Ah, controversy. Not since the Liberty Kitchen banning of Alison Cook has there been a more exciting moment of random restaurant rage. An absence of exactly one day from Twitter is all it took to miss news of the recent owner vs. food writer eruption. Once again, Cook is being freaked out on in response to a zero star receiving review. So massive is this guy’s freak out, he recently offered a free Dirty Sanchez taco to customers bringing a copy of Cook’s review in with them to order. Her criticism brought forth wrath similar, yet quite different, to Lance Fegan’s temper tantrum over Cook’s BRC review.
Good news is a flutter because sometimes it all works out. The difference between the Torchy’s Taco owner and Fegan is far less of a temper tantrum and much more of a bring-it-on mentality. Fegan didn’t gain much from the publicity received after banning Cook from Liberty Kitchen, yet Torchy’s is taking Cook’s words straight to the bank.
People arrived, review in hand, as countless tacos were delivered. While a news crew covered the story, it appeared Torchy’s owner slash founder, Michael Rypka, was just getting started. One thing is for sure, if a restaurant gets a reverse luck out like this one did, you can bet your bongos service is NOT going to suck for at least a week. For. Sure.
There’s no way Torchy’s isn’t going to belly up to every customer with a sunshine & rainbows look on their face. Service could have been frightening before, but it’s lottery odds that every employee hasn’t received the service riot act on this one. While standing in line yesterday, a maybe manager kept walking throughout the line asking if anyone had questions about the menu. Important Question: Is this routine? Do employees always walk up & down the line exhibiting such heavenly service with a smile? Being a first timer, this behavior could be considered hunky dory if it’s not happening because of the sudden hubbub. If it’s just fluff, um, eww. Fake is a mistake.
Though appearing to be in the weeds, this service industry worker suddenly stopped, uncontrollably getting lost in a Mr. Orange taco moment. As he heard the words leave my lips, he could only ponder in thought what it would be like to take his break early to order the same. This taco forces him to become blissfully happy on a daily basis. True story. One might think he’d change things up a little during his mandatory work breaks, yet his love affair with the Mr. Orange taco is never-ending.
Service Industry Worker Words Of Taco Wisdom:
“Order the Mr. Orange taco all the time. It’s the best.”
It’s basically your deal while dining at Torchy’s. If you can stomach the line hanging out the door around the corner, you are painlessly in charge of the basics. Servers refill drinks, but it’s all there for the taking.
P.S. They have crunchy ice.
Outside seemed so much more comfy, especially with the fire truck pleasantly parked out front after performing a mini-siren shout out down Shepherd.
Dogs outside. Birds chirping. Clouds clouding. Patio happy is a no brainer, minus one mom almost spanking her rug rat for not pre-informing her of a much needed emergency bathroom break.
With six tacos, I was thinking a two beer counter order would definitely suffice. Not happening people. Counter guy maintains rules are in place stating only a single beer purchase is allowed. He did say he does not frown upon the new-drink-order-line-cut. He even said he would deliver. Awe.
Grabbing a menu late in line is a bummer. Time was spent figuring out every single possible sorda veggie taco orderable. During his line walk by, the mystery manager said Torchy’s has several seafood options, including salmon, mahi, and the ALWAYS exciting shrimp taco. All other possible options have a lower case “v” placed snug as a bug beside each taco title.
This order is for the salmon movers & shakers of the world. Positively possible that salmon fans could be content with the Mr. Orange taco. “Drizzled” with avocado sauce, blackened salmon is topped with a grilled corn & black bean relish, queso fresco, and cilantro.
While in line, the manager warned of a possible pink in the middle mahi meltdown. The menu seconds the danger of inhaling uncooked food, even having an asterisk front & center. Really. Don’t think for a single second Torchy’s is taking blame for any possible foodborne illnesses. No way. Actually, the Mr. Pink taco wasn’t pink — at all. Maybe that’s how AVH escaped without receiving an all-time scary foodborne illness. Guajillo seared Ahi tuna is beneath cabbage fresca, cilantro, and queso fresco, with chipotle sauce.
P.S. Pretty sure most seafood people put those words in print for less potential raw food drama. Tilman Fertitta certainly does. .
Next up is the fried avocado taco. Hand-battered and fried, fresh avocados are served with vegetarian refried beans, before being topped with pico, lettuce, and cheese. Sorry. With five other tacos on the table, this was declared the loser. Not a fan of this semi mushy taco. Please & no thanks.
So much joy, so little time. Shrimp tacos have a way of turning every frown upside down. Always on the prowl for the best shrimp taco or lobster roll, Torchy’s shrimp taco is definitely one to try. Hand-battered & fried, Baja shrimp arrive topped with pickled jalapenos & onions, queso fresco, and cilantro, with cooked cabbage slaw and a side of chipotle sauce.
Surprisingly, the Portobello mushroom taco is a big win. Portobello mushroom strips are hand-battered & fried, topped with refried black beans, roasted corn, escabeche carrots, queso fresco, cilantro, and avocado, then “drizzled” with ancho aioli.
Last, but oh so scandalously not least, the… Dirty Sanchez. Scrambled eggs & fried poblano chile arrive surrounded by guacamole, escabeche carrots, and shredded cheese with poblano sauce. Torchy’s beef with Cook became a flame following her words of bashing against their beloved…Dirty Sanchez. Triple scary taco name sniffle.
Tip at the counter questions? Yep, 20% at the counter, without knowing ultimate service outcome. Growl. End-of-meal-leave-on-the-table-tip-giving should be the standard.
Bloggers, newspaper-job-given-food-critics-with-paychecks, customers, blada, and yada, are all welcome to voice an opinion, whether it be a wow or a growl, of a restaurant’s food & service. Some people get angrier than others, but it’s just as much their right to voice an opinion as anyone else. Could it be expressed in a better way sometimes? Yep.
For some reason I’m digging the owner of Torchy’s. His freak out worked in a way that just might better any problems needing to be addressed. Alison Cook is the real deal. If she says something sucks, um, it most likely sucks. It is what it is though, and that “is”… is an opinion.
FIVE: High 5!
FOUR: Please & Thank You
TWO: Double Wow
ONE: Wow + Ouch = Wouch