A couple weeks ago, my roommate told me something that would change my life forever: “I had thee legit best tacos in the world last night…oh, and by the way, I had tots that had an EGG on them.”
Naturally, we went there for dinner that night. She didn’t care that she had just been there less than 24 hours prior; they were THAT good. The place was called Velvet Taco, a cute joint with a simple concept: make bomb tacos. Upon arriving there, I realized the food was nothing short of velvety goodness. The tacos were eclectic and unique, and some of the ingredients sounded more complicated than the words in my anatomy textbook. I was OK with not being able to pronounce them, as long as I could taste them.
The first thing I saw when I walked in was about 10-12 rotisserie chickens spinning in perfect harmony. Apparently, the rotisserie chicken is one of their signature ingredients. I decided to give it a whirl and order their rotisserie chicken taco (which, by the way, came fully equipped with white queso.) I also got a shrimp taco, complete with crispy pepper jack cheese grits- fried together to make a popper, which I devoured shamelessly in a matter of seconds. Can you blame me? Food this good should not be allowed to exist.
Then came the tots (described courtesy of Velvet Taco’s menu): “crisp tots & local egg, herbed goat cheese, smoked cheddar, avocado cream, bacon.” When a poor college kid is willing to pay $5.50 for some tots and a fried egg, you know they’re sumthin’ special.
And because we were not yet full enough after our taco escapade, we decided to walk to Amorino for dessert… one can always make room for gelato. Honestly, I’ve never felt more overwhelmed with choices than I did there. The person on my right shoulder told me to order the hazelnut with bits of Nutella (YES, NUTELLA) folded in it, while the person on my left shoulder told me to get the dark chocolate with dark chocolate bits. This was going on internally when the lady at the counter then told me I could get as many flavors as I wanted on one cone. ‘Nuff said.
Meanwhile, in the case chillin’ next to the gelato was a rainbow of macaroons. Was I dreaming? Pure finesse left the spatulas of these gelato artists and ended up on the cone in the shape of a flower. I was delighted to be eating something that looked as wonderful and delicate as it tasted. Next time I might order flavors depending on which color combos make the prettiest flower treat.
As we rolled to the CTA Green Line, we crunched the last bits of our sugar cones (which were delicious by the way) and were already planning the next time we would make another Velvet Taco/ Amorino trip. At one point, we considered pitching a tent next to Velvet Taco… but we decided that would be too weird.
These two examples barely scratch the surface of what the city of Chicago has to offer in terms of unique eats, but if you’re like me, a good taco is enough to make you want to find out.