Fish Taco at The Highlander Pub in Ottawa
I don’t eat a lot of Mexican, or ‘Tex-Mex’ food, on the whole. The Taco, however, has become mainstream in past years, and can be found on the menus of many sorts of restaurants. The one served to me at The Highlander Pub in Ottawa’s Byward Market was generally decent, as Pub style Tacos go, but ultimately a bit bland and mediocre overall.
I should point out that I very much like the Highlander, and have been there many, many times over the years, but I don’t go there particularly for the food. I have had some good meals there, but I go because they have a huge selection of Scotches, a good range of beers, and because it is a nice place to go and sip a beverage (or three) while reading away an afternoon.
On one such occasion, they happened to have a $5 Taco special, offering a choice of Chicken, Pulled Pork, Tofu, and Fish, and I was rather peckish. I have previously eaten most of the items from their menu that are of interest to me and so I decided to give their Fish Taco a try.
The Tacos themselves were pretty simple and straightforward, consisting of just a plain flour Tortilla, along with some Tomato, Shredded Lettuce, and a Chipotle Mayo for enhancement.
The last time I had fish tacos, the fish was Yellow jack that was sliced and then just lightly floured and seasoned before being grilled. Here, the fish was cod that had battered and deep-fried just as it would be in a regular old fish-and-chip special. That might sound a bit boring, but the fish was fresh and I liked the crispy texture against the other components.
I had two criticisms of this particular Taco, and the first of these is that the large, rather oddly shaped chunk of fish made it a bit difficult to folds the tortilla around it and the eating of it was a bit messy. Probably two or three thin strips would work a little better.
The other issue was one I have with most Tacos served in Pubs, and that was with the Tortilla. All too often, these are commercially made elsewhere and then used without any further cooking. The result is always a rather unpleasant, doughy, raw-flout taste. This could easily be prevented by toasting the Tortilla with a little oil and I wonder why more restaurants don’t do this.
Anyway, the ‘Spicy Mayo’ was pleasant enough, but not especially ‘spicy’, and it didn’t add much zing to the rest of the filling. The fish may have been decent, but, after the first, I was not moved to have another.