The Cabo Fish Taco at the restaurant of the same name is an entrée with two soft flour tortillas stuffed with beer- batter dipped cod, shredded cabbage, tomato, avocado, mixed cheeses and finished with a cilantro white sauce.
For those of you who live, work and play in South Charlotte, it's time to venture outside familiar territory to see what's happening in the rest of the Queen City.
How about a road trip to Charlotte's NoDa district?
There are several ways to get there, but for the uninitiated, here's the most direct.
Just head Uptown on Third Street, turn right on Davidson Street and continue over I-77, past the historic McGill Rose Gardens (also worth a visit), and you'll be on "North" Davidson Street. Keep going past the Johnston YMCA on your left and you're almost there. Just beyond the Y, after several abandoned factories, you'll find the three-to-four- block stretch of NoDa, that's, North Davidson (the street, not the town). Parking is street-side or in one of the several small lots just off North Davidson Street. A stroll down the district will find you window-shopping at several of Charlotte's most eclectic galleries, including the Center of the Earth and Blue Pony galleries, and in an array of fun and funky shops.
When hunger strikes, you're in luck - just across from the Center of the Earth Gallery in the historic Landmark Building, at the corner of North Davidson and 35th Street, is an unpretentious little dining spot called Cabo Fish Taco, which opened in October 2001.
Owned and operated by friends and NoDa residents, Gary Walker and Rob Crenshaw, Cabo is a Baja seafood grill inspired by the feel and flavors of Southern California and the Baja coast of Mexico. Customers are encouraged to relax - it's that laid-back California attitude - untuck your shirt, loosen your laces, sip on a homemade margarita and enjoy.
Beverage selections Before you order your food, check out the drink menu. The beverage selection is not about wine at Cabo. There is a short list of rather nondescript reds and whites, but better to turn your attention to the beer and margarita listings. There are almost a dozen and a half beers both in bottles and on tap, domestic, imported and from Mexico and different varieties of tequila. Specialty tequilas, including Herradura Silver Blanco, Jose Cuervo 1800 Reposado tequila and a little something called Cabo Wabo 100% Blue Agave tequila, are quite smooth and served as shooters with salt and lime or blended into a tasty selection of homemade margaritas. If you're looking for suggestions, try the Silver Surfer or The Perfect Wave - like all drinks at Cabo, these are quite large, quite tasty and quite potent, so be on guard.
Once you've settled in with a little something from the bar, you can munch on the warm toasted tortilla chips and a wonderful fresh tomato and corn salsa, served as soon as you're seated, while you turn your attention to food. The menu is the same for lunchtime or dinner and includes a little something for everyone.
Appetizers and entrees If you're looking for something light, the wraps and burritos are very good. All feature oversized flour tortillas rolled tightly around a choice of turkey, chicken, fresh tuna, veggies, or shrimp offered in about 10 different combinations.
If you're looking for heartier fare, start with appetizers. The Baja Shrimp and Crab Dip served with toasted pita wedges is good but not as good as the steak roll which features ancho-pepper rubbed steaks thinly sliced and rolled in a flour tortilla with portabello and wild mushrooms, onions, tomatoes and mixed cheeses. The whole roll is sliced sushi style" and served atop a bed of hot nopalitos (a cooked cactus salad of sorts) topped with a drizzling of a Marsala aioli, (a garlic mayonnaise sauce).
For entrees, try the Tuna Stack, featuring a grilled, seasoned, yellow fin tuna steak stacked on crispy flour tortilla layers with black beans, Baja rice and more of the tasty fresh tomato salsa. The Roasarito Fajitas done in your choice of shrimp, steak, chicken or veggies, all grilled with peppers and onions in a unique kiwi-teriyaki fajita sauce, are also a good choice.
On the other hand, I'm sad to say that the crab cakes were disappointing. The mix of spiced lump crabmeat and crushed tortillas was proportioned too much crushed tortilla to crabmeat. They were too heavy, too bready, too spicy, and just didn't taste much like the crab we craved.
While I was disappointed, at least I wasn't wary of ordering the crab cakes. I was wary of ordering the restaurant's namesake, The Cabo Fish Taco, but how could I come here and not order it? To my surprise and great delight, it was delicious. Apparently fish tacos, no matter how the name sounds, are all the rage in the Baja and with little wonder. At Cabo Fish Taco, they are featured two to an order and consist of a warm, soft, but crunchy, flour tortilla stuffed with good-sized, beerbattered chunks of cod, shredded cabbage, tomato, avocado, mixed cheeses and finished with a cilantro white sauce. The sauce is traditionally made with mayonnaise, but here it's made with yogurt. Best eaten hot, right when served, it was delightfully good.
In addition to lunch and dinner, Cabo Fish Taco also serves a brunch menu Sundays from 11:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. While things on the brunch menu were more lunch fare than breakfast food, the French toast was the most unusual item on the menu. It consisted of thin-sliced, egg-dipped flour tortillas, fried-to-a-crisp crunch and served with whipped cream and a kiwi maple syrup. It was like eating fried Chinese noodles - the kind you'd put in soup - with fruity maple syrup - interesting but far from traditional French toast. If you want breakfast fare, stay with the breakfast burritos and the frittatas, all served with a slightly spicy edge and with sides of grits, sweet potato hash or a mix of canned and fresh fruit.
117 South Main Street
Blacksburg, VA 24060
SUN.-THURS. 11:00 AM-10:00PM
Charlotte, North Carolina
3201 North Davidson Street
Charlotte, NC 28205
SUN.-THURS. 11:00 AM-10:00PM
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