Velvet Taco's Cuban Taco Comes Up Short

Velvet Taco can be a lifesaver if you attend a lot of concerts, crash a lot of parties or indulge in any other number of activities that that can push you dinner hour close to midnight. An increasing number of restaurants have been keeping later hours in Dallas, but Velvet Taco's allure remains its relative cheapness and usually speedy service.

I say "usually" because my last few meals have been lengthy ones, and the restaurant seems prone to meltdowns. On a recent Sunday I watched as service ground to a halt over a series of repeated disappointing announcements. "We're out of flour and blue corn tortillas," belted a voice on an intercom a few minutes before it saddened low-carb fans. "We are out of lettuce wraps, flour and blue corn tortillas," the voice added. A few tacos later the gears ground completely to a halt. "We are sorry to inform you that we'll be closing early this evening," the voice said to groans from the line. How does a taqueria completely run out of tortillas?

I came back another night because the Cuban Pig haunted me from that failed visit. I have an unhealthy obsession with all things Cubano. The sandwich in taco form was alluring, and on my second visit I came face to face with it.

The Pig involves slathering a flour tortilla with whole grain mustard, and adding pulled roast pork, thinly shaved ham, bacon, pickles and grated Swiss cheese. The ingredients were fine enough, but the taco lacked the cohesion of an exemplary Cuban Sandwich. The solution is obvious: add another flour tortilla, a little more cheese and the weight of a press and these flavors would meld nicely. That and perhaps deliver it a bit more quickly. The line at Velvet Taco moves like the sun across the sky.

Velvet Tacos has locations in Dallas, Fort Worth and Chicago. A new location is slated to open soon in Houston.

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