P. Terry's hot new taco joint quickly cooks up UT campus location

P. Terry's hot new taco joint quickly cooks up UT campus location

Taco Ranch ATX
The recently opened Taco Ranch is already expanding to a second location. Rendering by Michael Hsu Office of Architecture

The inaugural location of Taco Ranch, the taco concept from the folks at the P. Terry’s Burger Stand chain, hasn’t even been open a month, but the company already is cooking up a second Taco Ranch restaurant in Austin.

Patrick Terry, co-owner of P. Terry’s, says Taco Ranch is taking over a shuttered Taco Cabana at 517 W. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd. Terry says this “one of a kind” location is attractive because of its proximity to the University of Texas at Austin campus.

“We’ve been discussing the MLK site for months and finally made the call toward the end of last year,” Terry tells CultureMap. “We are grateful to the landlord for allowing us to take the spot, as opposed to a big chain.”

The MLK restaurant is scheduled to open this summer, although Terry says that could change, as the project will involve remodeling an old building. The eatery will feature a Michael Hsu-designed dining room, as well as a patio and a double drive-thru.

The first Taco Ranch debuted in January at 5033 W. U.S. Hwy. 290 in Oak Hill. Terry says diners’ response to the Oak Hill joint has been “terrific,” with Taco Ranch attracting a number of return customers.

“People had a similar reaction when we opened P. Terry’s, so hopefully the end result for Taco Ranch will be the same,” Terry says.

Will Taco Ranch expand beyond the Oak Hill and MLK locations? “Two is it for now,” Terry says. “We’re a small company that mainly sells hamburgers, so there’s only so much growth you can handle in a short period of time.”

P. Terry’s, founded in 2005, operates 14 locations in the Austin area, with more on the way.

Terry describes Taco Ranch as a 1960s-style taco stand that focuses on just five main menu items: tacos, chalupas/tostadas, burritos, quesadillas, and taco salads. The restaurant also serves breakfast tacos, as well as sides of chips with condiments such as salsa and queso.

The kitchen prepares dishes with fresh ingredients, all-natural meats, real cheese, and some organic offerings, Terry says. The menu, he says, is “pretty basic, but that’s really what we are about.”