Not Your Ordinary Taco

With an imaginative selection of toppings and made-from-scratch philosophy, Chef John Franke brings a fresh take to West 7th residents at Velvet Taco.

Velvet Taco makes its own tortillas and slow roasts its corn, pork and chicken. Tacos are served a la carte.

| by Jessica Llanes | photography by Alex Lepe | It’s been almost a year since Velvet Taco took over the space once occupied by The Gold Standard. While we miss the atmosphere of the dark and smoky dive bar, we love the exposed beam ceiling, polished concrete and stainless steel décor in the new space.

Opening a taco diner in an already saturated Fort Worth market may seem risky, but Velvet Taco makes its own tortillas and slow roasts its corn, pork and chicken. Open for lunch and dinner, seven days a week, the eatery is unpretentious and small, but what it lacks in size, it more than makes up for in flavor.

Tacos are served a la carte and cost $3 - $6 each. Most diners will want at least two as a meal. The menu is organized by main ingredient: beef, chicken and pork, plus breakfast, vegetarian and seafood options.

Diners can choose traditional favorites, such as rotisserie chicken with smoked poblano salsa and corn pico or grilled flank steak with red onion and queso. But what sets Velvet Taco apart are the more offbeat offerings. Fried paneer with tomato chutney and raita crema, chicken tikka with basmati rice, and a Cuban taco with slow-roasted pork, shaved ham and house-brined pickles are worthwhile picks.

For seafood lovers, the fried oyster taco with Napa slaw and remoulade is surprisingly light and delicious. For $20 you can get the “backdoor chicken,” a whole rotisserie chicken, sides, tortillas and toppings to go.

Sides are limited, and traditional beans and rice aren’t available. However, diners won’t be disappointed with the garlicky-lemon roasted potatoes ($3.75) and elote-style rotisserie corn topped with queso fresco, hot sauce and lime ($3.75). Our favorite side is the crispy tots covered in bacon, smoked cheddar and herbed goat cheese, then topped with a fried egg ($5.25).

Only one dessert is available, but it’s a must-try. Slabs of classic red velvet cake with cream cheese frosting are drizzled with dulce de leche ($3.25).

A small parking lot is available for patrons, but parking can be difficult during high-traffic hours. Lunchtime is crowded, but the energy is lively. The atmosphere is more subdued late night, and we easily found a table on the cozy, enclosed patio to enjoy a cold beverage and people-watch under the soft curtained glow of string lights.

Location: 2700 W. 7th St., Fort Worth 76107
For Info Call: 817.887.9810
Price Range: $
Hours: Mon.-Wed. 11 a.m.-11 p.m., Thur. 11 a.m.-1 a.m., Fri. 11 a.m.-3 a.m., Sat. 9 a.m.-3 a.m., Sun. 9 a.m.-11 p.m.
What We Like: With service until 1 a.m. on Thursday and 3 a.m. on Friday and Saturday, it’s a great alternative to fast food after a pub crawl or late show. And you can order takeout online.
What We Don’t: The slow-roasted chicken and pork are tender perfection at lunch but may be a little dried out when dining late.
Our Recommendation: Don’t be afraid to try more unconventional tacos.