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The Fish Shack is Back

Heavenly fish tacos have arrived on the stretch of Red Road between Bird and Flagler at Fish Shack Market.

One of the best dishes: the daily Triple Tail catch. Thick pieces of fish are seasoned and seared a la plancha. They land on crunchy strips of julienne green cabbage inside a flash fried corn tortilla. Then, each crisp bundle is topped with freshly-made pico de gallo, bunches of chopped cilantro and finely diced fresh jalapeno.

A steamed corn tortilla sleeve, true to Mexican custom, is folded under the luscious package to prevent breakage. Multiplied by three, these beauties are piled side by side into a paper boat, next to a shooter of spicy tomato cocktail to cleanse the palate with sips between bites. Fish Shack Market is the result of the merger of Lucho Cuba, a Caffe Abracci alum who spent 14 years behind its storied bar, and his friend of practically as long, chef Andre.

They recently re-opened the restaurant (under their new management). Lucho had been sourcing fresh seafood for restaurants for a while, so it was only a matter of time before the Chilean sea bass, grouper, lane snapper, Scottish salmon, Appalachicola oysters, and blue crabs ended up in his refrigerated case. The dining room doubles as a market and is camped up with seaside décor. The $12 "executive menu," also available to non-executive-types, includes the fillet of fish of the day with a salad or soup and choice of two sides like house-made (not frozen) tostones, parsley potatoes, rice or thick cut fries.

Fish comes either grilled, blackened, pan-seared or fried with a selection of sauces if desired, like lemon butter, mustard, cilantro, passion fruiit and island curry. Starters include ceviches ($10-13,) fried seafood like conch fritters ($8) and buffalo shrimp ($12,) and clams on the half shell. We sampled the crab cakes ($12) which were generous on lump meat, but a little greasy and undercooked, as if they landed in a pan of oil that wasn't quite up to temperature.

A wide selection of "Fishermen's Soup" includes sopon marinero ($17,) clams in a cilantro garlic broth ($11), mussels in a spicy red broth ($9), conch chowder ($4/cup; $6/bowl,) and lobster bisque ($7). Three fish sandwiches and one chicken are available. Something tells us that they make a mean fish and chips ($12,) as well. On Wednesdays fish from the Mediterranean is flown in. The Shack doesn't have a liquor license, but there is wine and beer, including Venezuelan Polar for $5.

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Chuck Strouse is the former editor in chief of Miami New Times. He has shared two Pulitzer Prizes and won dozens of other awards. He is an honors graduate of Brown University and has worked at newspapers including the Miami Herald and Los Angeles Times.
Contact: Chuck Strouse