Velvet Taco Is Open For Business, the Purity in Your Taco-Loving Heart Be Damned

Categories: First Look

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Chicken and Texas burger tacos
The hours are somewhat mushy, but this weekend things should be in full swing at the new Velvet Taco (3012 North Henderson), and the "open really late" line stamped on their black and yellow sign will finally ring true.

This ain't no Texas taco. The menu details twenty options, and not a single item fits into traditional convention. The customer in front of me had questions about several ingredients. I had a few as well.

"What's a Kumato?" It's a greenish-red heirloom tomato. The diced fruit accompanies American cheese, apple-wood bacon, lettuce, onion, pickles and a velvet sauce, all in a menu item coined the Texas Burger. The "taco" sports a perfectly cooked beef patty and everything else you'd expect, but it's served on a flour tortilla instead of a bun.

Try the #1. It's got rotisserie chicken, queso fresco, onion chutney, pickled chiles, and pea tendrils in a hand-made corn tortilla. Or the #8, with roasted pulled pork, thai basil (mine had sweet basil last night), grilled pineapple-habanero salsa and barbecue sauce. Vegetarians have three options including mushroom, egg, and an Indian themed paneer taco with raita and chutney.

When I first wrote about elotes a commenter criticized me for "immediately thinking of ways to ways to white it up." But it wasn't just me: Velvet's version sports roasted corn, mayo, lime and plenty of melted queso fresco. It's good, and costs $2.75 -- a quarter less than the humble version I tried from a cart on Maple Avenue.

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Elotes for whitey
There are two tribes in the world of tacos. There are steadfast purists who prefer things simple, who value well-cooked, well-seasoned meat inside a double corn tortilla with some onions for crunch, cilantro for pungency, and perhaps some hot sauce for a little extra heat. And then there's the rest of us, the hungry and curious, who don't mind as much when Taquerías push against the arc of taco evolution, or even think outside the curve. (Just don't "think outside the bun." That's just gross.)

If you're a purist, you should probably move along, but if you're open minded, Velvet Taco completely obliterates taco convention. Say what you want, but don't argue the ingredients are inferior here. Everything tastes fresh and of high quality. Four-fifty may seem like a lot for a taco (cheaper versions start at $2.50) but you get a lot of food for your money. I couldn't finish three.

When I spoke to co-owner Mark Brezinski last week to ask about an opening date, he referred to the restaurant as a "prototype." The description lacked soul but indicated larger aspirations. Watch out Fuzzy. Velvet Taco is coming.

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4 comments
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LawyerDallas
LawyerDallas

I've been several times and the flavors are nice.  I went today and had 2 tacos and a side of corn - it was over 12 bucks.  I looked at my receipt and the prices didn't match up.   A man in a white chef's jacket was there and I asked him why the prices on my receipt didn't match the menu - he said it was a 'green tax' for getting take out.  He offered to take it off, but I suggested I'd rather it not be charged in the first place.   Take out consistes of a piece of paper wrapping the already pricey taco and a paper box that multiple tacos go into.  Is their food cost so tight that they can't absorb the 5 or 10 cents per take out order?  Is this money going directly to DC?  Is it politically motivated?  This aint Austin.  I don't know why it rubs me the wrong way.  If these tacos were .60 cents and they needed the money to not lose money on a styrofoam box, hey I get it.  BUT, a green tax?  REALLY?  In all my days in the restaurant business, it's been the attitude that take out business is a BONUS.  That allows your shop to sell more than the limits of the numbers of seats that can be sat in at any one time.  Seems that VT wants to discourage it's local folks from dropping in and scampering out after a few minutes with some paper filled with tasty, but over priced tacos by charging us MORE than if we took up space in their place and et them there. 

Lauren A
Lauren A

I guess I'm a purist, because I prefer simple tacos like the kind they sell at taco stands in Mexico - flour tortilla, carne asada, onions, and that crumbly white cheese I always forget the name of. I ordered the #2 Rotisserie Chicken taco at Velvet and wasn't disappointed, but wasn't too impressed either. I'm excited to go back and try more, but ordering makes me nervous because I don't know what half of the ingredients on the menu are... and I don't like surprises.

Nogo
Nogo

As a Henderson resident and taco lover, I couldn't have been more excited when I saw the Velvet Taco sign. Especially since Tacos y Mas has been slacking lately. Finally Dallas might have a decent taco joint! To my dismay, Velvet Taco is a complete disappointment to say the least! It's well worth the 50/50 chance Tacos y Mas will be up to par or well worth the drive to Torchy's to avoid this place. Currently open 4-11? Last place I'd go for a decent, even drive thru worthy dinner and definitely doesn't qualify as late night. What a joke!

LesliO
LesliO

Tin Star has been doing a cheeseburger taco for years. Nothing new there.

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