Sep 2009

Tacos El Fenix – Ensenada

12 p.m. It took a village to pull me away from La Guerrerense, but I grudgingly boarded the bus knowing that our next stop was for fish tacos.  Along with carne asada burritos, these more or less fueled my high school years in San Diego, so I was curious to compare and contrast the version I grew up with to the ones made in Ensenada.

I love how the boy in this photo is clearly indifferent to fish tacos, while his parents are eagerly awaiting their orders. Living in this delicious city, I’m certain that the little one will be a card-carrying foodie in no time.

The fish tacos at El Fenix are made of shark, which is a really big fish if you think about it. Each tender fillet is dredged in a tempura-like batter with mustard and spices and then fried in lard. The fillets are fried twice using a stainless steel comal. The first fry is to cook the fish, while the second one is to crisp up the batter seconds before serving.

The freshly fried fish was gently laid atop a warm corn tortilla. A plethora of garnishes including cabbage, crema, pico de gallo, and various salsas were available tableside to personalize our tacos to taste. What sets El Fenix’s fish taco apart from the Rubio’s of the world is the vibrantly crunchy batter. I was very impressed by the level of crispness achieved and the absence of extreme greasiness. Score one for lard.

Tacos El Fenix
Corner of Espinosa and Juarez (Calle 5)
Zona Centro, Ensenada

BAJA BITES: 2 Days, 3 Cities, 18 Meals
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12 thoughts on “Tacos El Fenix – Ensenada

  1. How do these fish tacos compare to the Brigantine?

    Have you been to South Beach (fish taco place in OB)?

  2. Hello! My friends Matt Schiller and Ariel Holland recommended your blog, and I just wanted to let you know it’s lovely! I went to college in Philadelphia also (Penn), so I’m especially enjoying the older entries from Philly.

    Keep up the good work!


  3. Phil – It’s been way too long since I’ve had a fish taco from The Brig. If my memory serves me right, the major differences between the two lie in the type of fish, the batter, and the use of cheese on The Brig’s end. I can’t say which one is better because The Brig holds such a special place in our family’s hearts! And you’ll have to take me to the place in OB!

    Bill – I gotta bust these posts out before our next adventure!

    Anna – I’m so glad you’re digging what you’re reading and seeing on Gastronomy! I hope you’ll become a regular 😉

    Matt – Life is many things, but lard? No way, Jose!

  4. Going to watch Baja 1000 Nov. 19-21. First stop in Ensenada will be Tacos El Fenix and then I’ll give update. Just doing my duty, sir.

  5. Hi,
    I LOVE “El Fenix” I’m vegetarian now but I make an allowance everytime I go back to Ensenada for some Fish Tacos. Did they actually tell you that they make them with SHARK? That would be pretty sad as they are very close to become endangered 🙁 In such a case I will stick to the Shrimp Tacos the next time I visit El Fenix hehe.

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  8. Firs, thank you for publishing this, without this, I wouldn’t have found this tacos. I just went to ensenda this past weekend (July 27-29-, 2012). This tacos are really good. I highly recommend them. I travel to vicente guerrero every year. I guess this will be my stop every year!!!!!

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