When I saw a TV commercial for the new Long John Silver’s fish taco I thought it was a hard shell with nothing but a LJS breaded filet dropped inside. And it made me laugh.
Does the existence of a shell instantly transform any food whatsoever into a taco? Is that the way it works? If so, maybe Cracker Barrel will start selling beef stew tacos? And spaghetti tacos for the kiddies?
And if we’re in the mood for something a little more exotic, perhaps we can someday go down to China Palace for a platter of Moo Goo Gai Pan tacos? And when we’re in West Virginia we can order up a mess o’ fried baloney sandwich tacos to tide us over until supper?
I mean, all you have to do is add a crunchy shell, right? I think I’ll start carrying around a box of them, for those times when I want to kick off an impromptu Mexican fiesta. While at Waffle House or Dairy Queen, or wherever.
Unfortunately, the so-called fish taco wasn’t exactly as I originally understood it to be. It’s actually half of a breaded fish filet, shredded lettuce, something semi-spicy called “Baja sauce,” and those little LJS crumbly things (deep-fried grease splatter), all wrapped in a soft tortilla shell.
Not quite as hilarious as I originally thought… It’s more of a wrap than a taco, really. How disappointing.
But it certainly is tasty. In fact, I was taken aback by its tastiness. The simple ingredients work well together, and there’s all sorts of textures going on, and temperatures, too. I liked the way the lettuce was super-cold (for some reason), right up against the hot fish filet.
And they didn’t overdo it with the Baja sauce, which I appreciated. I’m very skeptical of sauces, because they’re almost always overused to the extreme. I might be in the minority, but I don’t view a sandwich as merely a surface on which to transport mayonnaise. So, I often scrape 80% of the sauce off my fast food fare, usually with one of those mysterious dagger-like “hard fries.”
Baja sauce is mayonnaise-based, and a little spicy. The inside of my mouth seemed to get hotter and hotter, for about five minutes after finishing my lunch. I didn’t notice much heat while eating the things, but there was a delayed time-released reaction. Nothing too extreme, though. This is Long John Silver’s, remember.
The tacos weren’t greasy, either. Eating at LJS usually leaves me feeling like my mouth and throat have been treated with some sort of industrial undercoating, perhaps something used on battleships to keep barnacles from sticking. And that’s because of the cooking method they use: real hot grease. Everything there is prepared via a method known as “real hot grease.”
But my tacos were surprisingly light on the undercoating. And they were easy to eat, as well. The ingredients weren’t falling from the tortilla, and I didn’t have sauce dripping off my elbow, etc.
I was prepared to dislike the new Long John Silver’s fish tacos, but was pleasantly surprised. And at just 99 cents each… Man, what a deal. I might have to keep a sack on my car’s console at all times.
The official Surf Report rating: A-