Food & Drink

January 7, 2014

Eats Beat: For new Velvet Taco in Fort Worth, the tortilla is just the beginning

The eccentric taqueria is the first of three major openings this month in the West Seventh Street corridor.

The first thing to know about the new Velvet Taco in Fort Worth is that it’s not a taco stand.

In the words of chef John Franke, “While ‘taco’ is 50 percent of the name, the only resemblance is that it’s served in a tortilla.”

Most restaurants would call the menu items “small plates,” except here the plate is the tortilla.

The most talked-about item is probably the chicken tikka taco with cilantro basmati, but the menu ranges from falafel tacos to fried oyster tacos, all served with a side of goat cheese-cheddar tots or roasted cream corn.

There’s also a traditional rotisserie chicken taco (No. 2 if you’re searching the menu) and bacon-and-egg or pork chilaquiles breakfast tacos, all for between $4 and $5.

The new West Seventh Street location, in a corner shop at Carroll Street that was originally built for Arby’s, is about the same size as the original Dallas location in a former fried-chicken stand.

Velvet Taco uses some seasonal, local ingredients and cooks with a chef’s touch, but it also keeps a working-class appeal with counter service, canned beer and recyclable sporks as tableware.

The Dallas location sells “back door chicken” dinners for $20, and Fort Worth matches that but from a side walk-up window on Carroll Street. A $20 bill buys a rotisserie chicken, two helpings of corn, tortillas and pico.

Velvet Taco is open for dinner now and soon for lunch and dinner daily: 2700 W. Seventh St., 817-887-9810,

• The long-awaited AF+B is scheduled to open this weekend after years of planning and weeks of test dinners and menu tinkering.

Social-media photos of preview dinners depict dishes from fried chicken to duck potpie and chili with cornbread croutons, along with lamb tartare, chorizo-wrapped Scotch eggs and a trout salad with grapefruit.

Chef Jeff Harris starred in Dallas at both Craft and Bolsa. Here, he joins forces with Fireside Pies owner Consilient Restaurants to premiere a new concept.

More on AF+B after the opening. It’s at 2869 Crockett St. at Currie Street; 817-916-5300,

• Also coming: Kona Grill will open Jan. 31 at 3028 Crockett St., on the west end of the block near University Drive and the Modern Art Museum.

That puts Kona’s opening squarely in the middle of the Stock Show and Rodeo. But you can oversee the goings-on from Kona’s rooftop patio;

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