I feel like I never really had a grasp of living life in Austin until I started dating someone that also lives in Austin. Because I’m vegan I’m not the most adventurous eater-outer, which means there are tons of yummy things in town that I just haven’t experienced yet. But when I started dating Charlie I ended up eating more tacos in two months than I’ve probably ever eaten collectively in my life until I met him.
In the Chicago suburbs tacos aren’t really a go-out-to-eat-them kind of food. You either go through the pain of making them yourself or get crappy ones at Taco Bell. Downtown has more authentic Mexican places to get tacos but they rarely use vegetarian beans or do cool stuff like deep fry portobello mushrooms and avocados. (Also I haven’t lived in the Chicago area for nearly ten years, so that stuff may exist now and I’ve missed it!)
I’ve discovered that tacos are a quintessential Austin food. Highly customizable, highly variable, small enough to eat while walking/talking. They’re a social food. And Torchy’s has very quickly become one of my favorite places to get them.
I pretty much got that silly InstaFood app just for taking pictures of Torchy’s Tacos. Somehow I’m not sick of them yet; the only options that are almost vegan are the Fried Avocado and The Independent (hint: get them without the carrot stuff, 3x tastier).
The Fried Avocado is probably my favorite, sans cheese and sauce. I’m guessing they’d be fine with substituting different sauces but ordering vegan is already fussy and I get self-conscious about it sometimes. Charlie always goes for the Fried Avocado. And chips and salsa, of course. I love that they put out sliced lemons and limes for drinks so I can have my favorite drink ever, Diet Coke with lime.
We mostly go to Torchy’s North (620), because his place is in West Austin. But I have gotten plenty of tacos from Torchy’s UT and Spicewood Springs locations. I think the Spicewood Springs spot has the best vibe. The last time we went there was the Louisville/Wichita St. game. And there were plenty of perfectly positioned flatscreens to watch the game. Lovely.
So what is “The Weekly Texan”? I’m hoping this will become a weekly feature on the blog that talks about different Austin things, though I have a feeling it will be mostly about food! But now that I’m out and about in town more I want to share some Austin stuff with my readers and friends, many of whom I know do not live here. I hope you enjoy!