Food Fight: Battle Fish Tacos
Fish tacos are another hot-button food topic in our great city. And when you speak, I listen. The Food Fight entry has been criticized in the past for not including enough participants. How does four sound? Four is better than two. Three places are from reader suggestions, and the fourth, Zelko Bistro, is my selection.
Joyce's Seafood and Steaks Joyce's nails it with a strong fish taco showing. Two flour tortillas are stuffed with chunks of mahi mahi, mushrooms, and pico de gallo. The fish is fresh and meaty, and the pico and mushroom combination keeps the entire taco dripping with juices. The tortillas lacked in taste, but the generous filling portion was well-seasoned. The side of beans and rice did nothing for me.
Zelko Bistro My first trip to Zelko Bistro yielded utter disappointment. The tilapia-filled tacos certainly looked the part. The fish was piled with tomatoes, pineapple salsa, lettuce and some cilantro mayo. The sweet plantains on the side were the hit of the plate, but the overall blending of flavors in the taco completely missed the mark. The extremely salty fish overwhelmed the pineapple salsa, and this was a shame, because that salsa was delicious. Also, $12 for two tacos, filled with a wimpy portion of inexpensive fish, is a joke.
Berryhill Baja Grill I hit the Berryhill's stand at the rodeo. This turned out to be a wise decision. My Original Fish Taco was damn near perfection. The tempura-fried fish, red cabbage and cilantro sauce made this simple, yet delicious taco a hit. Sure, some may look at the fried fish as a bit of an advantage, but a fish taco is a fish taco--let's not get into semantics.
El Rey Taqueria At $2.70 a taco, I wasn't expecting too much from El Rey. That's good, because I didn't get much. What I got was a nice tilapia filet drowned in a creamy habanero sauce, topped with red cabbage, and wrapped in double corn tortillas. The sauce was a nice thought, but it overwhelmed the fish. The fish itself was well prepared.
Results: Gold: Berryhill Baja Grill: Don't hate on the chain. They brought it. Silver: Joyce's Seafood and Steaks: Good showing. Unique taste and loved the mahi mahi. Bronze: Zelko Bistro: Was close to sending these back. Participation Award: El Rey: Lacked in several areas.
Get the Dining Newsletter
The week's top local food news and events, plus interviews with chefs and restaurant owners, dining tips, and a peek at our print review.