Food Fight: Battle Fish Tacos

Categories: Food Fight

foodfightfishtaco_Zelko.jpg
Zelko.
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.

foodfightfishtaco_ElRey.jpg
El Rey.
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.



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Location Info

Joyce's Seafood & Steaks

6415 San Felipe, Houston, TX

Category: Restaurant

Zelko Bistro

705 E. 11th St., Houston, TX

Category: Restaurant

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36 comments
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CheriBritton
CheriBritton

Heights Berryhill is not having the $1.99 fish taco promotion on Fridays. Typical for that pit.

Fatty FatBastard
Fatty FatBastard

I noticed that! Do all of the others do it? I live on Washington, so proximity is obviously helpful.

dan
dan

The two loser photos don't look appetizing. I guess the winner's doesn't either since no photo was published.

Kevin Shalin
Kevin Shalin

Here's a rundown:

El Rey: visual trainwreckJoyce's: didn't look so good but tasted goodBerryhill: certainly looked the partZelko: you're either visually impaired or a Zelko hater, because these look great...but tasted like a salt lick

tabularazza
tabularazza

Bruce R means "Mission style"

And I am utterly shocked that someone on EOW actually had something negative to say about Zelko's

Bruce R
Bruce R

You can call them Mission style, or San Francisco burritos. See the Wikipedia entry under "San Francisco burrito."

Beth
Beth

Taco Milagro grilled fish tacos are pretty tasty.

Kevin Shalin
Kevin Shalin

Also...my next Food Fight will be Battle Burrito. I'm putting an interesting spin on it so please let me hear some suggestions! Thanks for reading!

carriebwc
carriebwc

ugh, burritos. to me it is like eating a brick of food. i find they appeal most to people who prefer quantity over quality when choosing food.

Kevin Shalin
Kevin Shalin

all types of burritos are welcomed...not just the foil-wrapped logs.

Bruce R
Bruce R

I assume you mean San Francisco style burritos. The chains I can think of are Freebird's, Mission, Chipotle, and Bullritos.

Fish tacos and San Francisco style burritos. The California invasion is on.

SirRon
SirRon

My suggestion is that you change the next Food Fight to Fried Catfish. Then it would be perfect! Heh.

Danner
Danner

berryhill does have an excellent fried fish taco... but Hugo's used to have great ones... I dont think I saw them on the menu the other day when I was there, though. I tried their lobster taco and was underwhelmed

Byron Hood
Byron Hood

Berryhill fish tacos are THE BEST!

Caroline
Caroline

This has actually made me want to try Berryhill. Having spent a few years in San Diego, I am strongly biased on proper fish taco construction. If it ain't Rubio's, it ain't a fish taco! But Berryhill sounds fairly close to a proper Baja-style fish taco. (And aren't they on sale during Lent? WIN!)

Fatty FatBastard
Fatty FatBastard

Be sure and get a fried one and a grilled one. Both are vastly different and tasty.

Wglassjr
Wglassjr

Chuy's in Humble has very good fish tacos

simplyrick
simplyrick

Executives at BP rave about the hot fish Tacos they get at Men's Club and Rick's...

PM
PM

Berryhill also serves a grilled fish taco, which might have been more appropriate to compare to the rest of the participants, but, I agree, Berryhill is damn good. However, I'm not a fan of the double tortilla. Joyce's has phenomenal fish tacos -- love the Mahi and the fresh made pico

SirRon
SirRon

This is an interesting topic. Kevin, you didn't comment much on the tortillas. In my opinion, double corn tortilla is the only way to go for fish tacos. Although I'm not aware of any real standards for construction, to me a fish taco in a flour tortilla is like a reuben served on sourdough... it just doesn't seem right.

Kevin Shalin
Kevin Shalin

Agreed...I should have put more focus on the tortilla, and that an authentic fish taco should be served in a double corn tortilla.

SirRon
SirRon

Has anyone had Chachos' fish tacos?

John Kiely
John Kiely

Is it just me, or is tilapia the most boring fish in America? Fine battle.

Megan
Megan

Totally agree that tilapia is BORING. It's about as ubiquitous as the boneless, skinless chicken breast. I bought some swai fillets and really liked them better than tilapia.

Kevin Shalin
Kevin Shalin

It's healthy and mild, but for the most part...I completely agree with you.

SirRon
SirRon

From wikipedia (so it has to be the truth):"However, farm raised tilapia (the least expensive and most popular) has a high fat content (though low in saturated fats). According to research published in July 2008, farm raised tilapia may be worse for the heart than eating bacon or a hamburger."

KP
KP

Believe it or not, Mission Burrito makes a mean grilled fish taco. Flaky and flavorful with a nice sear, it stands up to excessive amounts of tomatillo salsa, and is delicious with the cilantro/onion mix. And, dare I say it, cheese.

Eric Henao
Eric Henao

I wonder how the "old" standard holds up...remembering Cabo's fish tacos from the Shepherd Plaza dayz. They are now in Downtown right? Still there? Any good?

Kyle
Kyle

Cabo's food is lousy, and especially the fish tacos. Fish taco is now $4 a piece, $6.29 if you want beans and rice.

tim
tim

Pappasito's has amazing grilled fish tacos.

Kevin Shalin
Kevin Shalin

Tim...also try their pork tamales. Very good.

Hugh Ramsey
Hugh Ramsey

the original might still be the best

SirRon
SirRon

It sounds like Skeeters' fish tacos might have been able to place in your battle. I like this format, btw.

Matthew
Matthew

berryhill makes a very tasty fish taco, i agree with your ruling.

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