I had the occasion to be in Dallas Sunday for a concert by Ladysmith Black Mambazo, sponsored by AT&T. Before the show, Sarah Smith and I stopped at the new Jake's Burgers on Henderson Avenue, near downtown.
I'd been hearing about Jake's for a while and since Sarah and I weren't really in the mood for a fancy feast, we decided to give the 20-year old chain a try.
Sarah and I both ordered the number 1 single meat hamburgers with cheese. I got mine with chili. She ordered hers with onion rings, while I opted for crinkle cut sweet potato fries.
We also ordered Dos Equis, which was delivered ice-berg cold in huge steemed glasses.
We should have stopped at the beer.
The meat in my burger had no texture. It was as if the flat top/grill wasn't hot enough to give the outside a good searing. In fact, it was plain mushy. The bun was not toasted, either. While the chili was passable, it was not enough to save the day.
Sarah's onion rings, while tasty, were also mushy ... and greasy ... again, an indication that the grease wasn't hot enough.
There was redemption, however, in the Chocolate Brownie Bites, 6 delicious morsels of fried brownie with a molten chocolate inside, sprinkled with powdered sugar. Yum-o.
For more locations and information about Jake's, click here.
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After the show, Sarah and I headed up Central Expressway to the Knox/Henderson exit to check out The Velvet Taco, a new place run by Mark Brezinski, former owner of the Bengal Coast.
Here's a link to The Velvet Taco's website. Like the place itself, it's kinda small when it comes to space, but let me assure you, the menu offers up a HUGE array of flavors.
Located in a former Church's Chicken drive through, the Velvet Taco offers mouth-watering options like the #16 ... a grilled shrimp adobo taco with applewood bacon, roast corn-avacado pico, epazote, ariracha aioli in and corn tortilla at $4.75. The vegas in your crowd will love the #5 a lettuce wrap filled with wild mushroom, herbed goat cheese, onion chuntey, sunflower sprouts and celery leaves, which runs $3.50.
There are also options for chicken lovers, pork and beef eaters, and those who like their tacos filled with offerings from the water.
Luis Noble, our photographer, favors the breakfast tacos like #18 with applewood bacon, egg, cheddar potatoes, smoked chili butter and mustard greens for $2.75, along with the #20, the grilled flank steak, egg, herb goat cheese potatoes, argulua and pico.
He also likes the #6, a pan scrambled fritatta, complete with queso blanco, wild mushrooms, pea tendrils, roast tomato chutney served in a corn tortilla.
We didn't try the rotisseries corn ($3.50) side or the whole rotisserie chicken dinner ($20), but that just gives us a reason to go back. Several people in the 43-seat dining area said the corn was "amazing." Next time, Sarah and I plan to arrive hungry and sample several options.
I'll be a frequent visitor to The Velvet Taco ... for several reasons. They're open all night on the weekends, which makes it the perfect place to go after a show in the arts district. Their menu won't bust your budget - as long as you stay away from the canned drinks, which are $2.50 each! The two items we had were so full of flavor and goodness it would be hard to pass up an opportunity to pick up a bite on the way home!
Of course, The Velvet Taco has red velvet cake, but we decided to try that another time. They also serve Margaritas and sangrias, but oddly, didn't have any coffee at 10:30 on a Sunday night.
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