Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Guest Review: This fish taco blogger's mom heads to Mexico

As the mother of a dedicated fish taco blogger, I felt I had to do my part and eat some fish tacos during my recent trip to Mexico, the land of the taco. My husband and I went on a New Years cruise and one of our stops was the port of Cozumel. I not only had a chance to explore this town but also to eat genuine Mexican delicatessen.

We decided to check out Palmeras. Located right by the beach in front of the main ferry pier, the restaurant's Caribbean style wooden structure and French tile roof were very inviting. Its location offered a spectacular view of the Caribbean sea and what I hoped to be a solid promise of a new culinary and fishy adventure.

Our fish taco plate (~$10) came with three tacos. The strips of blackened fish were wrapped in soft flour tortillas. I could not distinguish what type of fish was served; however, I noticed that the filling included a mayo-based creamy sauce, guacamole, salsa and shredded lettuce. The latter ingredient surprised me, as cabbage is traditionally served in fish tacos. The taste of the meal was good but not as extraordinary as I (naively perhaps) expected from the Mexican tavern. However, the entire experience of sitting outdoors on a gorgeous January day, while looking at the blue ocean and drinking Mexican beer was indeed priceless.

Av. Rafael E. Melgar
San Miguel, Cozumel 77600
(987) 8720532

3 out of 5 fishies.

Just stick with the fried clams

I recently spent a day in Portsmouth, New Hampshire. Having once lived nearby, I was seriously craving some delicious seafood, preferably in one of the restaurants overlooking the Portsmouth Harbor. So we headed to Surf, home of the Raw Bar and super fresh seafood. Now I was planning on eating my much missed fried oysters or clams and perhaps some ceviche, but when I saw a fish taco on the menu, I knew I had to sample that as well.

The fish tacos ($14) came three to a plate with a side of Jasmine Rice. The flour tortillas were filled with seasoned fried haddock, a house mango salsa, guacamole, napa cabbage, cheddar cheese and sour cream. The litte fish bites were oh so tasty. But the tacos as a whole... well, they didn't really taste taco-ey. Maybe it was the overwhelming taste of the sour cream or the choice of cheddar cheese, but I just didn't feel like I was eating a fish taco.

However, the lightly fried calamari tossed with parmesan in a cherry pepper vinaigrette, spicy scallop ceviche and the lightly fried Ipswich sweet clam sandwich (served on a grilled potato roll with spicy mayonnaise) were all delicious - so much fishy goodness. So stick with those and skip the fish tacos.

Surf Restaurant
99 Bow St.
Portsmouth, NH 03801
(603) 334-9855

3.5 out of 5 fishies.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

L.A. bound?

Check out this review of the Mariscos Jalisco Truck courtesy of Serious Eats.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

This fish taco blogger trades the Little Apple in for the Big

New Year's Eve brought me back to New York City and I was introduced to another fish taco establishment. Nestled in the heart of Nolita, Tacombi has quite the interesting hipster vibe. The first thing you notice when entering the warehouse/garage space is the perma-parked vintage VW bus with a pop-up roof. There is a surf-shack style open kitchen in back, folding tables and chairs scattered throughout and the place is decorated with stringed lights and tropical potted plants. The name Tacombi is a play on the words "taco" and "combi" (van). Orders are taken at a counter and made up at the bus which gets its fixins from the kitchen in back. The atmosphere may be campy and theatrical, but it does evoke being at a Yucatan beach shack. Tacombi was indeed originally a taco stand in Playa del Carmen on the Riviera Maya.

The taqueria had a number of fishy options for us to sample: Crispy Fish (beer battered fish, chipotle mayo, cabbage slaw), Seared Veracruzana Fish (seared fish, roasted tomato, caper and olive salsa), Pescado a la Plancha con Pina (seared fish and grilled pineapple salsa), Crispy Shrimp (beer battered shrimp in a salsa borracha), and Seared Shrimp (seared shrimp in a salsa borracha). Served on small tin plates, each double tortilla'd taco ran around $4-5 and had enough filling to make two. Outside of the pineapple salsa version, which they were out of, we sampled all they had to offer. Some fishy tacos were better than others. While most were a bit on the bland side, the Crispy Fish was indeed crisp and tasted freshly fried. The only thing that did not work was the overly strong mayo taste of the sauce. What really made a positive impression on us were the non-fishy tacos such as the Al Pastor (marinated pork and roast pineapple) and especially the Maiz y Poblano (sweet corn, poblano peppers, cotija cheese). But unfortunately for Tacombi, it's the fishy tacos we are reviewing.

So in summary, come check out the hipster vibe, eat some non-fishy tacos and wash it all down with hibiscus tea, spiked horchata or (my favorite) watermelon lime sangria. This place is worth a visit.

at Fonda Nolita
267 Elizabeth Street
NYC, NY 10012
(917) 727-0179

3.5 out of 4 fishies.