What’s better than chicken tikka in a taco?

Photo by Kathy Tran

Chicken tikka, shrimp ’n’ grits, Nashville hot chicken, fish and chips, chicken and waffles, Monte Cristo. These are just a few of the dishes that inspire Chef Grant Morgan at Velvet Taco. The late-night spot proves any dish can be turned into a taco. Except maybe soup. But it wouldn’t be surprising if Morgan made that work, too. He put grits in a taco for goodness sake. 

Every week he creates a weekly taco feature, a “WTF.” It allows him to stay on top of food trends and try them out taco-style. 

“I’ve seen caviar as a garnish in a lot of fine dining restaurants lately, so last week we had a baja taco with caviar,” Morgan says. 

Morgan’s favorite WTF? A char siu pork taco with crispy, puffed rice. But a close second is the fried alligator taco on a hibiscus tortilla. He says the most underrated taco on the menu is the shrimp ‘n’ grits. His favorite taco, surprisingly, isn’t the fan-favorite chicken tikka. 

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“The No. 12, the brisket is my favorite,” Morgan says. “It’s the cheese-crusted flour tortilla with the slow-roasted brisket. It has chili-mayo and avocado relish. It’s good.”

For Velvet Taco, becoming a part of the community is important. They rent existing spaces so each location fits in with the neighborhood. The Greenville location is much bigger inside and has a drive-thru window for people who order online. The restaurant’s food and beer selections are locally sourced. Velvet Taco won’t expand to just any old neighborhood either, so if there’s a location near you, it’s a compliment. 

They are in no hurry to grow up either. 

“Even though we are starting to get bigger, we want to feel small and do small stuff, which is the big stuff.”

Back door chicken

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While taco is king, it may surprise people to know Velvet Taco has a great meal deal available. All you have to do is knock on the back door. OK, so the Henderson location is the only one that will actually come to the back door, but you can still order it in the drive-thru on Greenville. For $20 you can take home a whole rotisserie chicken, a side of elote, a stack of tortillas, pico and heat sauce. On Monday it’s $10, but come early because they sell out by 7 p.m.

Velvet Taco

4622 Greenville Ave.

Hours: Monday – Wednesday: 11-1 a.m.

Thursday: 11-3 a.m.

Friday: 11-4 a.m.

Saturday: 10-4 a.m.

Sunday: 10-1 a.m.

velvettaco.com

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