Torchy’s Tacos, located in the Westchase Shopping Center at 2675 Wilcrest Drive, opened in May 2017 to long lines of customers hungry with pent-up demand for the restaurant’s popular Tex-Mex street-food-style breakfast, lunch and dinner items. Two years later, that enthusiasm shows no signs of slowing down as our Best of Westchase voters picked Torchy’s for Best New Restaurant and Best Place to Take Out-of-Towners.
Manager Elida Marron and a staff of about 50 employees are both grateful for – and mindful of – those long lines, especially those made up of large parties from nearby office workers at lunchtime. “Since I took over last July, we’ve worked really hard to shorten the time it takes to get customers their food,” she said. “We understand that their lunch hours are tight. Yes, lunchtimes can be crazy busy, but people realize now that the line moves. Hopefully, you’re looking at receiving your food in 12 minutes or less from the time you place your order. I think people have really noticed the change and intend to come more often.”
One pro tip Marron has for faster service at busy times: belly up to the bar. “I’ve added more staff at the bar to help expedite the food,” she said. “A lot of people don’t know that our bar is full-service, so customers can skip the wait in line, go sit at the bar and get food from there without having to order an alcoholic beverage.”
Marron said nighttime crowds at Torchy’s tend to be more relaxed and family-oriented, with people hanging out longer and ordering drinks. “We’ve added a lot of new specialty cocktails, including passionfruit, peach, strawberry and wild berry margaritas,” she said. “One of my favorites is the Austin Rocks, a top-shelf margarita made with Tequila 512 and Cointreau that’s really smooth.”
Providing customers with yet another alternative, Marron is ramping up Torchy’s catering services. “We recently acquired the capacity for delivery; for some reason, Wednesdays and Fridays seem to be our big delivery days,” she said. “Also, we’re a part of DoorDash, so you can get delivery for small orders as well. Tell me what you want and what time you want it and we’ll get it there.”
Loved by the locals
Launched in 2006 from a taco truck in Austin, Torchy’s has caught fire and grown into a hip franchise with more than 60 locations in Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas and Colorado. But for those out-of-towners unfamiliar with Torchy’s devilishly delicious menu, our readers agree that at least one visit is a must. “If someone’s never been to Torchy’s, they must try our queso, which we call ‘the golden elixir’,” Marron said. “The number one taco I always recommend is the Trailer Park, which has fried chicken, green chiles, lettuce, pico de gallo and cheddar jack cheese with poblano sauce on a flour tortilla. You can ‘get it trashy,’ which takes off the lettuce and adds queso, or hillbilly-style, which adds queso, chorizo and bacon.”
With previous experience at Torchy’s locations in Spring and The Woodlands, Marron said she’s noticed the clientele in Westchase District love the Brushfire (Jamaican jerk chicken, grilled jalapenos, mango, sour cream and cilantro with diablo sauce on a flour tortilla) and the Tipsy Chick (marinated grilled chicken breast, spinach, grilled corn, green chiles and cheddar cheese with chipotle sauce on a flour tortilla and a side of bacon bourbon marmalade). “I’ve never seen so many of those sold at one location,” she said.
Torchy’s Tacos Westchase is open seven days a week. For more information or to place an order, visit torchystacos.com or call 713-487-4991.