P.Terry’s founders Patrick and Kathy Terry hope to do for the taco stand what they did for the fast-food burger when they opened their first drive-thru 12 years ago. The couple plans to open Taco Ranch in Southwest Austin later this year in a former Burger King at MoPac Boulevard and U.S. 290 (5033 U.S. 290 W.).
While they are still finalizing a menu, Patrick Terry said Taco Ranch will rely on the same elements that have made P.Terry’s such a success: quality (humanely raised meats, organic eggs, etc.), value and convenience. Everything in the restaurant will be made from scratch, including both flour and corn tortillas, salsas, guacamole and queso.
“I’m astounded when I go to a taco stand and pay $3.50-$4 for a taco and I know the tortilla came out of a package,” Terry said. “Clearly there are a lot of people doing it very successfully, so I don’t question that, and I give them all the credit in the world. But we’re going to make it as hard on ourselves as possible, as we always do.”
Terry and his wife have been testing recipes in their kitchen and turning to many of their 500 P. Terry’s employees for ideas. The hope, as with P. Terry’s, is to deliver restaurant-quality food at a low price point that makes it accessible to pretty much everyone.
“It will be reminiscent of taco stands, again, from the early ’60s. A very simple menu. It’s not going to be hard to figure out, and I’m hoping that everyone will be surprised by the quality, the taste and the price,” Terry said.
The restaurant, which will be designed by Michael Hsu Office of Architecture, will feature a dining room, patio and drive-thru, and with Hsu involved, don’t expect it to look anything like a Burger King. Taco Ranch will serve breakfast, lunch, dinner and late-night. As for future expansion, Terry says that they are currently only focused on one location.
“The smartest thing we ever did was that we never looked beyond the first one,” Terry said of the process he followed in opening his original burger drive-thru on South Lamar Boulevard.
- 2016 Austin360 Dining Guide: Austin’s taco all-stars
- 2016 Austin360 Dining Guide: Best Mexican Food in Austin
- 2016 Austin360 Dining Guide: Best Food Trailers and Trucks in Austin
- 2016 Austin360 Dining Guide: P. Terry’s (Critic’s Pick)
- From the archives (2014):10 tasty tacos to try in Austin
- From the archives (2015): The best hamburgers in Austin