It's about time.
Sometime in the summer of 2019, I caught hold of a rumor that a Torchy's Tacos was going to open in Lake Charles. I went online and saw job postings for Torchy's at a Lake Charles location, which lent more credence to the rumor.
I am quite familiar with the taco chain that was founded and headquartered in Austin, Texas. I've been to locations in Austin, Houston, San Antonio, and the Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex. Suffice it to say, I am a big fan.
I'm not sure when the Lake Charles location was originally supposed to open, but I feel like it was almost ready to go before the COVID-19 pandemic shut almost everything down. After a soft opening on the weekend June 19-21, Torchy's officially opened up on June 22 to much fanfare.
If you've never been and want to go, I'm here to guide you through the menu. First, let me say, if you are looking for traditional Mexican tacos, this is not your place. I don't say that in a negative way, but if you go check the place out, you'll know why I said it.
Before you even order your tacos, you have to get the chips and queso, which is topped with guacamole, cotija, cilantro, and diablo sauce. You can even add chorizo to the queso for an extra 30 cents, and it's well worth it to do so.
All of the tacos can go on either a corn or flour tortilla, and each taco listed on the menu has either one listed. I tend to go with what the menu says just to see how it tastes.
There are tacos for any type of meat you prefer, and vegetarian tacos if you prefer no meat. One of the Torchy's most popular tacos is the "Trailer Park," which is a fried chicken tender topped with lettuce, green chiles and pico de gallo on a flour tortilla. But you have to get it "trashy." What is trashy? That is when you replace the lettuce on the taco with Torchy's famous queso. Quite honestly, it's the easiest choice you can make at the restaurant, and it doesn't cost extra.
One of my other regulars is the "Crossroads," which has smoked beef brisket, grilled onions, jalapenos, cilantro, jack cheese, and tomatillo sauce on a corn tortilla. All of those different flavors combine to make an incredible taco.
There are so many tacos there that you just can't go wrong with: the "Brushfire" if you want a spicy jerk chicken taco, "Baja Shrimp" if you want some seafood, "Fried Avocado" if you want a vegetarian option. There is a special taco that is exclusive to Louisiana Torchy's locations, and it's called the "Bayou Pirate." It has fried crawfish, andouille sausage, diablo sauce (which is hot), and toppings. A must-try if you go to a Torchy's in the Boot.
If you don't want tacos, they have other options, such a massive burrito or a healthy "Airstream Salad" for you to chow down on.
If you want to wash it down with an adult beverage, the frozen margaritas are quite tasty, and the sangria does the job as well. These are just two of the many beers and cocktails on the menu. Even the sweet tea is pretty good, if you don't want anything with alcohol in it.
For dessert, the "Lil Nookies" are addicting. They are fried balls of chocolate chip cookie dough, dusted with powdered sugar and topped with cherries. They are absolutely amazing and I usually have to not order them because I could go through so many of them if I do.
In conclusion, Torchy's is great, and you need to go. Again, it's not traditional Mexican fare, but their twist on tacos is phenomenal, and something you have to try at least once.