Cool ranch

South Austin's new drive-thru taco joint gets the P. Terry's treatment

South Austin's new drive-thru taco joint gets the P. Terry's treatment

Taco Ranch ATX
Taco Ranch aims to do for tacos what P. Terry's did for burgers. Rendering by Michael Hsu Office of Architecture

In a little over a decade, P. Terry’s Burger Stand has redefined fast food in Austin with its signature retro brand aesthetic and mindful sourcing. Now, owners Patrick and Kathy Terry are looking to revolutionize the taco joint with the opening of Taco Ranch on Wednesday, January 24, at 5033 W. Hwy. 290 in Oak Hill.

Taco Ranch aims to provide an alternative to chains like Taco Cabana and Taco Bell, keeping the price point low (in the $2-$3 range for most items) while offering better ingredients — like organic eggs and humanely raised beef and chicken — than national chains. That formula took off for P. Terry’s, which quickly expanded to 14 area locations after opening its first stand in Austin in 2005.

Like P. Terry’s, the menu at Taco Ranch is kept simple. Five mains are available for lunch and dinner: tacos, burritos, chalupas, quesadillas, and taco salads. The tacos are available with a choice of flour or corn tortilla or a crispy shell, and all dishes are customizable with a choice of protein (beef, chicken, refried beans, or veggie crumbles), as well as lettuce, tomatoes, and cheddar cheese. Sides include classics like chips and salsa, guacamole, queso, and ranch dip, plus churro brownies for dessert. 

Breakfast is served until 11 am and will feature breakfast tacos with fillings like all-natural bacon, sausage, chorizo, potato, cheese, and refried beans; cinnamon rolls and coffee cakes are also available.

The space, designed by architectural superstar Michael Hsu, boasts a brown, yellow, and blue color scheme that harkens back to the ‘50s and ‘60s fast-food boom. The restaurant features a covered outdoor dining area, spacious indoor dining area, and — of course — a drive-thru.