- Jessica Elizarraras
- That’s a lot of cod! From l-r: blackened shrimp, beer-battered cod and blackened tilapia
A mild spring means area food trucks are out and about in droves. Any downtown resident and/or worker can attest to the new draw of Travis Park, which recently underwent a $500,000 makeover that includes new picnic tables, teal plastic bistro tables, a dog run and infrastructure upgrades. The improvements make it a great space for food truck fiends to chow down on mobile eats while getting some much-needed time away from their desks (guilty as charged).
Travis Park is where I stumbled on Duke’s Seafood & Grill ((210) 708-9210 or (210) 286-9438). The truck is owned by Tyrone Fisher, a Seattle-transplant who’s bringing Pacific Northwest eats to SA’s taco-hungry masses.
“I couldn’t find food I was used to,” said Fisher, “I’m adding fusion by taking the food I’m used to like fish and chips and putting it in a taco.”
The truck first got its start in early January at the Boardwalk On Bulverde (sidebar: BOB is back in business on May 23 after closing down to work on some upgrades), and has been fairly mobile since with occasional stops at The Point Park & Eats, The Block, Random in Boerne, Port of San Antonio and Downtown.
Much like SpiceSea Gourmet before it, Duke’s focuses on fresh seafood, but on a smaller scale. The four-item menu came together by trial and error as Fisher tested recipes, and he’s working on adding salads and chowders in the coming months. For now, customers will find made-to-order blackened fish tacos ($10), beer-battered cod tacos ($10) and Gulf shrimp tacos ($12), along with fish and chips ($10).
I bit the bullet and committed to the Taco Trio with servings of all three tacos mentioned above. At $15, it must be said that this Road Food is on the steep side, but Fisher does source most of his product locally from Groomer’s Seafood, so I’ll let it slide. The extra $2 for bagged fries on the other hand, not so much.
The tasty blackened fish tacos came with finely shredded cabbage, queso fresco, cilantro and Sriracha crema, a combination that drew comparisons to iterations found at Rosario’s and The Cove. The shrimp taco was hefty and perfectly cooked with an added tangy guacamole on the same pliable corn tortillas wrapped around each taco.
Fisher’s signature beer-battered cod taco was impressive. He adds certain South Texas elements—Dos Equis in the batter helps give the cod a nice golden crust—to push his concept of fusion. The large portion is topped with a dollop of crema Fisher makes using mayonnaise, sour cream, fresh dill and oregano, salt, pepper and cumin. It helps set this taco apart, while still giving South Texas a taste for chippies.