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Fado Irish Pub

Annapolis MD

1 park place #7, annapolis MD 21401
website
410-626-0069
mon 11:30am-12am, tues-fri 11:30am-2am, sat morning-2am, sun morning-12am

Fado Irish Pub (Annapolis MD)

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Rating: 92
Price: $$$

The To-Go

Great fish tacos and a perfectly acceptable pork belly, with a desirable happy hour deal.

The Sit-Down

Traveling to Annapolis to take part in some socio-environmental synthesis, it only made sense to take part in some cross-cultural comestible synthesis as well. Somewhat inadvertently, my business associates and I ended up at Fado Irish Pub during happy hour, and happened to notice a couple taco options on the appetizer menu. In the spirit of interdisciplinary collaboration, Anthony & I decided to split two taco plates, one fish and the other pork belly. Faced with a somewhat unexpected snap decision upon ordering (in addition to happy hour, it was Taco Tuesday), we both chose the 3-taco plates, being assured that the price/taco was superior.

After a short wait in which we enjoyed some decidedly non-local Goose Island beers, the tacos arrives at the table. As promised, they were served three abreast on classic flour tortillas, and as such were reasonably sized - on the larger end for a taco, but not up to Oye Amigos or Sabor Queretano levels. Nonetheless, they looked delicious. I started with the pork belly tacos, and I didn't exactly know what to expect (I rarely eat the belly of any animal, not for moral reasons but due to lack of available bellies). The meat was chipped in relatively small fragments and seemed to be roasted and briefly pan-fried; most pieces ended up being concave-shaped, which gave them a nice contrast between a crispy carbon-rich edge and a tender center. The flavor was dominantly bacon with a bit more depth, and the rest of the pork belly taco wasn't mind-blowing - it was topped with a slaw and a light sauce, neither of which added substantially to the taco, but both of which provided a nice contrast in texture.

Secondly, I moved on to the fish taco. As may be expected in a seaside town, this is where Fado really shined. Each taco had a single chicken-tender-sized hunk of fish, battered and fried, but remaining lightweight and grease-free. The tacos were topped with a Irish-Mexican hybrid of cabbage, tomato, and cilantro and - the real kicker - a delicious spicy aioli. While your classic fish tacos are topped with relatively mild sauces in the tartar (no, not Tartar) family, Fado's aioli provided both the creaminess necessary for a soft fish with the spiciness desired of a top-notch taco. Presumably having seen the light in my eyes upon digging in, Anthony was kind enough to offer me the third fish taco in exchange for the final pork belly taco (the hallmark of good intrateam dynamics), which I accepted with relish.

Unfortunately, the experience was a bit marred by the cost - after being quoted a Taco Tuesday Happy Hour combo price of $6 for the 3-taco plate (compared to $5 for the 2-taco plate), we got the bill and it turned out to be an $8 commitment. While still a reasonable deal compared to the rest of the menu, this flipped the optimal tacos/$$ ratio from the 3-taco plate (0.375 tacos/$) to favoring the 2-taco plate (0.4 tacos/$), meaning we could have got the same 6 tacos for $1 less. Nonetheless, the quality of Fado's fish taco was high enough that we can briefly overlook the minor price snafu, and report that they are definitely worth a visit - as long as it's between 4-7 PM.

Reviewed by tacosmog.com on