Nashville Reviews: Velvet Taco

Grab some tacos from Velvet Taco with Stoney Keeley on the latest installment of 'Nashville Reviews' here!

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It was a chilly Sunday evening in Nashville, Tennessee. The wife and I were about to make our way over to Bridgestone Arena for a show, and were kicking around dinner ideas. Assembly Food Hall came up, and we thought we might be able to sneak in the back door to Velvet Taco and avoid the crowds we usually see up in that joint. Thankfully, we were right. No one was there (comparatively speaking, of course)! We were able to walk right up, order our food, and grab a table with a prime view of the projector so I could watch my Titans get obliterated by the Jags. It was a pleasant evening.

During the meal, some memories of my wedding night were replaying in my head. Relax, perverts – not the dirty kind. I could’ve sworn that we ended up at the Velvet Taco in midtown after our wedding reception. Sure enough, I was right. My wife confirmed this tidbit – I think her cousins even saw a man get knocked out in the middle of the street that night. I’d had a few gin and tonics and Kick’n It Coolers at Losers, so I wasn’t quite in the right state of mind to recall such events. I do vaguely remember housing a taco that someone brought back to us while sitting in our hotel room. Anyway, is Nashville low key a good taco city? Velvet Taco contributes a fine effort to the scene, but when I think about some of my favorites, I can think of quite a few good spots. It’s something to consider as we dig into this meal for this edition of Nashville Reviews on SoBros Network. For more on Velvet Taco, check out their website here.


Nashville hot chicken tacos (top) and the queso blanco (bottom)
Kobe smash burger taco (left) and slow-roasted angus brisket taco (right)
Red velvet cake with cream cheese frosting and cajeta drizzle.


Food: 6.87/10 – These tacos are loaded and all, but we’ll get to them in a minute. I want to start with what I honestly think is the best queso in Nashville. It’s a bold claim, I know. But, if you’ve been reading my Nashville Reviews series for awhile, keep in mind that I am a fan of “stuff” in my food. I like stuff that is heavily seasoned, and I love the combination of unique ingredients as opposed to keeping things basic. Velvet taco’s Queso blanco (queso with chimichurri, Velvet Taco heat sauce, and cilantro) is anything but basic. I loved the blend of tangy, herby chimichurri with the bite of the heat sauce with the rich creamy queso. I want to bathe in this stuff.

The Nashville hot chicken tacos were Velvet Taco’s special at the time, and they were pretty good. I wouldn’t stack it up with this city’s hot chicken heavyweights, but it was much better than some other spots. The fresh pickles were a nice touch and, along with the ranch, gave the taco a well-balanced flavor between heat, tang, and smooth. I found my brisket taco to be a tad dry and bland – the fresh toppings kept it from being an outright disaster. But, the kobe smash burger taco was a revelation. The beef was cooked to perfection, with just the slightest exterior crisp. It tasted like eating a burger cooked up at your favorite dive bar. I’ve had a few cheeseburger-inspired tacos in this city, but this one is king.

And, if tacos and queso aren’t enough to put you in a food coma, you can put your ass to sleep with the veritable brick that is the red velvet cake – a cinder block of moist, rich cake highlighted with cream cheese frosting and the sweet caramel drizzle. If you have a sweet tooth, this is the dessert for you. I’m not a big sweets guy at all, but even I couldn’t put the fork down with this one.

Booze: n/a (didn’t try any, but the margies looked good)

Atmosphere: 5/10 – I’m not the biggest fan of Assembly Hall or the whole ‘dining hall’ experience as a whole. I was thankful that it wasn’t all that crowded and I didn’t have to deal with the shoulder to shoulder crowds that I’ve experienced there in the past, but I’m not going to hold that against Velvet Taco too much. The midtown location is fun, although my memory of it is a bit foggy. Our service was fantastic and we received our food quickly.

Value: 7.5/10 – I asked my wife what she paid for this meal. I would’ve taken note myself, but I didn’t plan on reviewing it until after I had it and we snapped some photos of the meal. My bad, y’all. Her answer was, “I don’t know – $50?” That sounds about right from the math I was doing in my head, and for the amount of food we got, and factoring in that it was downtown Nashville, I’m calling that the best part of the meal.

Overall: 6.46/10 – Fresh ingredients are the hallmark of Velvet Taco, and it’s something I could taste in every bite. I loved the combination of flavors in each taco, and they were pretty large to boot. They are a solid effort in the Nashville taco scene, but the real MVPs of the meal were the queso, the red velvet cake, and the fact that we could get such a filling and satisfying meal without breaking the bank. Not too shabby, Velvet Taco.


  1. Audrey (8.82/10)
  2. Hathorne (8.62/10)
  3. Butcher & Bee (8.5/10)
  4. Nectar: Urban Cantina (8.44/10)
  5. Lockeland Table (8.31/10)

You can check out our full Nashville restaurant rankings here. I’m always looking for new spots to try – don’t be afraid to hit the comments with suggestions!

Stoney Keeley is the Editor in Chief of The SoBros Network, and a Dogs Playing Poker on velvet connoisseur. He is a strong supporter of Team GSD, #BeBetter, and ‘Minds right, asses tight.’ “Big Natural” covers the Tennessee Titans, Nashville, Yankee Candle, and a whole wealth of nonsense. Follow on Twitter @StoneyKeeley

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