This past weekend my sister and I took our uncle out for his birthday and after a cousin of ours talked Las Velas up that is where my uncle wanted to go. I haven’t been to Market Square since the renovation was completed and I was pretty impressed with how nice it has turned out along with all the new restaurants. I am sure I will be back to check out many of them in the near future. Las Velas sits above Market Square which means you will need to walk up some stairs to get to the restaurant and the view makes dinner even nicer while eating.
The first thing we ordered was a pitcher of margaritas along with chips and salsa, guacamole and queso. Our waiter, Justin, recommended that we add chorizo to the queso to give it extra flavor and I think he hit a home run with that recommendation! The chips were crunchy and I am guessing made fresh at the restaurant. The salsa was fresh and flavorful, which you may think that should be all salsa’s but its sad how many actually lack flavor when you go out to eat. As I said the queso with chorizo was a nice addition and we all enjoyed it but I think the real highlight out of the three was the guacamole it was so smooth and creamy, sometimes I get tired of digging around big chunks of avocado in guacamole that this was a nice treat. I know we polished that off in no time!
While we waited for our dinner we began drinking our pitcher and the first one went down so quickly (like Frank says in Old School “Once it hits your lips, it’s so good!”). A gentlemen came over to the table and took the pitcher and said he was going to freshen it up for us, turns out it was the owner, David, and we began talking to him for a bit. My uncle saw an article about David in Pittsburgh Magazine recently (link below) and they were able to have a conversation from that. A really nice guy, he was telling us about where he came from and how the restaurant has been going since he opened up. Oh and the margarita’s are delicious! We ended up with about 2 and a half pitchers and WOW was I feeling good by the time dinner was over! We just went with a classic margarita but I am looking forward to a return trip to see what other varieties Las Velas offers.
Now onto the main event of the evening… I ordered the Tacos del Paisa (fish) aka Fish Tacos (pictured above). My sister has made fish tacos before but that is the only way I have had them, so when my cousin recommended the restaurant he spoke very highly of the fish tacos and figured I would give them a try. The dinner includes three tacos with freshly breaded tilapia, shredded cabbage, pico de gallo and a creamy chipotle sauce. Served with rice and beans. I squeezed some lime over top of the taco’s and that really helped enhance the flavors of the tilapia and chipotle sauce. The tacos weren’t heavy, they were very light and extremely flavorful.
Since we went out for a birthday we just had to get dessert and Justin our server recommended a dessert that I don’t remember the name of but I believe he referred to it as their version of a fried ice cream. It was ice cream inside of a tortilla and on the side Justin provided a flambe show where he heated up a pan with butter and cinnamon and sugar along with bananas and strawberries but the extra flavor came from the Grand Marnier and then he lit that SOB on fire and poured it over top the tortilla and ice cream. We were contemplating ordering dessert in the first place, but this tasted so amazing and wasn’t heavy at all that I really can’t complain about ordering it. I would definitely order it again, for the taste and to see the show again!
I have to tell any of you reading this that if you haven’t been to Las Velas yet, you really need to right away! The dinner was so awesome I really can’t tell you enough good stuff about Las Velas, the food and drink quality was excellent along with the great service from not only our server Justin but from the owner David as well! From one trip I know they are going to quickly rise to be one of my regular spots when I am in the mood for Mexican, or possibly even when I want a drink.
Don’t forget to check out Las Velas in Pittsburgh Magazine – http://www.pittsburghmagazine.com/Pittsburgh-Magazine/March-2012/Review-Las-Velas/