9TACO: Torchy’s Democrat Taco

For just $4, you can get the best taco in Austin, and it’s not from some out-of-the-way, hard-to-find-on-the-internet location. The Democrat is from Torchy’s Tacos, the well-known taco chain that has stores all over Texas, including 11 locations in the Austin area. The closest one to St. Edward’s is a four-minute drive on South 1st – just 10 minutes by foot for those without cars.

Torchy’s may be a large franchise, but it doesn’t matter – their unique, delicious tacos do not disappoint. After tasting my way through some of the menu, I tried the Democrat. I can’t explain in words how perfect this taco is. It usually comes out in audible noises that express food bliss. The only bad thing is that it is a definite struggle to try and eat more than two of them in one sitting.

The rich beef barbacoa, prepared from the cheek of cattle (seriously, don’t let this gross you out, it’s worth it), is the star of this filling taco. It is topped with fresh avocado (yum), queso fresco, cilantro, onions and a wedge of lime on a double-layer of corn tortillas. And don’t skimp out on the tangy tomatillo salsa that comes with it – its the perfect complement.

To be fair, I gave the other two politically-named tacos a chance to impress me, the Republican, which features jalapeno sausage, and the Independent with fried portobello mushrooms. While they were both very good, they couldn’t live up to the ultimately better and tastier results the Democrat delivered.

If you’re feeling adventurous, be sure to add the Taco of the Month to your order. March featured the Kingpin Taco with carnitas and fried plantains, but who knows what April will bring?

[Torchy’s Tacos, 7 a.m. to 10 p.m., 2809 S. 1st St., Austin, Texas 78704]

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