By now, we're all well aware that Alison Cook, Houston food writer, offered some qualified praise of Torchy's Taco's new restaurant in the Rocket City, but ultimately opted to not award the restaurant a star in her review.
The shit immediately hit the fan as the beloved Austin transplant has a serous and vocal fan-base.
We weighed in on the dust-up here: http://www.scrumptiouschef.com/food/index.cfm/2012/4/29
Then things got interesting as a man described by Cook as Sr. Torchy [who is apparently the owner] had this to say:
"THE GOD'S HAVE SPOKEN! Thank you, Allison, for ripping apart my restaurant! ....To be honest, the Damn in me wants to tell all the haters F@#& off, but the Good in me knows that the people's opinion counts. It's easy to rant and rave online and behind closed doors. I'm not saying the experience had at my restaurant was untrue. No one is perfect, believe me. Perhaps we had an employee that had his head up his own A@& that day. Trust me, anyone who owns a restaurant knows how hard it is to run one. That's precisely why so many fail. The biggest problem I have with this review is not the comments, but the fact that it's awful hard to fix the situation if we can't get details about the very thing that upset them. I'd very much like to address the individual in the scenario, but can't seem to point the pitchfork in the right direction. As far as our food goes-- some love us, some hate us. Our tortillas aren't home cooked because I didn't have the space in the trailer we started in.
We've gone back and forth and the reality is that it's unfair to offer fresh tortillas at some stores and store-bought ones at the shops that are too small to make them. We order them from a company in Austin who makes them overnight and delivers to each location every morning. Hell, most of the time, the boxes are still hot! If you worked in our company, you would know how much love and passion we put into our food. You would know how proud our people are about what we do.
In fact, to demonstrate our care, please note that I'll be at the Shepherd location tomorrow afternoon (4/27) from 11a-2p. I'll be giving away FREE Dirty Sanchez's to anyone who prints out this article and brings it in. After you eat the taco, I'd like to know if you agree with Ms. Cook or not. We love all of our customers and for those who have had bad experiences, I deeply apologize. I hope that you'll take this opportunity and let us win you back!
Oh--and as for the photos that everyone is bashing us about, the resolution of a photograph has everything to do with the way an image appears. Two different cameras are going to produce different images. A professional photographer is just that, a professional--and a Damn Good editor, if I do say so myself! See you tomorrow, folks."
That was published by the Houston Chronicle on April 26th. The reaction, as detailed in the comments section to the piece, is hilarious. Here's a hot link http://www.29-95.com/restaurants/story/torchys-fires-ba
However, the thing we really take away from the spirited defense issued by Sr. Torchy, are his comments about not having the space to make scratch tortillas in his original trailer.
How is it that there are phone booth-sized taco carts all over the US with taqueras in them patting-out or rolling-out their own, hand-made tortillas? We ate at the original Torchy's when it first opened, the cart was small, but it dwarfs many food trailers in town. Food trailers offering scratch tortillas.
"It's a pain in the ass to make your own and I didn't need the headache."
What if Sr Torchy had said that instead? He'd be our hero.
We expect Torchy's Tacos to fare well in Houston and every other city they branch out to. And good luck to them. The guy is clearly passionate about his food and believes in the quality. If we weren't traditionalists who are spoiled by a wide network of tias we have scattered all over Austin, we'd probably be Torchy's Tacos fans too.
We'll just stick with the loncheras for now. Cause we're total marks for handmade Mexican food.