The Perfect Midnight Snack: Velvet Taco's Red Velvet Cake

Mo' velvety than an Elvis painting.
Mo' velvety than an Elvis painting.
Kellie Reynolds

It's midnight on Saturday night and you've been out on the town getting likkered up. You're not ready for the night to end, so where do you go? You could swing by the Taco Bell drive-thru, but you'd probably regret that decision in the morning. Plus, they don't have beer. Or cake.

Velvet Taco, my friend, has both.

Pop in, and one of the first things you'll notice is the drink cooler. If you have the foresight to get to work on your hangover prevention, you could get a Pellegrino. If you're really committed, you could pick up a kombucha tea -- some people swear by the stuff to ward off day-after-drinking agony. Personally, I'd rather endure the splitting headache than drink kombucha. Instead, I grope blindly from a lottery of beer cans at the bottom of the cooler and end up with Deep Ellum Brewery's Dream Crusher. This should keep the party going for a while.

Its inscription: "Not for the faint of hops."
Its inscription: "Not for the faint of hops."
Kellie Reynolds

You probably already know this place as a great late-night hangout. They're open until 4 a.m., and you can get a quick bite without sacrificing quality. It's casual, with kind of a garage-y feel. The place is packed but the line moves fast and no one seems to stay long -- it's a stop-over place, largely for people in fancy shoes before or after going to a fancy place. The barstools lining the window stay warm, left vacant only long enough for the table to get wiped down.

You may also remember Velvet Taco for how pissed off taco purists were when they first opened. On the menu, you'll find a lot of unexpected ways to fill a tortilla (fried chicken skin and potato salad, anyone?). What no one seems to talk about, though, is their red velvet cake.

Can we all just agree to pretend that cake is a widely-known hangover cure? Because it's just that good. Unlike some red velvet I've tried, the taste of the food coloring doesn't get in the way. They give you a big hunk of super-moist, double-layered cake with cream cheese frosting, stab it with a weird sporky utensil, and nestle in a tiny tub of sweetened condensed milk so you can dress it up how you like it. Taco purists may be irate, but as a cake purist, I am perfectly content. If there's anything better than a slice of this at the end of a Saturday night, I don't want to know about it. Because it will destroy me.

I sat by the long window for a while, watching the traffic lights change and nursing my Dream Crusher, before I took the plunge. I had been eyeing the cake case since I arrived. I nervously watched the cake supply dwindle from three slices to just one as I stood in line, convinced it was going to slip from my grasp. I made it to the cashier just in time. "Yes! I got the last piece of cake!" I told him.

"Oh, no," he laughed. "There's lots more in the kitchen."

Way to crush a dream, man. Way to crush a dream


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