Restaurant Review: Torres Superette

Location: 843 Rutledge Ave, Charleston, SC 29403

You+can+also+buy+household+goods+at+Torres.
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Restaurant Review: Torres Superette

You can also buy household goods at Torres.

You can also buy household goods at Torres.

You can also buy household goods at Torres.

You can also buy household goods at Torres.

Introduction (Davis)

For most of our Restaurant Review articles, Jack and I have explored well-known eateries in the Charleston area. This trend has led us to delicious food from expensive venues such as Acme Lowcountry Kitchen  and Lewis Barbeque. And though we have no problem with eating at these places (and never will), we want to dive into a new “season,” per say, of restaurant review with the intention of reviewing off-the-grid establishments. The sketchier, the better (until we get food poisoning at least). We’ve found that the internet has plenty to offer on other acclaimed restaurants, so we want to provide new input. First up? Torres Superette.

You won’t find Torres on most Charleston eating guides, and you definitely won’t find it by chance. In fact, you have to search for it. The restaurant, if it can be given the title, exists along the back wall of a corner store in downtown Charleston. Most traditional restaurants prefer tablecloths and servers. Torres strips down to bare essentials with its order at the counter service and standing wait times (more on that later). As a result, all food comes in to-go packaging, ready for lunch on the move or a short work break. 

Food (Jack)

Going into this new season, Davis and I promised ourselves to scour Charleston in order find the most secluded and unique restaurants. However, our priority was definitely to focus on trying new and interesting foods. Torres Superette, as it turns out, passed that requirement with flying colors. Davis and I opted for a classic example of Mexican cuisine: steak burritos and red rice. Davis ordered, since he’d had the chance to eat at Torres twice before, and I was more than happy to take his suggestion. We started with the rice- the best way I can describe the taste is explosive. Filled with vegetables and spices, the rice was some of the best I’ve ever had and by far the best in Charleston. The burritos, however, were on an entirely different level. Moes, Rio Chico, and La Hacienda have met their match with Torres. The steak was full of flavor, and in combination with red rice, a handful of fresh vegetables, and spices, created a masterpiece of an entree. 

The most surprising part about the food was the authenticity and overall quality. Davis had told me it was some of the best Mexican food he’d ever had, but I walked into Torres with a somewhat skeptical attitude. That being said, I more than agree with Davis now that I’ve had the chance to eat there myself. Torres undoubtedly has some of the best Mexican in the Charleston area, and it definitely deserves more recognition for its food than it currently has.  

Food: 9.5 (Jack), 9.7 (Davis)

 

Service (Davis)

Walking into Torres for my third time and Jack’s first, we were amazed by a few features inside. First, I cannot stress enough that Torres is a fully functioning convenience store AND restaurant. Do you need a popsicle? Got it. Batteries? Got it. Loaded steak burrito with two sides of rice? Yes please. Second, the kitchen remained so efficient and quiet that we almost forgot about it as we waited in line to order at the front of the store. Most of my kitchen experience has been filled with the sounds of searing food, line cook orders, and dishwashers. Torres, on the other hand, opts for a few cheerful women who obviously work for the joy of cooking. It was extremely refreshing to see that.

Most of its business comes from the lunch rush, seeing as its operation hours are 10:30 to 4:30, Monday through Friday. Whereas most restaurants would want to capitalize on big profit days such as Friday dinner and Saturday lunch rush, it’s evident that the Torres management cooks for the love of food and family run business.

There were some drawbacks, however, to the experience. In the words of Jack, “This is not a restaurant that you go to for any comfortable experience. You go to try the food, and that’s about it.” First, we had to stand and wait for our food for about eight minutes. For our purposes, we had no issue, but I can imagine that if we arrived during peak business hours, that eight minutes could have easily turned into twenty or twenty five with no seating. Second, Torres does not have any “service” in the traditional sense, so we could not score it highly in this regard by definition.

Scores: 5.5 (Jack), 6.9 (Davis)

Setting (Jack)

Torres is the go-to place to quell any craving for authentic and delicious Mexican food. However, while its service is pretty good by convenience store standards, its setting is less than perfect by those same standards. For any teenager or construction worker, which make up the majority of Torres customers, the lack of seating and somewhat dingy appearance of the store is perfectly fine. The lack of “restaurant” at Torres isn’t at all a bad thing- in fact, it’s a part of the experience, and personally Davis and I both enjoyed the freedom of being able to relax in the car while reviewing the food. However, we would not recommend bringing your mother here for her birthday, unless she wants to eat her food in a car or out of a to-go bag. 

Conclusion (Both)

Time and time again, I will go back to Torres for the best burrito in Charleston and ease of experience. Once you are able to get over the wait times and location, it will surely be cemented as a staple in any Charleston diet. 

To conclude, I would like to highlight one of Jack’s quotes during our lunch. 

“This is the best Mexican food I’ve ever had in my life. I literally cannot think of a place where I’ve had better Mexican.”

Overall: 6.47 (Jack), 6.9 (Davis)(Nice)