The cars pile up on the Henderson Avenue funnel. For a moment, headlights bleed as far as down the street as I can see. From the Velvet Taco patio, which is full on a Wednesday night, speakers pulse with Michael Jackson’s “Somebody’s Watching Me.” Cars fight for parking nearby. Over the intercom, a voice calls out and makes most of the patio laugh: “Angela, come back for your cake!” There’s a line nearly out the door.
One of the best things you can do for yourself, with your head bobbing around like a buoy on a vodka ocean, is to stop into Velvet Taco for a bacon cheeseburger taco. Why does it work? Because the closer you get to zero dark thirty, the better cheeseburger tacos taste.
Late at night, the kitchen clangs and the griddle hisses. Why does street food always taste better when you can see the people making it? Tacos also seem to taste better when you devour them standing up.
Velvet’s cheeseburger taco works every time. An oblong strip of griddle-seared Texas akaushi beef, shaped ingeniously for a tortilla, with smoked cheddar, lettuce, onion, paper-thin dill pickle and a creamy, stupidly addictive “velvet” sauce. One bite in and you’ll hear a sound not unlike a bowling ball knocking down every pin.
On several runs, most of them late enough to soak up ample alcohol, my beef had a good sear and was genuine medium rare. Kudos to Velvet Taco for keeping a little bit of pink in my cheeseburger taco. The bacon adds good salt and is studded with enough black pepper to add depth. This is true Dallas hangover food.
Forget the Lemmon Avenue Taco Bell line. Velvet is open until 2 a.m. on the weekdays and 5 a.m. on weekends, which means that you can either A. Drop this taco in the mix with your multiple gin and tonics, which you know is a good decision, or B. Devour it as a burger breakfast before a long flight.
Because tacos, served fresh and late under the moonlight, with a good night breeze and neon splashing down, are always a good decision.
Velvet Taco, 3012 N Henderson Ave.
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