels headed your way once again. ps

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on April 23, 2020:

Hi Diana,

Yes, they surely have plenty of food offerings.

Ruby Jean Richert from Southern Illinois on April 23, 2020:

I would love to eat here, esp. outside with the ducks. I dearly love shrimp, so that would be my choice. I also like that Torchy's Tacos give to needy causes.

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on April 23, 2020:

Hi Liz,

Yes, we really like the Katy location with the water, ducks, etc.

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on April 23, 2020:

Hi Pamela,

Yes, I would say that he has made this taco chain a success!

Bill Holland from Olympia, WA on April 23, 2020:

The next time you go, could you pick me up a couple Trailer Parks to go, please? lol I'm drooling, thank you very much.

Diana Carol Abrahamson from Somerset West on April 22, 2020:

Amazing food! You definitely wont starve eating a meal there.

Liz Westwood from UK on April 22, 2020:

The food sounds great and that's a lovely outlook for an eating place.

Pamela Oglesby from Sunny Florida on April 22, 2020:

The great pictures of their looks wonderful. He has sure made a success since he started with a food truck. I like to feed ducks so that is another nice aspect.

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