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National Taco Day

From Tikka Tacos to So-So Queso we’ve put all 5 of our #FridayFeed tasty taco reviews together in honor of National Taco Day!

 

#FridayFeed Scores:

Velvet Taco Chicken Tikka Tacos. Red Velvet cake. Secret Menu Brisket Nachos. 
MJ gives it an A; Danny gives it an A – click here for the full review
 
Fuzzy’s Taco Shop Solid Nachos. So-So-Queso. Meh Interior Design
 MJ gives it an B-; Danny gives it an B+  click here for the full review
 
Torchy’s Tacos Austin-y yet I still like them. Edgy Fun Brand. Diablo sauce yum.
MJ gives it an A; Danny gives it an A + click here for the full review
 
Taco Joint Unspectacular. Good Tea.
MJ gives it an B-; Danny gives it an B click here for the full review
 
Tacodeli Excellent queso & chips. Delicious salsas. Terrible hours (closes at 3). 
MJ gives it an B; Danny gives it an B+ click here for the full review

 

#FridayFeed:

Every Friday, Studio B Dallas visits a local fast casual concept for lunch to critique the brand (and eat lunch). Three rules apply: it’s a concept we haven’t been to or it’s been in the restaurant news and it’s within 10 miles of our office. Wait, four rules – it can’t be sushi. Danny doesn’t do sushi. If you have any suggestions on where we should eat next, feel free to leave it in the comments. Look for our restaurant branding reviews each Friday! MJ & Danny

Fuzzy’s Taco Shop

Nachos & Burrito Bowl

Nachos & Burrito Bowl

FUZZY’S TACO SHOP – Add Friends and Alcohol

This week’s #FridayFeed restaurant branding review is FUZZY’S TACO SHOP on Mockingbird near Love Field airport. I went to my first Fuzzy’s in Waxahachie about 12 years ago. Cool little taco shop, good food and that’s all I remember. After doing a little research on the brand, I learned that the original founder, Paul Willis was involved in a ton of restaurants and opened the original Fuzzy’s in Ft Worth, near TCU. In 2003, Father and son restaurateurs Alan and Chuck Bush bought the Shop and began franchising in 2009.  The brand has more than 100 locations according to their website.

Order Up!

I ordered the nachos and made them “ultimate” by adding sour cream, fresh jalapeños and guacamole. Danny got a burrito bowl and we got a side of chips & queso, just because. My nacho order was a huge plate of yummy cheesy, creamy goodness. No complaints. Queso was so-so. I LOVE Queso, especially white queso. It was good but I just needed it to be awesome.

Branding DNA/Environmental Branding:

I didn’t notice anything super special about the interior design here. Lots of bright paint colors, MASSIVE – like the biggest I’ve ever seen – Digital Menu Boards and some nice outdoor seating. It’s ok but it’s just missing something. The interior is just a dining room with seats. I didn’t leave there knowing anything about Fuzzy’s tacos – why it’s named that or what it means or where they’re from, what they’re known for, what’s the deal with that cute fish? Don’t blame me but there’s a lot of pressure put on the experience in the fast casual space now. It’s not enough that you have to make great food with some blingy, instagram worthy items and be ever-present on social media – you have to deliver an “experience” on-site as well. Oh, and deliver. with drones. and CBD, make sure you’re thinking about adding something with that… To be fair – an experience can be had when you add friends, family and/or alcohol – which they have plenty in their small little service bar which I loved. Danny and I visit concepts specifically to see what a brand is delivering so we come in with white gloves and take note of everything we like and don’t like. Overall notes – I don’t get the Baja component. The Mockingbird location needs an update and re-paint. I loved the crazy little bar set up at the register. If I was in college still, drinking with friends at a cooler location, maybe I would love it more.

Marketing Miss:

We decided to go to Fuzzy’s because it was on our list but also because I recently connected with the VP of Development on LinkedIn. I’m also doing some research on queso for another project and I noticed their current promotion online. If you donate $2 to No Kid Hungry, you get FREE chips and queso* *Disclaimer – FREE on your next visit…psyche! Anyway…we got there and I realized that the cashier didn’t ask me to donate and I didn’t see a sign for the promotion so maybe this franchisee isn’t participating or maybe I just missed it. Here’s some FREE data for the Fuzzy’s marketing team: I saw FREE queso marketing online. I saw picture of queso & chips online. I went to Fuzzy’s to get queso and chips. I ordered nachos and STILL ordered Queso and chips. Data results: Queso sells!

Digital Branding:

Fuzzy’s Taco shop has a great website filled with bright color schemes and can be easily navigated. On their site they also have a stream of their social media post, which I think is brilliant! My only issue is the parallax scrolling on the menu page of the website. The images are not big enough vertically to be able to see the beautiful food photography. On their Facebook and Instagram account they mix some marketing with and large portion of great food photography and a dash of lifestyle. They do an awesome job with the food photos, but could use some more lifestyle imagery. Overall they have a good website and even better social media posts, but what they’re really missing is the unique factor that sets them apart from other taco joints.
–Danny

Score:

MJ gives FUZZY’S TACO SHOP a B- and Danny gives them a solid B+. This concept is missing something.

#FridayFeed:

Every Friday, Studio B Dallas visits a local fast casual concept for lunch to critique the brand (and eat lunch). Three rules apply: it’s a concept we haven’t been to or it’s been in the restaurant news and it’s within 10 miles of our office. Wait, four rules – it can’t be sushi. Danny doesn’t do sushi. If you have any suggestions on where we should eat next, feel free to leave it in the comments. Look for our restaurant branding reviews each Friday! MJ & Danny

Serious Pizza

SERIOUS PIZZA + TATTOOS + TAKE OUT

This week’s #FridayFeed restaurant branding review is SERIOUS PIZZA in Deep Ellum. I was seriously wanting to review some pizza this week. I love the &pizza brand but they aren’t in Texas yet. Mod Pizza is in Frisco – aka Oklahoma – too far north. With a quick internet search of pizza near me, I found Serious Pizza in Deep Ellum, right next door to the famous Elm Street Tattoo. I remembered that they are “famous” for their 30” pizza. EATER indicates the brand is now owned by MILKSHAKE CONCEPTS (Imran Sheikh, Citizen, Stirr and Vidorra) but founders Mike Turley and Andrew Phillips are still involved in Ops and culinary.

Order Up!

We ordered the Deluxe 30” pizza which has homemade dough and sauce, topped with pepperoni, italian sausage, bell pepper, black olive & fresh mushrooms. We didn’t order any sides or extras but we did see they had a cooler with some gelato and Ben & Jerry’s ice cream. They were sold out of the logo’d T-shirts but they had some “Supreme” styled Serious Pizza logo shirts for $25.

Branding DNA:

We usually review brands that have multiple locations and call out the work of the interior/brand firms that work on the projects, oooh and ahh over cool design features, etc. SERIOUS PIZZA has one location. I’m pretty sure the only artist or designers behind the brand involve the tattoo-esque logo and wall art and the guy that throws that massive pizza dough – which, that IS an art. I definitely  give them props for the entertainment element.

 

Chalkboard menu, random cool stickers stuck on everything. It’s basically a really good New York style thin crust pizza joint with a Texas sized novelty 30” product that occupies a stinky, dirty Deep Ellum bar space that has been every kind of bar since the 80’s. The spaces where they were making the pizzas looked ok but OMG – I hope the lease negotiation and renovation that CEO Imran Sheikh refers to in the Eater article is in progress. My advice is to get it to go and enjoy pics online until that happens.

Digital Branding:

Serious Pizza’s website could take a lesson from their social media accounts. Unlike their website, their Facebook and Instagram feature great candid photos of their delicious pizza with just the right amount of marketing. Their website is a pretty simple one page site and could use some love especially their about section. Under the info tab in the About section it only states “Huge Pizza!!! Slices & Beer!” While this could be seen as clever on their part, I see it as being just plain lazy. Under the hours tab in the About section it says “ No opening hours found.” How are your customers suppose to know when and what days you’re open? This is your website and more often than not it’s many consumers first impression of your restaurant. The lack of photographs on their website is baffling to me! Especially since their social media accounts have such great photos. A simple coding fix would push the beautiful food photography from their social media to their website and drastically change potential customer’s opinions. Serious Pizza could use more of a digital presence and it all starts with the website! While social media is great for promoting your brand, it should NOT be the only source of your digital presence. Especially in this day and age where there is a ton of amazing website templates available and all you have to do is plug in your info and upload your images.
–Danny

Score:

MJ gives SERIOUS PIZZA an A if you’re doing take out and a C- if you dine in during daylight hours or if your sober. Danny gives the food an A- and the website a C-.

#FridayFeed:

Every Friday, Studio B Dallas visits a local fast casual concept for lunch to critique the brand (and eat lunch). Three rules apply: it’s a concept we haven’t been to or it’s been in the restaurant news and it’s within 10 miles of our office. Wait, four rules – it can’t be sushi. Danny doesn’t do sushi. If you have any suggestions on where we should eat next, feel free to leave it in the comments. Look for our restaurant branding reviews each Friday! MJ & Danny

Torchy’s Tacos

Green Chile Queso & Chips

Green Chile Queso & Chips

The Devil went down to Austin lookin’ for a soul to steal. He found Mike Rypka and Torchy’s was born!

This week’s #FridayFeed restaurant branding review is Torchy’s Tacos on SMU boulevard. Let’s be honest, If you haven’t heard of Torchy’s by now, you’ve been living under a rock! They have DAMN GOOD tacos and queso that you’ll sell your soul for. Torchy’s is an Austin born brand and has over 60 locations and more in the queue.

Order Up!

Let’s dive straight into the food. I ordered a Tipsy Chick taco off of their regular menu – grilled chicken breast, spinach, grilled corn, green chilies, and cheddar cheese with a side of bacon bourbon marmalade & a Trailer Park Hillbilly Style off of their secret menu – fried chicken, chorizo, chopped bacon, green chilies, green chile queso, cheddar jack cheese, and pico. If you know me, you know I love chorizo and have an unhealthy obsession with queso so this taco is by far, my all time favorite taco! MJ ordered the Green Chile Pork taco & Crossroads. And of course we had to order some Green Chile Queso & Chips to share. We didn’t get one this time, but they also have feature taco of the month similar to Velvet Taco’s Weekly Taco Feature (WTF).

Branding DNA:

Torchy’s is a brand with Austin attitude. I would consider them one of the more ballsy fast casual restaurants. Not too many restaurants would use a baby devil for their mascot and DAMN GOOD as their tagline, but Torchy’s does! They started out as a food trailer in Austin by chef and founder Michael Rypka. They’ve kept some of that same grit as they’ve expanded into the fast causal market. Not only does Torchy’s have DAMN GOOD tacos, but they also have DAMN GOOD branding. They have branded shirts, hats, baby onesies, matchbooks, custom bottled Diablo hot sauce, and even their own soda-Pucker Up Punch.

Torchy’s restaurants are eco-friendly, something I wasn’t aware of until I visited the culture page of their website. They only use responsibly and ethically sourced ingredients which really shines in each of their tacos. They also only stock napkins, cups, and cutlery made from 100% renewable resources and turn their cooking oil into car fuel. In addition, Torchy’s donates tacos, time, and resources to a variety of charities.

Environmental Branding:

The devil baby, the exposed bulb lighting, the road reflector walls, concrete, steel, the whole cycle shop/tattoo parlor look is awesome. It looks and feels authentic.* Funky brass retro light fixtures, big graphic tiles, a bunch of COOL T-shirt designs – it all just really works. I’m not a big fan of the lacquered plywood but it fits with the space. We’re not sure who to give the logo and design credits to. It looks like a lot of people have been involved but we’re all in. Torchy’s brand really has street cred.
*Authentic like: they have real founders and struggles and stories vs being created in a conference room designed to “create” appeal to customers.
–MJ

Digital Branding:

Torchy’s website breaks the conventional mold and I wouldn’t expect anything less. They have a nontraditional header, beautiful food photography, and a website that is easy to navigate with a gritty tattoo-esque branded pattern. They have great Facebook and Instagram accounts that feature a mixture of mouthwatering food photography, fun lifestyle imagery, and a sprinkle of marketing. Overall, Torchy’s is a brand with attitude, great branding, and most important… great food!

Score:

Danny gives Torchy’s an A+ and MJ gives it an A.

#FridayFeed:

Every Friday, Studio B Dallas visits a local fast casual concept for lunch to critique the brand (and eat lunch). Three rules apply: it’s a concept we haven’t been to or it’s been in the restaurant news and it’s within 10 miles of our office. Wait, four rules – it can’t be sushi. Danny doesn’t do sushi. If you have any suggestions on where we should eat next, feel free to leave it in the comments. Look for our restaurant branding reviews each Friday! MJ & Danny