- Smokin Joe
Velvet Taco Review
Very recently, I had a chance to visit Velvet Taco, a Dallas (SPIT!!!) import that has made a great home on Washington Avenue and is serving Tacos that aren’t the usual type by any stretch of the imagination. But first, some background from their website:
“Okay… so our taco may not really change the entire world but it’s pretty freakin’ great. Maybe it just brings a little happiness to the world and that changes the world a little every day. PS – Cool things about the world inside Velvet Taco: we make our own tortillas, slow roast our own chicken and corn, and make everything from scratch which makes our food taste really awesome. We use fresh fruit and sorbets in our margaritas and sangrias… also awesome. Oh and we recycle. Come in and see us.”
First up folks, these are NOT your usual tacos. Seriously—I’ve never before seen a Buffalo Chicken, an Israeli Cous-Cous or a Fried Paneer taco before. Still, the idea is quite a good one from where I sit. However, a great concept isn’t enough. Without great taste, it’s all talk and no action. Thankfully, I was able to sample a nice cross section of their tacos on this particular day and it turned out, Velvet Taco is the real deal. I tried one of each of the following: 1-Buffalo Chicken (Crisp tenders spun in House Buffalo Sauce, Danish Bleu Cheese, Ranch Cream, carrot shavings and celery leaves, all wrapped in a house-made flour tortilla); 7-Cuban Pig (Gruyere cheese, slow roasted pulled pork, shaved ham, peppered bacon, grain mustard, house brined pickle chips, on a crisp flour tortilla); 10-Texas Burger (Peppered bacon, smoked cheddar, lettuce, tomato, pickle and velvet sauce on a flour tortilla); and Shrimp & Grits (Creole Mayo, blackened shrimp, crispy pepper jack cheese grits nuggets, charred tomato poblano salsa and micro cilantro, on a corn tortilla). Clearly the folks at Velvet Taco put a lot of thought into taking other familiar favourites and turned them in to Taco versions of themselves. Again, a GREAT CONCEPT, really thinking out of the box.
When it came to taste, these tacos delivered in good measure. The Buffalo Chicken had that hot vinegar sauce you’d expect from Buffalo wings, and the pungent bleu cheese mixed with the creamy ranch, carrot straws and celery leaves gave the essence of eating hot and spicy buffalo wings, but all wrapped up in a flour tortilla. The Shrimp & Grits Taco was spicy, crunchy and conveyed that Southern Gulf Coast Treat well—and it seems that yes indeed, Shrimp ‘n Grits has become a THANG here in Houston. Not complaining here at all. The Texas Burger Taco tasted like a burger all right–the Velvet sauce reminded me a bit of the special sauce at In-n-Out Burger actually. And the Cuban pig, while getting the cheese, pork and pickles dead on, needed a bit more mustard, but was very good otherwise.
In other words, not the stereotypical deconstruction of dishes many chefs like to do. But rather more of a repackaging in the smaller bite taco format. Very delicious, very creative and very appealing to this guy here! Of course they have other great tacos I didn’t get to try on their menu at this writing, however, I will take that on soon for sure! I also saw several folks enjoying their Rotisserie Corn and the Crisp Tots with a fried Local Egg. Next time I will order fewer tacos so I can try those two sides. I also want to try their Red Velvet Cake (aka Red Velvet Home Slice). And for you breakfast taco lovers, they serve Egg Tacos all day long. What could be better! Oh, and they are open late nights on Friday and Saturday for the after the bars close crowd too!
Velvet Taco is located at: 4819 Washington Ave; Near Durham/Shepherd; Houston, TX 77007. Phone: 832-834-5908. Hours of Operation: Sun-Wed: 11 AM to Midnight; Thurs: 11 AM to 2 AM; Fri-Sat: 11 AM to 4 AM next day.
Eat Happy, Y’all!!! 吃得开心!!! Hank