The Original Fish Tacos at Berryhill consist of two or three large pieces of breaded and fried white fish placed in two soft corn tortillas and served with shredded red cabbage, a fair amount of cilantro leaves and a spiked mayonnaise sauce. The tacos are large. The fish is always clean-tasting, often arriving at the table piping hot from the deep fryer with the cabbage adding some firm texture to the usually crispy fish and the cilantro and sauce helping with additional complementary flavors. I always spoon on a lot of the watery tomato-based salsa found at the condiments bar that helps some more, especially its spicy small pieces off jalapeño. Berryhill used to use catfish but now, from all I can gather from a cashier who seems to be the manager, it is a white fish from the sea that is not tilapia. It works well, if not as well as the catfish did. The pieces of fish sometime become mushy a little too readily, mostly courtesy of the mayonnaise-based sauce and the addition of the salsa. It detracts from the taco, but it’s still an enjoyable, messier dish.
I can’t say these tacos are in the same league as what you will find in San Diego or Ensenada, but these have been more enjoyable than the ones I’ve had up the road in Orange County at cheap chain outposts. I find that an order of two Original Fish Tacos makes for an inexpensive and quick lunch. Two with water with tax and tip comes to $9.64 these days. A find value that also includes chips and salsa. The help-yourself chips found with the salsa are store-bought and really not very good even when there are no hints of the occasional staleness. Though both the chips and are below par, I can’t help but finish a basket helping make for a properly satiating lunch.
There are eight Berryhill locations now. They used to vary widely in quality. I am not sure these days, as I’ve only been to the 11th Street location in years. Not as interesting as satisfying as the original location in the Village many years ago, it can still be a decent stop that’s a at least a decent value.
Berryhill Baja Grill Cantina
702 E. 11th Street (a few blocks west of Studewood), (713) 225-2252