It’s a slippery slope.
That’s what I told Darlene when she suggested I do a Friday fast-food fish sandwich review of Del Taco. See, Del Taco serves tacos, not fish sandwiches. But that logic was my own undoing when I reviewed the McDonald’s Fish McBites last month. Fish balls does not equal fish sandwiches. So to Del Taco I went.
First off, I should acknowledge there are probably dozens of Mexican fast-food chains with fish tacos on the menu. San Diego’s very own Rubio’s used to sport “fish tacos” in its name, for example. Also, there are probably hundreds upon hundreds of little taco shops in Southern California, and many (most?) have fish tacos. And I don’t do well with salsa fresca, pico de gallo or hot sauces in general. To prevent the slippery slope from becoming a full-on waterpark ride, this will likely be the only non-fish-sandwich Mexican fast food I’ll review. (Yet if Taco Bell conjures up a fish taco, I’ll be there in line.)
OK. Onto the fish tacos. Del Taco sells its Beer-Battered Fish Tacos for $1.99, or two for $3. I figured they’d be pretty small so I doubled up. I was right: it’s a “street style” double-corn-tortilla taco with shredded cabbage, a version of tartar sauce/white sauce (soybean oil, egg yolk, water and vinegar) and what amounts to a medium-size pollock fish stick. I ordered mine with salsa on the side — otherwise, that would be on there, too. The lime wedge was a nice touch.
After the first bite, all I could taste was the tortilla and lime. So I added some salsa and took another bite. All I could taste was tortilla, lime and salsa. Then I added some mild hot sauce. And, you guessed it, I still couldn’t really taste the fish. I know they said it was “beer-battered,” but frankly I just couldn’t find any flavor.
This might be the easiest recipe to reverse engineer and duplicate at home. All you’d need would be some corn tortillas, a box of Mrs. Paul’s, some tartar sauce, a jar of your favorite salsa and some shredded cabbage. No deep fryer, no toasted honey wheat bun, no trip to the fishmonger, no special seasoning in the bread crumbs.
One taco weighs in at 300 calories and 17 fat grams, which seems like a lot for its size.
Folks, if you’ve got the time, please try a fish taco from a Mom & Pop joint. I can think of a few where a fish taco is less than a buck and tastes much better.
Read other Friday Fast Food Fishtacular posts here.