Sunday, January 2, 2011

Torchy's Tacos

Today my dad and I took a trip over to costco and the sprint store. Sadly the sprint store I have come to know and love (my previous phone, the palm centro, had to be replaced 2 times, but it was much better to me than my current HTC touch pro 2..) had closed down. Now it is "Doors for Homes". We looked inside and just saw a bunch of doors, I don't think the business is up and running yet. It was actually kind of funny because this is a REALLY small store space and they decided to sell doors? It looks very out of place. Well in fact all the little stores in that run down 4-store shopping center look pretty out of place; right next to the old sprint store was a place called "Donut Palace"; it was definitely a little sketchy. So we high tailed on out of there and headed over to Costco. There was a couple samplers out and about today but nothing crazy. I had a chunk of a nature's path chewy bar and a half of a small organic peanut butter sandwich cookie; I forgot what brand. After we made our purchases my dad suggested we go over to Torchy's Tacos for some lunch. I had just read an article about Torchy's Tacos in the local Austin Fit magazine that had listed some healthy and delicious choices you can get there. This place is great because you can get the healthy fare but they also have some sinfully unhealthy stuff for the people that are just looking for some fried cheesy goodness. The article I read highlighted two tacos, the "Mr.Pink" and the "Baja Shrimp". I scanned the article-

I had seen the Baja Shrimp taco before when I glanced over the menu, but didn't know you could ask for it grilled..score! They really should advertise that on their menu.
My dad had already tried the Baja Shrimp (fried version) before so he decided to go with the Mr. Pink and I got the Baja Shrimp. It was interesting to see them assemble the more unhealthy tacos behind the counter. It seemed they were just taking already fried (aka not fried to order) items and topping them with shredded cheese (or whatever) and the order was ready as opposed to our order that took a good 8 minutes or so to come out because they had to grill everything fresh. Our order came out hot, fresh, and fabulous.
My baja shrimp

Dad's Mr. Pink
Uhm, WOW, look at that color! Is there shrimp and tuna in there? In case you can't read the small print of the article I'll tell you their description.
Baja Shrimp: Hand battered-fried shrimp with cooked cabbage slaw topped with pickled jalapenos & onions, queso fresco, cilantro, & a wedge of lime. Served with chipotle sauce on your choice of tortilla.
Mr. Pink: Guajillo seared ahi-tuna, cabbage fresca, cilantro, queso fresco, with a wedge of lime. Served with chipotle sauce and your choice of tortilla.
Looks like there's some unaccounted for veggies on my taco but I am definitely not complaining. My taco was out of this world good and that saying something seeing as I'm not a huge taco fan. The shrimp was amazingly seasoned and perfectly grilled. The veggies worked harmoniously with an ever so often pop of jalapeno spice in ever crunchy bite. And, whats that..
Is that an abundant amount of uncooked cilantro?!
 Cilantro! I hate cilantro used as garnish but guess what, I loved it. Oh Torchy's, how did you convert me into a cilantro lover in just one taco?? The queso fresco added the perfect tang to the perfect taco and man, did those pickled jalapenos sure pack a punch! Good thing I like spicy.
Dad loved his taco too..
A mountain of pure joy, I'm sure.
Since he has tried both of the tacos before I asked him to rank which one he liked better. He thought long and hard but couldn't decide between the two- "They are both so good".As for the "chipotle sauce"? I drizzled a small amount onto my taco but didn't really taste it. I tasted some plain after I finished my taco and it tasted like..nothing. Almost like ranch, but not; and definitely not spicy. If you ever go to Torchy's, I'd recommend skipping the "chipotle" sauce..maybe it was a bad batch? These tacos were amazing and so fresh, and although they are a bit pricey for a taco (4 dollars a pop) they're worth it. Just like my giant cookies, one will do ya.

We headed home and brought in our Costco loot-
Minus the 1% organic milk which was already in the fridge.
We got some decaf coffee, mini popcorn bags, 1% organic milk, butternut squash pasta sauce, sweet onions, green beans, and dark chocolate covered pomegranate. As you can see the pomegranates are already open. No it was not like that when we bought it; I just REALLY wanted some chocolate covered pomegranates. That stuff is like crack. We got them a couple weeks ago over thanksgiving break and the whole bag disappeared in a day between six people! Its dangerous, but worth it.
The most important finds.
I found this butternut squash pasta sauce and I really want to try it out. It could either be really good or really bad. I hoping for the former since I just bought a costco sized amount of it. I really like the short ingredient list.
Anyone ever tried this before?
This is my first time getting that coffee so I had to try it out. Plus, I was cold. I took a couple handfuls out and put it through the coffee grinder. Coarse grind for the french press. And how adorable is this french press??
Tyson's foot.
I got it for xmas from my brother, Justin. It holds 2 cups of liquid so its the perfect size.
As I was waiting for my coffee to brew I got a little hungry and heated up the last of the "Saag Tofu" I made the other night. My dad had commented that it needed to be a little more creamy, and I agree, so for these leftovers I added a little scoop of greek yogurt (which is what I had used when making the dish, just not enough) and it made all the difference.
Ignore gross-looking factor and admire creaminess.
The flavors had developed even more in the fridge so this thing was off the charts good. I didn't really follow a recipe so I can't really post one, but I pretty much just threw a bunch of things in and taste tested as I went along. Although it tasted amazing, I'm not sure if it tasted exactly like a saag I have eaten at Indian restaurants. Maybe I'll try it again later, or maybe I will actually follow a recipe instead of blindly throwing things into a pan. Maybe.

By the way, when I served this I had garnished it with cilantro. Bad idea. The rents liked it because they have no aversion to it but with my cilantro weirdness, it almost ruined the dish for me. Luckily I had only garnished  so I was able to pick out the cilantro in my serving before it got mixed in.
I leave you with some cute pictures of my dogs by the fire. Tyson's will sit by the fire until he starts to sizzle and even then he still doesn't get it. Missy is smart enough to know that she can comfortably lay by the fire a couple feet away and not have to move because of too much heat.

He'll learn. Someday...

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