Mixed fillings

San Antonio rolls out red carpet for first location of funky Dallas taco chain

San Antonio rolls out red carpet for new location of Dallas taco chain

Velvet Taco Austin Domain Northside
Velvet Taco's fusion tacos use an array of globally inspired ingredients. Photo courtesy of Velvet Taco

A new school taco joint specializing in global flavors will soon take over the former site of Viva Tacoland near the Pearl. On July 17, developers Reata Real Estate announced in a release that Velvet Taco would be moving into the space in early 2020.

The announcement marks a quick turnaround for Viva Tacoland’s 103 E. Grayson St. site. That concept, a controversial revival of legendary punk venue Taco Land, shuttered in late April after more than four years in business.

Fast casual chain Velvet Taco will still serve tacos, but the menu is a sharp departure from Viva Tacoland’s more traditional fare. The Dallas-based company specializes in fusion, drawing on culinary traditions from Cuba, India, Korea, and more.

The menu is divided by proteins like beef, chicken, and fish. Meatier options include spicy tikka chicken with tenders, buttered cilantro rice, Thai basil, and raita cream; Korean pork with kimchee slaw, pickled Fresno peppers, and cilantro; and ahi poke with sesame soy vinaigrette.

Vegetarian options incorporate Nashville hot tofu with house pickles; fried paneer with tomato chutney and tikka sauce; and falafel with tahini crema, pickled red onion, pea tendrils, and avocado in a lettuce wrap.

The all-day brunch and sides menu is equally eclectic. Southern stapes like chicken and waffles join elotes-style corn; red curry queso; and tots loaded with herb goat cheese, smoked cheddar, peppered bacon, and local eggs.

Velvet Taco also has a full beverage program with “kick-ass” margaritas, a selection of local beer, and craft sodas for non-imbibers.

Since first opening a Dallas store in 2011, Velvet Taco has rapidly grown in the Dallas-Fort Worth area, while also expanding to Houston, Austin, and Chicago. The Grayson Street outpost will be the first for Alamo City.