E2= Excellent Eats
by Lorraine Cherry A Taco to “Suit” Everyone
Unless you’re over 50 and/or have lived in this area for awhile, you may never have heard of Harold’s in the Heights. Harold’s was a clothing store in the old tradition of quality inventory and personalized service that held the corner of 19th Street and Ashland for 61 years before closing in 2011.
But that’s old news. Today, that corner has done a complete 180º and been taken over by Torchy’s, a trendy taco shop based out of Austin. The original patrons of Harold’s would probably feel out of place among the green and purple hair set that frequents Torchy’s, but this is Texas—everyone loves a good taco! We have found that the high quality and variety of the offerings at Torchy’s keep luring us back in, and we are never sorry we went.
So, a taco is a taco, right? Wrong, wrong, wrong if you are talking about some of the amazing selections available here. Sure, you can get the standard chicken or beef fajita tacos, but how about a blackened salmon topped with a grilled corn and black bean relish, queso fresco, and cilantro, drizzled with avocado salsa? Or a Jamaican jerk chicken with grilled jalapenos, mango, sour cream, and cilantro with a Diablo hot sauce? Vegetarians might want to try the hand-battered fried fresh avocado served with veggie refried beans, pico, lettuce & cheese, and poblano sauce; or the fried Portobello mushroom strips with refried black beans, roasted corn, escabeche carrots, queso fresco, and avocado with ancho aioli.
When you first look at the menu and see prices ranging from $3.75 to $4.75, you might be thinking (as we did): “Wow, that’s a lot for one taco.” Be advised that these are BIG TACOS; for me, one is enough for a good-sized lunch.
Torchy’s opens for breakfast at 7 a.m. during the week and 8 a.m. on weekends, and stays open until 10 p.m. Sunday through Thursday and until 11 p.m. Friday and Saturday. They have a full bar and a good-sized parking lot in back. Check out the complete menu at http://torchystacos.com
If you haven’t been over to 19th Street in the Heights lately, get some lunch at Torchy’s, and then walk off the meal with a stroll down the street to see some of the interesting new shops that have opened in the last year or two. A great way to spend a weekend afternoon!