About 9 months ago Gary and I were cooking a charity dinner for some friends and a group of their friends, which included the main brain powers behind the newly opened taco spot on Henderson Ave. Over the course of dinner the conversation turned to the up and coming venture the group was starting, an updated taco stand in the space that used to be a chicken shack. The group was trying to nail down a name…and after lots of wine and a lively brainstorm the group came up with “Velvet Taco.” There were lots of Elvis references, and a few others that your mind can wonder on, but the name was born and the concept opened their doors just days ago.
We went the other night with the same group before a 100 degree Ranger game and found it tough to leave. All fresh ingredients, made to order (tortillas are hand pressed to each order), for a great price. The menu is smart, with easy to grasp combos, that are still interesting and very flavorful. Nothing is processed, so even a crispy fried oyster taco in a corn tortilla with a fennel, Napa cabbage and radish salad and smoked chili butter was light and packed with flavor. Gary often comments that anything would be better with chorizo on it, so imagine his delight with the chorizo, egg and pepper-jack taco with serrano-ranchero salsa and refried beans. My favorite, a raw Ahi poke in a lettuce wrap with avocado, watermelon radish and a ginger-soy vinaigrette. There isn’t a taco on the menu priced over $4.50, and most drinks are $5 or less.
Only one side at Velvet Taco, a creamy, spicy, decadent cup of rotisserie roasted corn, off the cob with queso fresco, asadero and lime. If you are up for dessert the Red Velvet cake, though not Mexican, is an understandable, and super moist, option. Drinks are easy too, red or white sangria, a margarita, a few beers or soft drinks at the soda fountain. If you prefer a bottle of something grab a beer, Gatorade or refreshing coconut water.
The whole thing just feels so right. Though a fast food joint, it is well thought through, fresh and so good. Can’t wait to see what is next from this group!