500 Tacos: Torchy’s Tacos (Lamar)

 
 
An Austin taco a day for 2015 — and then some
 
Torchy’s Tacos (Lamar)
3005 S. Lamar Blvd., Austin (map), 512-614-1832, www.torchystacos.com
Hours: 7am-10pm Mon-Thu; 7am-11pm Fri; 8am-11pm Sat; 8am-10pm Sun
 
By Mike Sutter | © Fed Man Walking | 03.13.15
 
Mid-March is its own Austin season — the ides of SXSW. For two weeks, Austin abides swarms of the self-consciously stylish, the setters of and slaves to trends from knit caps to pointy shoes to pioneer beards to bacon on everything. Torchy’s is happy to oblige with tacos to fit the lifestyle. This is the third installment of 12 Torchy’s reports in this series, covering every Austin-area Torchy’s, every Taco of the Month, the Secret Menu and most of the rest. Click here for the original Torchy’s trailer
 
Taco A: The Hipster, from the Secret Menu
Torchy’s is willing to give the creative class its own taco, playing off the popularity of incongruous pairings like panko-fried tuna and bacon. And in keeping with fashionable exclusivity, it’s a secret known only to the inside few. Which now includes all of you. But this is more than a meta-taco. The tuna comes out clean and crunchy with a rosy center, the bacon is thick and gnarly, and it’s finished with corn and black bean relish, with roasted green chilies and avocado sauce to give it a ... ahem ... South by Southwestern flair. ($5.50) Click here to meet the Secret Menu’s Matador
 
 
Taco B: The Kingpin, March’s Taco of the Month
How to improve on Torchy’s already tender, robust green chile pork? Add fried plantains, then balance their low tropical sweetness with a stab of pickled pink onions. Then add cotija cheese, avocado sauce and sour cream for flavor bling. This big-bodied collection makes you forget you just paid $5.50 for a single taco. See February’s Taco of the Month
 
Taco C: Dirty Sanchez
Hate the name, love the taco. The Sanchez is a breakfast taco looking for a seat at the dinner table, with a fried poblano pepper lying over scrambled eggs, with guacamole in between and cheese and escabeche on top. Those pickled carrots and peppers bring snap and acid to the party, along with a little weed. Oregano, really, but we won’t tell anybody. ($3.50) See more of the Sanchez from “I Can Eat 50 Eggs”
 
 
 Tortillas: Commercial-grade flour and doubled-up yellow corn tortillas. Flour’s better for holding; corn’s better for eating.
 Salsa: Of Torchy’s seis salsas (that’s six), the smooth green avocado has the number of all these tacos. It’s cool enough for the Hipster, spicy enough for the Sanchez and just the right amount of avocado overkill for the Kingpin.
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The 500 Tacos Project
 
(Photos by Mike Sutter © Fed Man Walking)
 
More Torchy’s in this series
► Round Rock  ► South First  ► Spicewood