Foodie Review: Torchy’s (Austin, TX)


On South Congress Street in Austin, Texas you can partake in a variety of culinary delights. My meetup group decided to choose Torchy’s, a burrito/taco fast casual joint with the architecture of a Whataburger. 


At the door you can purchase a variety of swag. I particularly liked this version, but only if the signature sauce met the hype of image of hell in my mind. I mean, come on, the entire brand evoked hotness of food … supposedly. 


I ordered a grande burrito and a fountain drink. I almost ordered a glass bottle Coke just to fit in the local crowd. Austin is kind of like the Portland of the Midwest. Overall my bill was something like $10.


This is it, the grande burrito itself. I asked for the hottest sauce which they put on the side. The burrito reminded me a little of Freebirds, but the hot sauce was better. It was hot, but didn’t quite live up the hype of hell inside a tortilla. It was kind of like a branding over promise and under deliver, but it was tasty.

The folks I was with got the tacos and they said they enjoyed it. I looked around the table at the rest of the group and everything was chowd down so it had to be to everyone’s liking.

Foodie Rating: 8/10 Tortillas

Foodie Review: Moe’s Southwest Grill


I used to think Moes was a Chipotle ripoff. I had been a Chipotle loyalist since 1999 having gone to college in Colorado Springs. 

The odd thing is I started eating Moes during grad school, as there was one on campus. I ate there a ton mostly due to proximity and convenience, but to be honest, the food was pretty good too. I always remembered it for providing chips and salsa with the entre. 

I went to a Moe’s recently and I have to say it’s still pretty good. Some stuff has changed; like a queso upcharge combo and a “Moe’s Monday.”


I usually order a Homewrecker burrito. The taste is different than Chipotle. Compared to he fajita burrito I would take Chipotle over Moe’s, mostly because the food seems slightly more fresh. 

The one advantage of Moes to me is the salsa bar. I can pretty much make my burrito as hot as I want by adding salsa myself. 

The downside to Moes is the weird trash cans they use, making some places smell a little. Chipotle has a large bin to dump trash and place baskets. Moes has a tiny slot similar to burger joints. This makes it messy for patrons who always seem to miss when dumping bowls. 

Instead of having a worker (who also handles food orders) constantly wipe trash can rims, why not just have it like chipotle and just have the trash emptied more often. No smell. No missed food dumps. And people eating don’t have to watch the trash can cleaner also be the person handling food. I know some bean counter at Moe’s corporate made the decision because less plastic baskets are dumped in the trashcan (15 cents a basket if in 1000 piece bulk), but the entire experience and brand is destroyed with the mess and employees having to constantly clean it up. This was a Moe’s in Texas on 27 June.

On another note, I recently had Moes in the Las Vegas Airport on a trip, and it was also an awkward experience and example of brand killing. The homewrecker was the most expensive of what I’ve ever paid for one (understand airports upcharge a ton like amusement parks) but it didn’t come with chips (no salsa bar). They made patrons pay for chips seperately. I asked and said chips came with it and the employee acted like I had no idea what I was saying, like it is preposterous that chips came with it. I said “I think it’s even on the website.” She said, “that’s only company stores.” Good job killing the brand. Then I ate at the few tables next to the food line, where another customer didn’t come for the next 20 minutes. A manager of some sort arrived and lectured the two women on food portions for 10 minutes. I mean, customers are all turning their heads and listening to the managers virtues of making the burritos as small as possible. Overfill on rice but go easy on the meat. Geeze. They should train without customers there, because we all probably felt ripped off in that moment. This occurred 22 June.