Fire-eater alert: Torchy’s Tacos, the Austin-based taco chain, is doing its fifth annual “Some Like it Hot” promotion — a new, and progressively spicy, special taco every week during August.
It’s cumulative in more ways than one: Once a taco is introduced, it stays on the menu all month. And since August was awkward enough to start in the middle of a week, the first offering debut Wednesday and the second one will premiere on Monday.
Torchy’s doesn’t mess around a lot with this menu, except for attempting to set your tongue on fire. So here’s the lineup.
The Barn Burner: Yes, I’ve already tried this one, at the Fort Worth location nearest downtown. It comes with grilled fajita beef, chopped bacon, Manzano chile salad, Texas goat cheese and cilantro and is served with Avocado & Diablo sauce. It comes on a flour tortilla, but I usually go with the corn option, then fork through the overload of filling till I can make two tacos from the double tortilla wrapping.
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As far as spice goes, it delivered, bringing a tear to my eyes at one point, and I usually have a pretty good tolerance for spicy food. But it was not without problems, most notably the fajita beef, which was on the tough side, and didn’t make for easy taco eating. And the taco came out before the chips and queso, but really, isn’t the queso the main course at Torchy’s anyway?
The Barn Burner will be on the menu through Aug. 31. Coming up:
Bottle Rocket Shrimp (Aug. 6-31): Habanero-battered fried shrimp, cabbage slaw, cotija cheese, candied jalapeños and cilantro served with Diablo Mayo.
The Creeper (Aug. 13-31): Habanero-battered fried chicken, chorizo, chopped bacon, “Brushfire” jalapeños, cotija cheese, pickled onions and cilantro served with a drizzle of creamy Ghost Pepper sauce.
Scalding Pig (Aug., 20-31): Pasilla and ghost-pepper stewed pork, jack cheese, escabeche, chicarrón pieces, sour cream and cilantro served with a drizzle of Torchy’s XXX Hot Sauce.
Torchy’s also has some respectably spicy tacos on its regular menu, but if it’s spicy salsa you’re looking for, you should go to Fort Worth’s homegrown Los Asaderos at 1535 N. Main St., where you can also ask for a spice level on certain dishes that would make any Torchy’s taco weep in envy.
Torchy’s has two Fort Worth locations (928 Northton St. and 5030 S. Hulen St.), two Arlington locations (1805 N. Collins St. in north Arlington and 4000 Five Points Blvd. in the Arlington Highlands center in south Arlington), as well as one in Southlake (2175 E. Southlake Blvd.) and a Texas Motor Speedway location that’s technically Fort Worth but is actually inside TMS. A Denton location recently opened at 2224 W. University Drive, and there are multiple Dallas and Collin County locations.