The Best & Worst Menu Items at Torchy's Tacos
This Austin-born taco restaurant, which originally started out as a food truck, now has locations in Arkansas, Colorado, Oklahoma, and, of course, Texas. The napkins, cups, and cutlery are made from sustainable materials and the cooking oil is even reused as car fuel. But what on the menu keeps that healthy trend going? And what stops it in its tracks? Hillary Cecere, MS and RD of Eat Clean Bro, filled us in on the best and worst Torchy's Tacos menu options for when you want a damn good breakfast, lunch, dinner or even dessert.
Here's what you should and shouldn't order off the Torchy's Tacos menu.
BEST: Potato, Egg, and Cheese on Flour with no sauce
Start the day on the right foot with this option from the Torchy's Tacos menu. "There's a 153 calorie difference between these tacos," she says. "More importantly there is also less fat, saturated fat, and sodium."
WORST: The Wrangler on Flour with Tomatillo Sauce
Pick this taco on the Torchy's Tacos menu for breakfast and you will already have almost half the daily recommended amount of sodium.
"The wrangler even has 1 gram of trans fat, which is one of the unhealthiest fats that has been linked to heart disease," Cecere says. Plus, with only one gram of fiber, you'll probably be hungry before lunchtime rolls around.
Damn Good Tacos
BEST: Green Chile Pork on Corn with Tomatillo Sauce
"Choose the Green Chile Pork to save 52 grams of fat and 55 grams of carbohydrate," Cecere says. Just one gives you 17 grams of protein thanks to the pork (which has only 248 calories), so it's a good option if you want to order two tacos. The green chilies also give a healthy dose of vitamin C and iron.
WORST: Tipsy Chick on Corn with Chipotle Sauce and Marmalade
The combination of cheese, corn and bacon bourbon marmalade is the killer here. The marmalade alone has almost 650 calories. That amounts to about half the calories of the whole single taco. Watch out for the sugar and sodium amounts here, as well.
"I can't get over that the Tipsy Chick has 52 grams of sugar!" Cecere says. "That's a lot of sugar for a taco." It's so much sugar in fact, that it's like drinking five bottles of Coca-Cola.
Not a Taco
BEST: Airstream Salad with no dressing
If you're looking for a refreshing option that isn't a taco, this one (sans sauce) is the best.
"I love that this salad has romaine, avocado, and pickled mint," Cecere says, referring to the added healthy fat from the avocado, beneficial minerals from the romaine and antioxidants from the mint. "Ask for extra pico de gallo and skip the dressing."
WORST: Airstream Salad with no protein
"The issue with this salad is the champagne vinaigrette and the chipotle sauce," Cecere says, "[but] picking the salmon or chicken are both healthy protein options." Adding one or the other will up the calories and almost doubles the amount of protein, while only adding a small amount of fat and sodium.
Eats & Treats
BEST: Lovepuppies Double Chocolate Brownie
Cecere suggesting choosing this Torchy's Tacos menu option if you want something sweet after your meal.
"I like that these brownies have pretty basic, pronounceable ingredients like sugar, flour, eggs, dark chocolate, butter, cocoa, Mexican vanilla and salt," she says. "Better yet, split the brownie or save half for later."
WORST: Lil' Nookies, 13
Only one of these bite-sized fried cookie dough balls amounts to 229 calories (which is only 19 calories less than the best taco choice, the Green Chile Pork on Corn with Tomatillo Sauce). All 13 in this menu option equals 30 teaspoons of sugar or a little over half a cup, and Cecere recommends staying away from them as sugar has been linked to bluer blues during the winter.
Chips & Dips
BEST: Tomatillo Sauce and Chips
Most of the calories, fat, and sodium come from the chips here. "The tomatillo sauce is definitely a healthier choice and saves 1,428 calories," compared to the Chipotle Sauce and Chips, Cecere says.
WORST: Chipotle Sauce and Chips
The daily recommended amount of fat according to the Cleveland Clinic is about 44 to 77 grams. Indulging in this chip and dip option gives you just about three times that amount. "That's 1,485 calories from fat!" Cecere says. This is especially bad if you have the Chipotle Sauce and Chips as part of a meal with a taco, drink, and dessert.
BEST: Tomatillo Sauce
This mildly spicy sauce from the Torchy's Tacos menu has no fat or sugar and is made from chilies, onions, cilantro, lime, and tomatillos. While their name translates to 'little tomatoes' in Spanish, tomatillos aren't tomatoes, but the two are related. They are full of potassium and magnesium and are a good option to have with a taco.
WORST: Chipotle Sauce
"I think it's safe to say, just stay away from the chipotle sauce." Cecere says. "It's the highest sauce in calories, fat, saturated fat, cholesterol and sodium." Adding this to a taco, salad or other menu item won't have many benefits as it offers no protein or fiber.