A fish (taco) story: NTC staff goes on a fishing expedition for terrific tacos

North Texas Catholic
(Mar 3, 2020) Feature

Rusty Tacos offers grilled and tempura battered cod and has a special Acapulco fish taco with avocado. (NTC/Juan Guajardo)

Rusty Tacos offers grilled and tempura battered cod and has a special Acapulco fish taco with avocado. (NTC/Juan Guajardo)

It’s Friday. It’s Lent. And a square fish stick in a white bun sounds like a bigger sacrifice than you want to make.

Hello, North Texas! Think outside the fast food box. The scope and diversity of the diocese means we have plenty of fish tacos in the sea.

The staff of the North Texas Catholic threw out its net and hauled in a bountiful catch of fish tacos. Most were keepers. Here’s what we found.

FUZZY’S TACOS (37 locations in the diocese)

The grilled mahi tacos at Fuzzy's (NTC/Juan Guajardo)

Fish tacos entered the mainstream when Fuzzy’s Tacos opened in 2001. Now, with more than 150 locations in 16 states, Fuzzy’s is the big fish in the small pond of Baja fish tacos.

The hook: The menu offers grilled or tempura-battered mahi served on a corn tortilla, topped with garlic sauce, lettuce, tomatoes, shredded cheese, cilantro, and feta for $2.99.

Fried is fabulous, so ignore your diet. With a stellar crunch and a mild flavor, the fish was tasty and allowed the cilantro and feta to shine through.

Throw it back: The long, thin piece of grilled mahi was dry and tough. The garlic sauce was a life preserver that didn’t quite reach far enough.

Catch of the day: Through April 12, try the Citrus Heat mahi taco for $3.49. Available with tempura or grilled mahi, the taco has crunchy sweet pepper and jalapeno slaw, orange honey habanero sauce, and garlic sauce. On top — a grilled pineapple slice.

First glance was underwhelming. The half slice of a canned pineapple ring reminded us of elementary school lunches. However, our taster was impressed that it was “not fishy” and the crunch of the tempura held up to the sauce and juicy pineapple, making this her favorite taco of our quest.

Again, the grilled version disappointed. With no tempura to soak up the sauce, it quickly became a soggy mess.

Go fish? Fried is your friend. Cut bait on the grilled.


RUSTY TACOS (5 locations in the diocese)

Fish taco fans can order the basic for $3.25 — grilled or tempura-battered cod with a creamy baja sauce, red cabbage, and cilantro. These fish portions are large enough to not hide under toppings. The tacos aren’t swimming in cheese, but you won’t miss it.

The grilled fish was moist and mild, and the fried fish had a light batter. The creamy sauce gives it moisture without drowning the fish. One reviewer found it a “more mature, sophisticated fish taco” with a “nice balance” between the ingredients, plus a little spice.

Taco Heads, with table service and cloth napkins, elevates fish tacos to date night. (NTC/Juan Guajardo)

The flour tortilla had been freshly warmed on the grill, which improved its taste and held the taco together.

Catch of the day: For $4.50, the Acapulco fish taco offers the same grilled or tempura-battered fish, but topped with avocado crema, coleslaw, pico de gallo, and an avocado slice inside a flour tortilla. It’s a special item expected to last through Lent, according to an employee at the Camp Bowie Boulevard location.

If you like avocado, this is your fish taco. If you like to stay neat, keep fishing. The avocado crema covered the reviewer’s hand in deliciousness.

Go fish? Keepers, for certain.

TACO HEADS (1 location in the diocese)

This Montgomery Street restaurant, which offers sit-down service with cloth napkins and real glassware, has come a long way from its origins as a taco trailer. But a look at the menu, with more than a dozen tacos, shows that it’s still a taco truck at heart.

The lure: At $4.50, the wild-caught fish taco is the most expensive taco on the menu. Pieces of redfish, marinated in chimichurri, are grilled and topped with bright purple pickled slaw, onion, cilantro, queso fresco, and a drizzle of garlic aioli.

An addition of red salsa can add a little heat if you’d like, but the green salsa was milder than Galveston at low tide. The tortillas were warm off the grill and did a fine job containing the taco, even with extra salsa.

One of our reviewers thought the vinegar of the slaw overpowered the mild fish, but overall, we were pleased with the taste of the taco.

Go fish? Nice catch.

TORCHY’S TACOS (5 locations in diocese, with 2 more opening soon)

Mr. Orange at Torchy's Tacos (NTC/Juan Guajardo)

As you scan the menu, don’t be distracted by the Trailer Park taco (with fried chicken), the Crossroads (with brisket), or this month’s special, the Roscoe (with a waffle, fried egg, fried chicken, and bacon).

Dwelling at the bottom of the menu, you’ll find the fish. The Mr. Orange taco ($5.45) has a large piece of blackened salmon topped with grilled corn and black bean relish, cotija cheese, and cilantro, drizzled with a mild avocado sauce.

Take the bait: The size of the filet makes folding a challenge, but two corn tortillas give it a substantial base, with no sauce or ingredients leaking through. With a little spice, the fish bites back just a bit, and there’s no mistaking the taste of salmon, even with a heavy sprinkle of cheese that was too much for one of our reviewers.

Go fish? Reel it in.

RECOMMENDED BY READERS — We weren’t able to cast our nets across the entire 28-county diocese. North Texas Catholic readers also recommended fish tacos at:

Anamia’s Tex-Mex, with multiple fish taco options in multiple locations: Coppell, Flower Mound, and Southlake.

Rockfish Seafood Grill, with locations in Arlington, Southlake, Frisco, Lewisville, and Highland Village.

Did we miss your favorite place? Throw us a line, and we may bite.

Lent, Friday, fasting, abstinence, meat, fish, tacos, trending-english