Hanna and I pulled up to Vidorra about 24 hours after their official opening. The building stands tall above its neighbors, symbolic of how the Deep Ellum is changing. Vidorra doesn’t carry the typical edge of a Deep Ellum establishment. Walking inside was like stepping through a time portal to Uptown in 2014. This sensation had me filled with skepticism as I sat down at the table, but it was soon washed away by a queso blanco menu that looked like a bingo card.
We didn’t come to Vidorra to pass judgement on the people there, we were part of that group after all! We came for a meal out on the town, in a beautiful restaurant. And it was a beautiful restaurant indeed. Vibrant colors energized the natural materials that filled the space. The place was packed with happy hour attendees, birthday partiers, daters, and more. Downstairs lacked vacancy, so we followed the hostess up to our table on the rooftop patio. We would enjoy our clear view of the iconic Dallas skyline all night.
We started with drinks. Hanna ordered the Gold Digger, a frozen tequila drink with mango and a tajin dipped straw. I landed on The Juan, a delightful combination of Reposado tequila, Grand Marnier, and their house ponche blend. We were a couple of love birds with bright red drinks and the tequila was flowing.
To curb its inebriating effects, we started with the queso blanco, adding in crispy shallots, jalapeño bacon, and guacamole from the bingo menu. It came out in a massive molcajete. After living in Dallas for 5 years, I’ve developed some strong opinions about queso. I have a few must-haves: variance in texture, a color that I can link with an actual cheese, and, most importantly, an absolute absence of Velveeta-esque flavor. El Queso Vidorra checked all my boxes, and even brought a wow factor. The queso and chips were warm, and the add-ins (particularly the crispy shallots) elevated it to the next level. Great queso landed on my radar with authority during my freshman year of college. And every year since, it’s shot on my list of important comfort foods. Like listening to “September” by Earth, Wind & Fire, eating queso makes it hard to be anything but happy. Vidorra’s queso checks my boxes and it makes me happy. Dip on!
For the main course, Hanna opted for street tacos, one barbacoa and one carnitas. Hanna appreciated that Vidorra didn’t try to reinvent the wheel. The meats were flavorful and fit exquisitely in their corn tortillas. I wanted fajitas and Vidorra had an interesting variety: wood-fired paprika ribs. Their presentation for the dish was classic, with the ribs in a small, heavy iron skillet with onions and peppers. And what would fajitas be without their historic companionship with rice and beans. Had the tortillas not been so inviting, I would’ve been tempted to clear the fajita ribs alone. The meat was incredibly tender and made me wonder why I haven’t seen rib fajitas before! Both of our entrees were delicious.
Vidorra had just opened when we went. As one might expect, they were still working out some kinks. But those kinks were quickly forgotten because of one major factor: Vidorra is a freakin’ party! The place is pulsing with energy, sourced from the people, the setting, the music, the drinks, and the food! We ended up chatting with our neighbors (who turned out to be visiting from Spain), clinking tequila shots, and going out on the town with them. A restaurant that can turn brand new acquaintances into jolly, imbibing friends is a restaurant that I’ll go back to without hesitation.
So, VAMOS A VIDORRA!