The ‘Perfect’ Fish Taco and Where I’ve Found It
- opinionatedchef Oct 29, 2012 02:12 PM
Probably because I’m late to the game/ a recent convert (4 yrs maybe; before that i thought ‘ugh’...NOT!) I’m wicked demanding of my makes-me-happy-fish taco.
Some of you have read my related posts, but there are many new CHs around, incl. visitors,
and I wanted to share with them. And since i just finished a wonderful lunch of same, I thought
I’d finally try to codify my experience.
These are my requirements for a great fish taco:
- Haddock or Cod or Skate but NOT flavorless/off-tasting Tilapia;
a good size piece (1 1/2-2 ou. is great)
--Fish lightly Battered and lightly Fried, not in a heavy cornmeal crust that masks the delicate flavor and silky texture of the fish. and not grilled naked. and not dry/overfried.
-- Corn tortilla, single for proper flavor balance- but i’m happy to remove one if i’m given two.
-- Chipotle mayo or chipotle sour cream (not tartar sauce of any version)
-- Lime wedges
Shredded cabbage is fine but not required. Same with crema, avocado or guac.
So, I’ve codified the model, now where do I find it?
Well, so far, in just one place>> La Verdad Taqueria (the cafe/takeout part w/ 2 tables; not the restnt-which seems to have garnered a number of unhappy CH posts in the past.) And what else have I found as meal addendum?>> The refried beans, quac, corn w/ queso fresca . And the carne asada, pork belly or chiles rellenos- tacos and tortas . But i don’t recommend the other fillings myself. Ymmv of course. (p.s. Whenever we go there, we go at off hours so we can easily street park.)
I would love, of course, to find my ideal fish tacos in more places. Have you seen them elsewhere? I feel like i’ve tried so many other, lesser, versions- El Pelon, East Coast Grill, Dorita.... I do keep trying them all over New Eng.,but so far to no avail. As it is, when we eat at La Verdad, we always get some deconstructed fish tacos as take- out. The fish reheats really well in our toaster oven; i grill the tortillas over a cake rack over a lit burner on my gas stove; the toppings are all there, and voila, i’m in repeat heaven, w/o the drive from the hinterlands. :-}
I hope you have or will try them at La Verdad; and plse tell me if you've seen 'My pretty' s in other Boston/New Eng. restaurants! TIA.
Haven't been in a while, but Green Street's is good. Serve both a grilled and fried. But their taco menu does change, so I can't guarantee that they will have it each Wednesday. Better than both El Pelon and East Coast Grill (though I have enjoyed their seared tuna tacos in the past).
"Codified" - very good! I haven't had a lot experience with fish tacos, but I have had La Verdad's (thought they were great) and Pedro's, the new place in downtown crossing. Not sure I would travel a long way for either, but I think Pedro's meets your criteria, and I did think they were very good.
Hey Opinionatedchef, I know this is an old post but if you're still looking for that perfect fish taco, I think I have a great suggestion. There's a new place at 93 Revere Beach Boulevard called Sabroso's next to Sammy's Bar and Nick's Pizza. It's a take out only, window service joint that serves a mix of Mexican, Mediterranean (gyro's) and burgers/wings. They've been open only 6 weeks or so. I've had their chicken burrito which is decent and holds its own but the winner there is the fish taco. Don't let the odd mix of cuisines color your judgement. I've had their fish tacos twice now and I have to say it hits every one of your requirements. Fried haddock, lightly battered, two corn tortillas, spicy chipotle mayo, sprinkle of cilantro and lime wedge on the side. Comes with lightly pickled cabbage on top. Two tacos for 8 bucks. I just wolfed down two and am sorry I didn't get another one. My mouth still has that nice tingle from the chipotle mayo. I've included a pic of the taco and they have another picture of their taco (along with some of their food) on their Facebook page.
Have you tried Atwood's $3 fried fish taco? I do love Verdad, but it is a little off the beaten path of my regular Camberville haunts. So the next best for me - or perhaps even *the* best - is Atwood's. I think you will like it. And as I say to my husband every time we go, "bet you can't eat just one!!" Try it.
EDIT - oops, sorry - did not see this was an old post. My opinion still stands! :)
re: Small Plates
SP, i never knew anyth about this place (not a beer drinker) so i'd like to check out those fish tacos. would you plse advise on other exc menu items there? and what is the seating like- do they have banquettes or regular tables (not all high tops)? If we went early, do you think the noise level would be conversable?thx again!
p.s. i just found this from you. any other recs there?:
<... Atwoods Tavern, which has a very serviceable menu that is also very inexpensive. I love their fried fish tacos, mac and cheese, veggie burger, and roast chicken.>
Hmmm - so, I still stand by those recs, and in fact - give another boost to the Mac and Cheese. They have changed their menu again, and I admit I have not been there in probably 3-4 months. Our favs (Ben, Liam) have long departed, and the service has dropped off - so we don't hit it up as often as we used to. We mostly tend toward the apps, and the grilled cheese and tomato soup is good as are the Mayflower (Poultry -- down the street) buffalo wings. I did not like the pork belly - it was lacking seasoning, and was just a blob of fat. I know that is hard to imagine pork belly every being bad, but it just didn't succeed in its prep. The Meditteranean Plate is good and the Sloppy Joe sliders are great. But I will say, the best bang for the buck and reason to go to Atwood's are the $3 tacos. (Well, that and the Dennis Brennan band :)