Cabo Fish Taco: Review & Recipe

imageFor nearly ten years, I have been avoiding Cabo Fish Taco, a restaurant in downtown Blacksburg, Virginia, purely based on the name. Fish and Taco…not things I would normally combine. First of all, I’m not a fan of fish. It frightens me a little – all those teeny tiny bones. And the smell is not all that pleasing, either…so, throwing a handful of fish into a taco just seems so – not good.

But I was wrong.

There. I said it. For once, I was wrong.image

Had it not been for noticing that Guy Fieri hit Cabo Fish Taco on his ever popular Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives, I may have never had the guts to make my way into the small feel, big taste eatery. So, completely going against my own nature, as we were headed out for a date without the Boy on Friday night, I blurted out Cabo Fish Taco when asked where I wanted to go. No turning back after giving the hostess my name…not that I really wanted to. The reviews I read on Urbanspoon during our near hour wait for a table had my non-fish eating mouth watering. And by the time we sat down to eat, I was starving.

Lucky for me, the waitress brought bottomless chips and corn salsa right away, and it only got better from there. cabo2I ordered one of the most recommended items from Urbanspoon – the Soy Ginger Shrimp Tacos. I also had to try the Barbeque Garlic Shrimp Tacos as well. Then I made Jon order the Caribbean Quesadilla, because it sounded too good not to have a bite of. That, and I’m bossy. It happens.

Now, when the food quickly arrived, I sampled Jon’s first. Very good. Pineapple and I don’t really get along so well anymore, but it was very tasty, and very fresh. It certainly was complimented by the mango topped rice we had as a side, and Jon had no issue in putting away the whole plate…and it was a pretty big plate at that. Not skimping on the serving sizes here.

Next I tried the Barbeque Garlic Taco. Also very, very good. A deep flavor, almost smoky barbeque sauce covered the well cooked shrimp…and the light and crispy slaw that filled the taco was spot on delicious. But, this taco was nothing compared to the Soy Ginger Shrimp Taco.cabogingersoy

Oh. My. Word. The sweetness of the shrimp, with subtle ginger? Heaven. And again, the crunch of the slaw made this an absolute delight to eat. I fear my next time (and there will be a next time), as I really want just these tacos…but I also want to sample the rest of the menu. It’s extensive, folks, and it all sounds so wonderful. Great pricing too – much better than I expected from a beachy feeling college restaurant.

For more information on Cabo Fish Taco, check out their website here, or take a look at Guy’s visit from Diners, Drive-Ins & Dives. I think you’ll feel a connection to the owner – I did – because he seemed so down to earth, fun, and real. I can support something like that…not that he knows or cares who I am, but that really doesn’t matter either. He has a great restaurant, and I was well fed.

imageAnd while I didn’t try the much lauded Mahi Tacos – I felt compelled to leave you with the recipe. It’s direct from the owners, and posted at the Food Network site…and now here as well. I hope you enjoy it, and if you are nearby Charlotte, NC or Blacksburg, VA and find yourself hungry – I highly recommend checking out this fantastic little gem of a restaurant. Just invite me to tag along, okay?

Mango BBQ Mahi Mahi Tacos

Recipe courtesy Rob and Maeghan Crenshaw, owners, of Cabo Fish Taco in Charlotte, NC.


  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/4 cup diced red peppers (roasted preferred)
  • 1/4 cup diced green peppers
  • 1/4 cup diced yellow onion
  • 1/4 cup diced carrots
  • 1/4 cup diced celery
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro leaves
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon seasoning salt
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/3 cup white vinegar
  • 1 head green cabbage, quartered and sliced into thin strips
BBQ Sauce:
  • 1/2 cup mango chunks
  • 2 roasted red bell peppers, (roasted at 400 degrees F, seeds and skin removed)
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 3 tablespoons white vinegar
  • 1/2 tablespoon Caribbean jerk seasoning
  • 1/4 tablespoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1 cup BBQ sauce
Cilantro White Sauce:
  • 1 cup plain yogurt
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1/2 bunch chopped fresh cilantro leaves
  • 1 lime, juiced
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon blackening spice
  • 2 fresh avocados, halved, pitted and flesh diced
  • 2 fresh jalapenos, diced
  • 1 lime, juiced
  • 1/4 cup diced red onion diced
  • 1 teaspoon fresh minced garlic
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 bunch chopped fresh cilantro leaves
  • 1 to 1 1/2 pounds mahi mahi, skinned and cleaned
  • Blackening seasoning
  • Olive oil
  • 1 dozen (6-inch) flour tortillas
  • 1 cup shredded cheese of choice
  • 1 cup diced tomatoes


For the Slaw:

In mixing bowl mix all ingredients together except the cabbage. Once evenly mixed add the cabbage and turn with your hands or spoons until the cabbage is evenly coated. Cover and store in refrigerator until ready to serve. Should be made 24 hours in advance.

BBQ Sauce:

Mix all of the ingredients in food processor and puree. Pour into a bowl or jar and refrigerate.

Cilantro White Sauce:

Mix all of the ingredients in a mixing bowl until thoroughly combined. Cover and store in the refrigerator.


Mix all of the ingredients into a mixing bowl. HINT: Use a potato masher first to crush the avocados then use spoon to combine the mixture. Cover and refrigerate.


Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

Coat the mahi mahi with blackening seasoning. Add some olive oil to a saute pan and add the mahi mahi. Cook until flaky, about 3 to 5 minutes. Shred the fish with a fork or a spoon. When the fish is no longer pink in the center, add 1/2 cup BBQ sauce and mix together. Heat the tortillas in the oven for 30 seconds to 1 minute.

To serve:

Spoon the guacamole down the center of each tortilla then add a layer of shredded cheese and diced tomatoes. Add the slaw and the mahi mahi. Top with the white cilantro sauce. Arrange on a serving platter, get a napkin and dig in.

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