Monthly Archives: October 2009

Fish Taco Dreams

Brick by brick.

Good things are happening in Grand Rapids.  Case in point: fish tacos. Several years ago, if you mentioned fish tacos to anyone in the midwest, the reaction was typically a scrunch face.  Now, this west coast delicacy is showing up at local restaurants and they have been tasty.  Here are three places where I can verify that the tacos are good.  I also included a recipe for the DIYers in the crowd.   I think this recipe represents the most classic preparation, including corn tortillas and shredded cabbage.

The Green Well

These were very good.  Generous portion.  I would of preferred shredded cabbage to the lettuce but no real complaints.

Fish Tacos                                 $15.99
mojo marinated fish•avocado relish•tomatoes•lettuce•
lime sour cream

El Burrito Loco

Maybe the most authentic.  Real simple.  I honestly can’t remember if they included lettuce or cabbage, but they were fine.  I certainly would order again.


Sundance Grill

The mahi-mahi was a nice touch.  A firm fish, easy to prepare.  The cheese, tartar sauce and flour tortillas were a bit of a departure from tradition.

Grilled Mahi-Mahi Tacos
Grilled Cajun Mahi-Mahi, cabbage and Jack & Cheddar cheese wrapped in three flour tortillas. Served with tartar sauce, pico de gallo & Sedona rice

Here is a great recipe for fish tacos.  Make this at home.  It’s simple.  Ingredients are readily available.  Throw a fiesta. Invite your neighbors.  Invite me.  Make some toasts.  Play some Los Mocosos, Los Lobos and Juan Gabriel, and you will be certified craicadelic.

From the classic, May 2003 Bon Appetit’s, The Soul of Mexico




  • 1/4 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/4 cup ketchup
  • 1/4 cup crema mexicana*

Batter and fish

  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground pepper
  • 1 cup dark beer, room temperature
  • 13/4 pounds halibut, cut into 5×3/4-inch strips
  • 1 lime, halved crosswise
  • 12 white corn tortillas
  • Vegetable oil (for deep-frying)
  • 1 1/2 cups shredded red cabbage
  • 2 large tomatoes, chopped
  • Lime wedges
  • Bottled hot pepper sauce


For sauce:
Mix all ingredients in bowl; season with salt and pepper.

For batter and fish:
Whisk flour, salt, and pepper in bowl; pour in beer, whisking until batter is smooth. Let stand 15 minutes.

Sprinkle fish with salt and pepper. Squeeze some lime juice over each strip. Let stand 15 minutes. Mix fish into batter.

Preheat oven to 200°F. Heat skillet over medium heat. Stack 2 tortillas. Sprinkle top with water. Place in skillet, wet side down. Heat 1 minute. Sprinkle top with water. Turn stack over; heat 1 minute. Transfer stack to large sheet of heavy-duty foil. Repeat. Enclose tortillas in foil. Place in oven.

Pour oil into medium skillet to reach depth of 1 inch. Attach deep-fry thermometer; heat oil to 350°F. Slide 4 fish strips into oil. Fry until golden, about 4 minutes. Transfer fish to paper-towel-lined baking sheet; place in oven. Repeat.

Fill each warm tortilla with 2 fish strips. Top with sauce, cabbage, tomato, squeeze of lime, and dash of hot pepper sauce.

*Cultured Mexican cream with a slightly nutty flavor and consistency of thin sour cream.


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Took the family to Malarkys last night.  Looking for a friday night pizza, adult beverage, sports (MLB) on TV, in a family-friendly environment.   I should of known better.

Deep dish pizza should be renamed shallow dish pizza.  I think any restaurant the advertises deep dish pizza should be required to have some type of certification.  How hard can it be to make a a pizza like Chicago’s Giordano’s?

Boneless buffalo chicken wings were like deep fried dough nuggets.

Draft beer selection came from one distributor.  No local micro-brews, just the usual suspects.

There is something about the restaurants that locate on East Beltline.  I think they all must source their food from a central kitchen.  Average food, average experience, average ambience, average service, average price.  I should of known better.

My advice for a good family-style sports bar/restaurant?  This is the place.

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