Velvet Tacos, Ol’Days and The Causeway: 3 Short Reviews

Velvet Taco’s picnic chicken and Korean fried rice. Photo via velvettaco, Instagram.

When we moved into our 1950s ranch house here in SoWilMa I thought the galley kitchen was cute, but after a few months, I realized that the 5’ by 8’ space with about five square feet of counter space wasn’t going to cut it. As soon as we moved in, I began to save to expand the kitchen into what had been the screened-in porch that the previous owner had made into a family room adjacent to the kitchen. We started our renovation a few months ago.

If any of you have lived through a kitchen renovation then you know what kind of hell it can be, even when you are lucky enough to have the heavenly contractors that I have, there are still times when you can’t use your kitchen, so you end up eating take-out or going out to eat. That has resulted in my having dined at lots of places, but often quickly, so they don’t qualify for full-fledged reviews. Here are a few places I’ve grazed at lately.

Velvet Taco
305 S. Andrews, Fort Lauderdale

I didn’t know that this was a chain until we went there, but it certainly feels like one. Most of the locations are in Texas, with a few scattered about the southern U.S. The tacos are interesting and well-made, but a bit pricey, between $5-$7 per taco (and they ain’t big), a buck less for the veggie versions. Among the filling options are: chicken (Buffalo, spicy tikka, and a maple glaze served in a waffle tortilla), vegetarian (Nashville hot tofu, fried paneer, Mediterranean mushroom, and cauliflower), pork (Cuban style, Korean, and mojo), beef (Kobe smash burger, chimichurri steak, and Angus brisket) or fish (sweet Chile shrimp, salmon, beer battered cod, Mexi-Cali shrimp, or shrimp ceviche). Of the side dishes, brisket nachos are a steal at $7.95 and substantial enough to serve as a hearty meal. Soft drinks, wine, and cocktails are available.

200 E. Las Olas Blvd.

Another chain, although this one is a South American one. At first glance, you’d think it was just another coffee place, but it also offers sandwiches and entrées, although breakfast and brunch items are served all day. It is a full-service restaurant, and the servers are professional. We went for lunch, and I thoroughly enjoyed the short rib bun filled with juicy meat, the oiliness of which was cut through by pickled onions and fresh arugula. My hubby had a vegetarian quesadilla, and our friend Ed ordered a lomito, an Argentine sandwich made with grilled steak. It is a popular street food enjoyed across South America and comes with various toppings and condiments, such as melted cheese, ham, onions, mayonnaise, and fried eggs. It was delicious, rich, and messy.

The Causeway
28280 Old 41 Rd., Bonita Springs

We headed over to the West Coast to visit some old friends and grabbed lunch at The Causeway, which is numerous restaurants operating under one roof, and the remarkable thing is, that all their offerings are on one menu, so you just sit down, and order and your server figures out which order goes to which restaurant. Smithy's, Roast, and Orzo offer burgers, sandwiches, roast dinners, pasta, and pizza (including one topped with Peking duck), British fare, and international street foods, while Dessert Lab puts out some serious sweets. There’s also a wall of local tap beers and a full bar. All of our food was quite good, and our server was friendly, if not the most efficient, and when there was an error with our bill, it took them over half an hour to find a manager to fix it.


Phone: 954-514-7095
Hours: Monday - Friday 9AM - 2PM


2520 N. Dixie Highway,
Wilton Manors, FL 33305



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