New to the 'Scene'
Towards the end of the summer Chicago got what I think is it's first full fledged fish taco house. Marc Malnati of pizza fame has teamed up with the people behind Kamehachi and opened one up in Old Town. Due to odd hours (open at 4p on weekdays) I didn't get a chance to try them until recently.
Newly Opened in Old Town
The feel of the place is very modern with a few odes to fishing scattered about. During the warmer months the windows roll up so the air can come in. There's also an outdoor seating patio and both booths and counters inside. The majority of taco options are seafood based with Baja style fish tacos joining fried shrimp, blackened fish, BBQ salmon, tuna poke, blackened chicken and also a vegetarian option of panko-crusted avocado. No beef or pork for the extremely carnivorous. Between both of my visits I've tried the ones I wanted to and have been pretty pleased with the product.
Blackened Fish (L) Fried Shrimp (R)
First thing you notice when your order arrives is the size of the tacos. These are stuffed with seafood. In the case of the shrimp it comes with three pieces of large shrimp with a thicker than normal batter. The only fallback is they're a little bit harder to eat but I'm fan with sacrificing east eating for being full from just two tacos. Orders come two per ($9-$11) and someone finally got it right allowing customers to mix and match their order. The blackened fish was the weak link thus far. It was cooked a little too much and tasted kind of dry. Though I did enjoy the peanut salsa it's topped with.
Ahi Tuna Poke Taco
On my second trip in I decided to go with a tuna poke and really liked the filling but as expected from the price-point the poke isn't as abundant as the other fillings. Mixed with guacamole and crispy cabbage this taco is perfect for those not wanting to get fried. Speaking of which the signature Sapporo battered fish taco is fried very well. Mine came with three marge chunks of fish that was extra flaky on the inside. It was a little hard to eat but all you need to do is eat one piece of the fish as is then attack the rest as a taco. We don't have a bunch of great fish taco options in Chicago so this one moves near the top of the pack my only real complaint is the tortillas need to be hotter. On my visits they were not the same temp as the filling. Other than that I liked product and price-point.
Buzz Bait Taqueria
1529 N Wells St
Chicago, IL 60611