100 Favorite Dishes 2012: No. 7, Ceviche at La Fisheria

Photos by Troy Fields
This year leading up to our annual Best of Houston® issue, we're counting down our 100 favorite dishes in Houston. This list comprises our favorite dishes from the last year, dishes that are essential to Houston's cultural landscape and/or dishes that any visitor (or resident) should try at least once.

To be sure, there are plenty of other menu items at La Fisheria that are every bit as good as its ceviche: duck and chorizo stew over mussels, for example (which would be perfect with the fall weather heading our way), or vanilla-tinted octopus that's grilled to a fine char and served with thin rounds of sautéed potatoes. But it's the ceviche that is the signature dish at La Fisheria and the one that's most appropriate in its brightly hued, beach-like setting.

Alison Cook recently argued in the Chronicle that ceviche is Houston's newest "iconic dish." It's certainly seen on nearly every new menu these days -- whether the restaurant has anything to do with seafood or not -- but more often than not it's a disappointing dish, mealy tilapia cooked hamfistedly in lime juice or precooked shrimp with a jumble of vegetables. Thankfully, there are restaurants which get it right every single time -- and La Fisheria is one of them.

I'd even say that Aquiles Chavez's kitchen is leading the pack when it comes to ceviches right now, with different interpretations of the dish spanning the menu: I love the yellowfin tuna tostadas, for instance, where raw chunks of the ruddy fish are dressed sparingly with avocado and fried leeks. But that's on the dinner menu. For the bulk of La Fisheria's best ceviches, you need to go at lunch.

That's when you'll find four different recipes, most made with Gulf red snapper, that range from a simple lime dressing on the El Cayuco to a Ceviche Verde marinated in Seville orange juice and served with mild, pleasant amaranth leaves in place of the more strongly flavored cilantro. Most importantly, the fish that La Fisheria uses always retains its firm, plump meatiness and is never overmarinated, which leads to that unwanted mealy texture.

The only downside to enjoying your ceviche at lunch is that you're less likely to enjoy a glass from La Fisheria's all-Mexican wine list. So plan a return visit just to explore its offerings -- you can always get a simple red snapper ceviche with beautiful curlicues of radishes, onion and cucumber at dinner, too.

The list so far:

No. 100: Chili cheese mac at Jus' Mac
No. 99: Texas turkey sandwich at Spec's
No. 98: Custard at Petite Sweets
No. 97: Caprichos mixtos at Taqueria Monterrey Chiquito
No. 96: Pineapple-wasabi burger at Lankford Grocery
No. 95: Farmer's MKT Pizza at Phoenicia's MKT Bar
No. 94: Potatoes at Money Cat Brunch
No. 93: Breakfast tacos at Sunrise Taquito
No. 92: Hot dog at Tacos D.F.
No. 91: Avocado gelato at Frozen Cafe
No. 90: Chicken sandwich at JerryBuilt Homegrown Burgers
No. 89: Beer-battered asparagus at Hearsay
No. 88: Honey Badger omelet at Kraftsmen Cafe
No. 87: Pastelitos de carne at El Jalapeño
No. 86: Pancakes at Union Kitchen
No. 85: Wild boar and crab pizza at Boheme
No. 84: Breakfast croissant at BB Donuts
No. 83: Pretzel at Anvil Bar & Refuge
No. 82: Short rib sandwich at Shepherd Park Draught House
No. 81: Grilled shrimp po-boy at Pappadeaux
No. 80: Dahi puri at Shiv Sagar
No. 79: Aporreado at Los Corrales
No. 78: Oxtail francobolli at Aldo's Cucina Italiana
No. 77: Tonkotsu at Cafe Kubo's
No. 76: Spinach danish from Angela's Oven
No. 75: Pupusas at El Petate
No. 74: Pheasant dog at Sammy's Wild Game Grill
No. 73: X-Tudo burger at Friends Pizzeria
No. 72: Esparragos gratinados at Tintos
No. 71: Gua bao at Yummy Kitchen
No. 70: Geisha dog at Happy Endings
No. 69: Oyster po-boy and gumbo at Goode Co. Seafood
No. 68: Ceviche at Sirena Seafood
No. 67: Caldo de mariscos at Taqueria Arandas
No. 66: Banana pudding at Pizzitola's
No. 65: Fried catfish and gumbo at Cafe-A-La
No. 64: Soft-shell crabs at Banana Leaf
No. 63: Macaroni and cheese at Vic & Anthony's Steakhouse
No. 62: Torta burger at El Gran Malo
No. 61: Black bean burger at Ziggy's
No. 60: Parillada at Pampa Grill
No. 59: Peanut butter and jalapeño jelly burger at Wicked Whisk
No. 58: Eggplant involtini at Giacomo's Cibo e Vino
No. 57: Lone Star dog at James Coney Island
No. 56: Sushi at Sushi Miyagi
No. 55: Palestinian chicken at Al Aseel
No. 54: Roast beef sandwich at Local Foods
No. 53: Mexico City plate at Molina's Cantina
No. 52: Tacos at Brothers Taco House
No. 51: Branzino at Lucio's BYOB
No. 50: Beef sweetbreads at Feast
No. 49: Golden Doomba Special at the Rice Box Truck
No. 48: Malted waffle at City Cafe
No. 47: Banh mi bo kho at Cafe TH
No. 46: Chicken fried steak at Triple A
No. 45: Larissa plate at Harry's
No. 44: Spaghetti carbonara at Coppa Ristorante Italiano
No. 43: Wings and grits at The Breakfast Klub
No. 42: Frito pie at C&D Burger Shoppe
No. 41: Pollo con mole at El Gallo de Jalisco
No. 40: Fried avocado taco at H-Town StrEATs
No. 39: Rigatoni in bolognese sauce at Paulie's
No. 38: Chorizo kolaches at Peña's Donut Heaven
No. 37: Sashimi at Dadami
No. 36: Half-pound burger at benjy's
No. 35: Fried chicken at Haven
No. 34: Whole-fried speckled trout at Liberty Kitchen
No. 33: Moules congolaise at Jeannine's Bistro
No. 32: Pancakes at Fountain View Cafe
No. 31: Pineapple with chile en polvo at Canino's
No. 30: Fried chicken at Barbecue Inn
No. 29: Dirty Burque at Green Seed Vegan
No. 28: Egusi at Finger Licking Bukateria
No. 27: Brisket and turkey at CorkScrew BBQ
No. 26: Menudo at La Mexicana
No. 25: Shrimp and grits at Shade
No. 24: Kinilaw at Reef
No. 23: Lamb at El Hidalguense
No. 22: Gumbo at Danton's
No. 21: Chicken-fried water buffalo at The Hay Merchant
No. 20: Roasted cauliflower at Roost
No. 19: Truffled egg toast at Dolce Vita
No. 18: 63-degree egg at Brasserie 19
No. 17: Drunken foie gras at Philippe
No. 16: Beet salad at Triniti
No. 15: Yogi thali at Pondicheri
No. 14: Bialy and lox at The Hot Bagel Shop
No. 13: Ribs at Gatlin's
No. 12: Venison carpaccio at Thanh Phuong
No. 11: Camarones henesy en hamaca at Arturo Boada Cuisine
No. 10: Prosciutto and arugula pizza at Pizaro's Pizza Napoletana
No. 9: Crawfish at The Hideaway on Dunvale
No. 8: Pho at Pho Binh

Follow Eating Our Words on Facebook and on Twitter @EatingOurWords

Location Info

La Fisheria

4705 Inker St., Houston, TX

Category: Restaurant

Sponsor Content

My Voice Nation Help

@HoustonHeights @eatingourwords @fisheriahouston where is it located ??

FattyFatBastard topcommenter

So far in the top 10 we have a pizza, boiled crawfish, pho, and ceviche.  At this rate, I half expect #1 to be a corn chip...

kshilcutt moderator editor

 @FattyFatBastard Wait...what's wrong with any of those items? I'm genuinely confused here. I think they're delicious, they're representative of our city's culture, they're made and served by great restaurants, they're easily accessible - what am I missing?


 @FattyFatBastard Yeah, cause we all know that everyone's favorite dish in town must be something high fallutin and impressive sounding to guys with ties.

FattyFatBastard topcommenter

 @kshilcutt They just seem so unadventurous compared to chicken fried water buffalo, X-Tudo burger, etc.  That, and while staples like CFS, fajitas and frito pie should be on any list from Houston,  these tend to remind me of 90's Houston, back when Fuddrucker's was the best burger and we were just starting to emerge as an interesting food town. 


It was also tongue-in-cheek, for the most part.  I'm just not a fan of emoticons.


 @FattyFatBastard  @kshilcutt I'm hoping your goofy tirade about truffle oil was also tongue-in-cheek, pretending to break news or something from the early aughts. We'll never know if you eschew emoticons

Now Trending

From the Vault