A restaurant concept born in a food trailer in Austin, Texas 15 years ago has heated up the Westchase District dining scene while growing to become a regional favorite in 11 states.
Torchy’s Tacos founder Mike Rypka set out to elevate the traditional street taco with unique flavor combinations. Rypka hit the sweet spot with taco lovers, building a menu out of experimental tacos that were coined by early fans as “damn good,” which continues to be Torchy’s Tacos’ mantra to this day.
Torch gets lit in the District
Eager diners flocked to experience Torchy’s in the District in May 2017 when Torchy’s opened in the Westchase Shopping Center at 2675 Wilcrest.
Heidi Noel, managing partner of Torchy’s Tacos, says the loyal appeal is rooted in sharing what the brand embraces as ‘Taco Love.’ “At Torchy’s we’re all about creative, scratch-made tacos, hand-shaken margaritas and our award-winning Green Chile Queso,” said Noel.
It’s said that successful restaurants know how to master the crave appeal of many items. Torchy’s does this with a barrage of bold flavors and ingredients. Starting with Damn Good Tacos: Torchy’s inventive taco creations, which are served on fresh, homemade corn or flour tortilla,s include fan-favorites such as the Green Chile Pork (featuring pork carnitas, green chiles and cotija cheese) and Baja Shrimp (fried shrimp, cabbage slaw and pickled onions.) Then there’s the famous Trailer Park inspired by Torchy’s beginnings in an Austin food trailer with fried chicken, green chiles, lettuce, pico de gallo and cheddar jack cheese.
All things taco in the land of Torchy’s
Breakfast tacos are served all day long. “Torchy’s offers options like The Wrangler made with cage-free eggs, smoked beef brisket, potato, cheese and tomatillo sauce, and the Migas made with cage-free eggs, corn tortilla strips, green chiles, avocado, pico de gallo and cheese, and more,” said Noel.
Flavorful sides include Green Chile Queso and chips, Juan’s Refried Beans and Street Corn and fresh-made guacamole and salsa.
“We’re also proud to showcase our Taco of the Month – a limited-edition offering that includes new tacos and fan-favorites from the vault,” said Noel. “A portion of Taco of the Month proceeds go to local nonprofits, giving back to our communities.”
A thriving restaurant means being in the District
Torchy’s maintains a strong connection to the District’s community by tailoring promotions that benefit nonprofit organizations. From Nov. 12-29, Torchy’s donated $2 for every delivery order placed to Feeding America to help provide meals for those in need during the holiday season.
“As a restaurateur for 20 plus years, I love being a part of a community that is continually growing,” said Noel. “During the pandemic, taking care of our local community was priority. We were able to continue to serve Damn Good Tacos and partnered with many schools and businesses to assist in fundraising for their organizations. I appreciate the opportunity to be a business partner in Westchase District.”
The journey to taco land continues with more discovery. Torchy’s has a secret menu. “We have top-secret tacos (Ace of Spades, Trailer Park Hillbilly Style, Green Chile Port Missionary Style, The Matador, and the Naughty Santa) that are available year-round and have a cult following unto themselves,” said Noel.
Torchy’s is always working to maintain its loyal following and attract new customers who have never tasted its food.
“We’re constantly mixing things up to ensure we’re delivering the tastiest and most unique tacos, queso, and margaritas in the game,” said Noel. “And most importantly, everything at Torchy’s — from our tacos to sauces to margaritas — is completely scratch-made and made-to-order. You won’t find that hands on, curated experience at most other restaurants!”