We're a hell of a long way from SoCal, but that doesn't mean you can't get a decent fish taco in South Florida. In fact, there are some damned fine examples if you know where to look. In anticipation of the New Times' annual Best Of issue premiering in June, Clean Plate Charlie has put together a list of some of the best fish tacos in Broward and Palm Beach counties. As always, please let us know who you think belongs on this list.
1. Nacho Bizness
This food truck - typically parked in downtown Fort Lauderdale during the weekday lunch hour - serves a California-style taco of grilled mahi-mahi that arrives topped with crunchy pineapple slaw. Dubbed the spring break, you'll get one taco for $4 or two for $7. The truck's chronic ginger lemonade ($3) is a must-do accompaniment. A bonus? The truck accepts credit cards, so there's no scrambling for cash when the craving hits.
2. Nick & Johnnie's
The winner of Best Fish Taco in 2011, these ahi tuna tacos ($4 each) are appetizer-sized but satisfying in their combo of crunch, spice, and savory flavors. Ahi tuna is matched with avocado, cucumber, onion, ponzu sauce, and rice for a dish that contrasts and comingles in perfect harmony. Order a few, lest you risk being left wanting for more.
The restaurant's burritos deserve a special nod, of course, but don't miss the seared mahi-mahi taco at this fresh-focused fast-casual joint. The fish is well-seasoned and paired with a cilantro creama cabbage plus shredded jack cheese, tomato, and avocado. As a nice little added incentive to give this a try, the store uses biodegradable, compostable cutlery and packaging, meaning the restaurant composts virtually all of its waste.
This fast-casual Mexican restaurant has gotten plenty of praise over the years from the New Times crew, and some of the accolades are reserved specifically for the company's fish tacos. The baja fish taco starts with a warm corn tortilla that is topped with beer-battered fish and then topped with crunchy cabbage and a tangy dressing. At $2.75 each, these are a popular lunch choice at all three Broward County locations.
Joseph Parsons rules the roost, sending out taco creations, like the fish taco, that have attracted a mix of tourists and local food lovers alike. Cathy's catch ($5.50) introduces flash-fried fish to the heat of the Serrano, with the crunch of spicy pepitas and honey lime slaw to bring the taste home. Like all of JoJo's tacos, the combo is served on a soft corn tortilla with lime cilantro and a choice of salsa or sauce; the verde is a good selection for this flavor combo.
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