By STEFAN MODRICH
In the movie business, “sequel” is perhaps one of the most polarizing words one can use. To a studio executive, the sequel represents a dream come true, but to some film snobs, a second act will forever pale in comparison to the original, forever remaining in its shadow.
Having opened in 2002 — which as it happens, was an interesting year for movies — Tornado Taco does not quite have the same storied history as its Stafford sibling, Tornado Burger, which I reviewed back in September.
I’ll put it this way: I felt much better after leaving Tornado Taco than I did when I first saw Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones.
Ordering from Tornado Taco could not be simpler. I went straight for the Street Taco Fiesta ($5.99), whereupon I was treated to four tacos with spicy ground beef, shredded chicken, shredded pork, and barbacoa. I have always maintained that chicken and pork are my favorite taco protein sources, at least as far as meat is concerned, but barbacoa done well is difficult to ignore.
The meat is piled atop two yellow corn tortillas, and given a healthy helping of onion and cilantro.
If you’ve ordered tacos to go often enough, you’ll know how important it is to make sure you either have someone in the car with you or that you have a place to securely stow it for your drive home to ensure your food still mostly looks the way it did when it was assembled at the restaurant. I was about to turn on my car and leave when I saw an empty outdoor seating area marked with a sign that read “Taco Patio.”
Why is this important? Even though my food wasn’t road-tested, I want you to think about this with me for a minute. As easy as tacos seem to be to consume and even to prepare, the tedious process of ensuring that lime wedges are individually wrapped and tiny cups of salsa are sealed has never been more important. It’s why I’m not bothered by the fact that the bag of tortilla chips that came along with the six ounces of guacamole ($4.29) I ordered on the side was stapled shut in such a way that it made it difficult to access without tearing it wide open.
I know that basic pandemic-era guidelines for restaurants are in place for a reason, but I still think it should be noted when they are followed, even if it meant in this case I was slightly inconvenienced.
I also lamented the choice of Pepsi products over Mexican Coke, and the lack of my preferred beverages when eating Mexican food: a bottle of Jarritos or a glass of horchata.
But at the end of the day, Tornado Taco knows its purpose, and fulfills it very well. I’ll be coming back for seconds.
Address: 2461 FM 1092, Missouri City
Dining options: Outdoor dine-in on patio, takeout, drive-through
Hours: 6 a.m.-9 p.m. Monday-Saturday, 7 a.m.-9 p.m. Sunday
Entrée prices: $5.49-$10.99
Senior discount: No
Healthy options: None
Star of the show: Street Taco Fiesta