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.

Travel Blog (Vegas Adventure Part 9)


Above was a pretty darn tasty Korean Fried Chicken Burrito at the Venetian. When you play poker you usually get a couple bucks in comps every hour you play. Most properties have some sort of comp per hour system.

Thus far I’ve had 4-5 meals at the Venetian and paid zero, except some cash tips given to the hard working folks who wheel out the food.

The dish above was tomato, basil, chicken, mozzarella dish of some sort. I usually order this the most of any dish on the menu.

The dish above is a chicken and shrimp jambalaya. It’s was good, however there was maybe too much green peppers for a jambalaya.
The crispy caramel chicken is also good, especially considering that it is wheeled out to the poker tables. And especially with beers coming every 10 minutes, it is hard not to love playing poker at the Venetian. 

With the $10 parking fee at MGM properties, where else would I play? They are essentially taking away poker comps at MGM in a way. I usually would split time between Aria and Venetian, but it looks like the new awesome poker room at Encore will have to take that spot. 

Foodie Review: Nachos at the Bowling Alley


What do you do when you walk over at lunch for a quick bite at the bowling alley and they are so popular the wait is 25 mins for grill grub?

You order some nachos.

I was on the go, I didn’t have that kind of time to wait, so going to a tried and true staple takes me to my childhood.

I was a total weirdo as a kid. I would walk from my house at the age of 10 about a mile to the bowling alley after a quick stop in a store to buy a G.I. Joe. This is happiness at 10 back in 1989-1992.

I was a lone traveler even then. That was a different era when 10 year olds could roam around stores and go to bowling alleys by themselves and nobody gave a shit. Entertainment? Go play outside and come back when it gets dark, unless you are playing flashlight tag, in that case, it doesn’t matter.

In the summers, I would be all sweaty from walking, and would stroll in the bowling alley, walk up to the counter, and order nachos. I’m not sure what the culinary appeal of the bowling alley grill is. Usually teenagers man the counter and the grill itself appears to be from the Great Depression; it doesn’t matter. Day after day people stick their fingers in loaner bowling balls and then eat bowling alley finger foods like this. They drink beer, tell stories, and have a good time. These are my kind of people.

The bowling alley serves food for the common food palette. Ain’t no cheesecakes and lettuce wraps and prime rib being served here. Nope.

So as an adult with a career, why the hell do I stop at the bowling alley? It’s simple; it is sure the hell cleaner than any fast food joint. If I want a quick burger, they actually put a patty on the grill and cook it in front of my eyes. Burger King coats their patties in some weird “flamebroil” sauce and sticks it in a warmer. And when I say patties, the bowling alley uses real stuff from sysco or something. I have no idea what Burger King uses. I’m convinced the secret “flamebroil” sauce is actually leftover jet fuel from the NASAs space shuttle program. McDonald’s? Nobody knows what the hell is in that patty. Is it 50% grade Z meat mixed with sawdust? Who knows. What I do know is that it is essentially a microwaved turd.

Yes, I know. I should go to Five Guys and pay $17 for a meal. I’m on a budget as a penniless writer. $3.50 is more my price point.

I always feel sick 30 mins after eating McDonald’s. Always. Burger King I feel sick around 3 mins after realizing it was yet another fucking mistake to order a #1 meal. I tried their frap last week and felt sick after one sip of whatever the hell that was.

How many times have I felt sick eating at the bowling alley?

Zero.

Imagine that.