Velvet Taco and The Chopping Block

As usual, there’s only one excuse for not blogging in three+ days (Saturday and Sunday count as one day, by the way): I was too busy living to write about living.

I feel like I didn’t sit still this entire weekend, which is always a welcome feeling (unless, of course, you’re doing things you don’t want to do. I don’t let this happen too often, however, so usually when I’m “busy,” I’m busy doing fun things. It’s a nice problem to have). Ever since I made a conscious decision to be a “yes” person, my days and nights have become filled with one adventure after the other. So what have you guys been up to these last few days? You all feel like strangers to me. Let’s change that.

On Thursday night I met my mom for dinner at Velvet Taco, a new taco joint located just around the corner from where I work. I’ve been wanting to go for awhile now and luckily she agreed to be my date.

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YOU GUYS.

This place is the BOMB.

I tried two tacos: The WTF Special (lobster salad, avocado, sea salt and arugula) and the Tikka Chicken. The Lobster was pretty freaking delicious but the Tikka Chicken was out of this world. Crispy chicken smothered in spicy pepper sauce, buttered cilantro basmanti rice, raita crema and thai basil. It took me to the moon and back. I’m in love.

Afterwards I met Colleen for drinks at Havana, a Cuban hot spot located downtown. Margaritas ensued – always a great idea.

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Pretty soon we met up with Spencer and a few other friends at the House of Blues to see one of our favorite high school bands. You know the kind. The ones whose songs come on your “Best of the 2000s” Pandora playlist and immediately transport you to that Friday night when you were about to get your first kiss and had a container of Vaseline in your coat pocket (not Chapstick, no, you weren’t cool enough for that) that you kept frantically putting on because you were so nervous (that’s not a true story or anything…..) But yeah. We saw Motion City Soundtrack.

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We also clearly got the most sober person in the room to take our photo:

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Friday was a pretty chill day and night — I went in to the store and then I got to see my college girlfriends who I realized I hadn’t seen in a month (!!!!). Never letting that happen again. Time can slip away from you if you’re not careful.

Saturday I woke up bright and early for a yoga sculpt class at CorePower. I know I’ve said it before but if you’re in the area and can get into Ariel’s class, do yourself a favor and get there. It makes my weekend.

That afternoon my dad came into town and we headed to The Chopping Block for a knife skills class!

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I’ve been trying to go to this class for more than a year. My brother got me tickets for Christmas LAST year and I ended up cancelling at the last minute. Thankfully time flies, and this year I managed to clear my grueling schedule for a few hours to take this fun class with my dad.

It’s no surprise that just being in an ornate kitchen for a few hours was paradise for me. And at the end of the day, even though the class itself wasn’t revolutionary, I learned how to properly chop an onion so I’m calling it a success.

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Sunday I somehow convinced more people to go back to Velvet Taco with me because once I get a restaurant stuck in my brain, I go there waaaaaaaay too many times until I’m sick of it and can never go back. Also, you know you’ve been someplace too many times in one week when the manager comes up to your table and when you introduce yourself, he mentions how he recognizes you from the “many” times you’ve been in. Yiiiikes.

It was a blast of a night. I met and chatted with some of the staff and ended up spending the better part of three hours there. It’s such a warm, welcoming spot that I felt so comfortable just hanging out with my friends there after work. This time around I tried the fish taco and buffalo chicken taco and was once again not disappointed. That Tikka Chicken still holds the #1 spot in my heart, though. And because I couldn’t possibly love them more, the kind managers treated us to two orders of their signature tater tots as well as their homemade red velvet cake. Shoutout to Cory and Rory for making it their personal mission to make sure their local lululemon girls won’t fit into their yoga pants come June.

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I’m really excited for this week! Tomorrow is the first day of the Girls on the Run season so I’ll be meeting my girls. I’m also starting a new fitness challenge for the month of March that I can’t wait to share with you. Let’s just say, good thing I fueled with those tots. It’s gonna be a burner.

Questions:

  • Tacos: what’s your favorite kind?
  • What was your favorite band in high school?
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47 comments

  1. You had better still be obsessed with this restaurant when I come- It looks insane!!! I love chicken tikka sandwiches (I have a recipe for the upcoming ebook) but never thought to taco it WITH rice.

    Please teach me the onion cutting ways. I still cry all the damn time ha.

  2. I would love to take a chopping class (or any kind of cooking class) and I’m pretty sure I have been chopping onions wrong my entire life!
    Sounds like a great weekend! The ones where you are too busy to blog about them are usually the best ones:)

  3. Wow I would love to do a knife skills class! Although I think my problem lies in my knives not being sharp enough rather than my actually slicing and chopping! And then when they are sharp enough I slice my hand… Sigh!
    And I am so with you on living life coming first. Last week I was so busy and tired I only blogged twice, but I know it was the right thing for me, the other factors in my life and simply spending some time with David relaxing!

    1. That’s basically what the instructor kept saying haha — that it’s all about sharp knives. I’m glad you’re on the same page with me about skipping blogging — can’t wait to catch up on your life though!

  4. I so need to go to a chopping skills class because I’m always terrified I’m going to slice my fingers off whenever I attempt to chop something. I probably need to invest in some real chopping knives, but then I always end up seeing cute clothes and figuring my money is better spent on that.

    1. I’m STILL nervous about it haha but I’m getting better at “the claw” aka pointing your knuckles down.The real key is investing in sharp knives, unfortunately. And sadly I’d rather spend money on the actual food, not the knives.

  5. THOSE TACOS…they look and sound so good. I’m glad you’ve been the good kind of busy–that’s the best kind. Ohhhhh and I used to love Motion City Soundtrack haha brings me back to my middle school days.  

  6. That’s really mean of you to post about amazing tacos and margaritas on a Monday while I’m stuck at work unable to get either. If I had to pick one, give me a pitcher of alcohol please.

  7. I NEED to try this taco place. We must go there.

    I have always wanted to take a knife skills class! So cool. My cutting has gotten better, but I am sure Im still doing things wrong. You will have to teach me your ways samurai.

  8. I read a review of Velvet Taco in the RedEye just last week — now, I read these reviews every single week, and I cannot recall any restaurant off the top of my head that got four stars (out of four). But Velvet Taco did. I figure that place must be super legit. I’m not really a taco person, but I have to admit I’m very intrigued. I’m ALSO intrigued by this knife skills class. My knife “skills” look like “this item of cutlery is sharp, and this food is hard. Hopefully if I put the two together, I’ll end up with small pieces.” Hahaha. It’s a nightmare. I don’t have a clue when to use what knife, never mind what to do with said knife once I get to choppin’. I’ll have to look into that!

    1. I read that review too and I was so thrilled they got 4 stars! It’s not authentic Mexican tacos it’s so Americanized that I bet you’d find something you like even though you’re not a huge taco person. The knife skills class, on the other hand? Idk. I’d say spend the $50 on a really good knife and then YouTube the skills haha. I hate to say it but it’s kinda true….

  9. too busy living to write about living = my life lately! glad we are doing the whole “loving our lives” thing. 🙂 my fave kind of taco is def a grilled fish taco w/ pico & guac. YUM.

  10. Omg, what a weekend!! The tacos!!! YUM YUM!!!! I love tacos!!! So delicious! Also, what a cool class and name- The Chopping Block!! That sounds like a class I’d love!! You gave me great inspiration!! Thanks!! Also, you look absolutely fabulous!!! So so so pretty!! What a fun weekend!!! XOXO

  11. I love that you are a “yes” person! That’s so fun and more memories are made (margarita memories = bliss!) My favorite taco is a waffle taco. It was stuffed with fruit, chocolate and cream. It was SO GOOD! I have a favorite Mexican place next door to me…the owner and I are tight, I have my own burrito lol
    My favorite band is HS was Boys Like Girls hahaha

    1. I’ve heard of waffle tacos but never had one! That sounds awesome!! It’s my dream to one day have my own burrito or sandwich at a local shop. You’re living the dream. BOYS LIKE GIRLS!!! Another favorite. Haha ohhh memories.

  12. My favorite kind of tacos are whatever you just posted a picture of up there. I don’t even need to try those to know that they are amazing. Holy moly I wish we had place like that here! (I also love fish tacos and shrimp tacos the most usually.)
    So cool that you got to take a knife skills class! I would probably injure myself in some way. What a fun weekend. 🙂

  13. I have yet to ever take a cooking class! I NEED TO though because they seem so fun and you get to EAT at the end! he he he! I will prob fail though cause I would eat all the ingredients before cooking! 😉

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