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Monday, June 16, 2014

Victor Tangos

The birthday celebration continues! This past Saturday was my bf's bday dinner with his friends. I suggested Victor Tangos because from my experience in the past, they have an interesting menu and a pretty good bar. Also, they take reservations for large parties!

Victor Tangos
3001 N Henderson Ave.
Dallas, TX 75206
(214) 252-8595
Price: $$-$$$

FYI. Parking on Henderson is pretty much nonexistent. But they offer complimentary valet. Trust me, just do the valet. haha.

We had a party of 17 people for 7PM. Most of us arrived early and they were able to seat us earlier. When arrived, there wasn't that many other people in the restaurant. I specifically made an earlier reservation because I knew VT gets super packed. And I was right. By 7:30 the entire bar was full and the dining room was getting there. And I was surprised for a restaurant that's not that big, there were 4+ groups of more than 12 people. One group had almost 30? The place gets pretty "energetic" so it's a little hard to hear when talking across the table. But I think it's the vibe at VT that draws a lot of people in.

Some people already got drinks at the bar. After we sat down, the waitress came by for more drink orders.

(Sorry for the grainy pictures... it was really low lighting in there.)

My bf got the Pepper Smash (gin, red bell pepper, local mint, lemon, clover honey) $10~ It was quite good! Sweet, so both of us liked it. You can taste the bell pepper but it just added a fresh sweetness to it. He really liked it.

I got the Passionfruit Gimlet (vodka, fresh thyme, passion fruit, freshly squeezed lime juice, extracted pineapple) $10~ I asked them to use gin instead of vodka. It was also really good. Definitely sweet enough for me but still strong. I enjoyed it very much. But it was time we got some food in our stomachs. haha.

We later got the Peach Blossom (gin, white peaches, Japanese basil, lemon, honey) $10~ (was too busy eating so I didn't take a picture, sorry. haha) But this was my favorite out of the 3 cocktails. Peachy and refreshing. Yum.

As we were looking through the menu, I noticed there were many changes from their online menu. I hate it when that happens! Cuz usually the dish that I want is the one that's not available anymore.. Same case this time. I wanted a pork belly dish that was no longer there... Same for one of the desserts. :( So it took me awhile to finally make up my mind. Most things sounded ok, but nothing really stood out.

Ahi Tuna Nachos $15~ 
Multiple people ordered this. My bf got one too. The dishes at VT are kind of made for sharing but I wouldn't say it's tapas style or anything. The nachos were good. Crispy chips with fresh bits of tuna. I really liked the chili cream sauce and the jalapenos on top. You know I like my spicy! Seemed to be a popular dish all around. I thought it was good, but I've had better.

I ordered the Summer Vegetable "Fried" Rice (green curry, poached egg) $11~ 
The waitress told me the rice was puffed rice. It sounded so interesting! It was delicious. The presentation was nice. The contrasting colors between the white puffed rice and green curry. She instructed me to mix it all together then eat. So I broke the perfectly poached egg and mixed it all up. 
Really enjoyed it. Although the puffed rice got soft pretty quickly, the first few bites where it was still crunchy was fantastic. Lots of textures and flavors and wasn't too heavy.

I also got the Roasted Mushrooms (leeks, black garlic and pea greens) $12~ 
I didn't mean to get 2 vegetable dishes, just happened that way. But I loved both of them. This was my favorite of the night. Different types of mushrooms gave it different textures. The black garlic sealed the deal. It had such bold flavors. I even scraped up the bits of garlic and sauce and ate it with the fried rice. Mmmmmm! So good. I wish the portion size was bigger!

Here are things other people ordered...

Jar of Pickled Baby Vegetables $4~ The sourness hits you like a truck, but then slightly mellows out. Had some sweetness to it. Not my thing, but I'm not a huge fan of sour stuff in general.

Mini Crispy Carnitas Tacos $10~ 
Also a popular item at our table. And probably the most bang for your buck! It was massive. Our friends said there was like 6 tacos or something, all loaded to the brim. And they said it had lots of flavor. I think at VT you take a chance with the portion size, some things are quite filling, and some are not. But they all taste good.

Tempura Asparagus with Olive Aioli $10~ Didn't get to try but looked good.

Sweet Tea Marinated Short Ribs (with Spring garlic and cucumber salad) $24~ 
Loved the presentation on the wood platter. The bright vegetables peeking out from the charred meat. It was tasty. You can't taste the sweet tea marinade though.

Whole Market Fish (crushed lemony potatoes, crispy capers, pimenton aioli). 
This was an impressive dish. Also served on a wood platter for some added drama. hehe. It was a big piece of fish! I think I overheard someone saying it was a branzino. Normally the whole branzinos I've seen in other places are 2/3rds of this size. The fish was cooked well and had lots of flavor. Only downside.. a lot of bones. But that can also make it a fun challenge to eat! hehe.

Green Bean Panzanella (avocado green goddess, smoked trout roe) $11~ 
Pretty dish, quite small. I got to try part of the egg topped with the trout roe with the green beans. Very good. All the elements worked together well. My friend said that if you don't eat all the elements together though, it didn't really work.

Warm Sticky Toffee Cake (with mascarpone cream) $9~ 
I ordered this when I ordered the entrees and asked them to bring it out later with a candle. Holy crap! This thing is massive! I saw pictures online and knew it was big but it was at least another 30% bigger than I imagined. It was literally the size of my face! (And believe me... I got a pretty big face. hahaha.) The cake was warm and the mascarpone cream was essential to it. The bites without the cream was a bit dry. But overall a good dessert. Doesn't compare to the whiskey cake at Whiskey Cake in Plano, but was still a success with the group. We passed it around and everyone was able to take a big bite or more!

It was a good dinner. I think everyone enjoyed themselves. Some people did say they were still hungry though since some of the portions were smaller. But overall everyone said the food was tasty. The service was good too. The waitress had no problems dealing with the big group. The food came quickly and she was always around when we needed something. The water glasses were always filled. And the checks were split with no issues.

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