We arrived right at the beginning of lunch hour and we pleased to see a smattering of tables already occupied. There was only one person manning the registers to take our order. He did not have on a name tag nor did he introduce himself (not that cashiers normally tell us their name), he was however, very helpful and informative in our selection process of what to have for lunch. His answers to our questions assisted us in quick decisions, our order was placed, and we were off to fill our drinking cups.
Having skipped breakfast, we opted to start with a couple of appetizers – Baja Rolls ($4.79) and Maui Onion Rings ($3.50). After completing our order and receiving our placard and finding a table, a server soon arrived with the onion rings and asked if we'd like Ranch dressing or Catsup with them; we figured we'd get adventurous and try both. We ultimately decided the Ranch Dressing was the better dipping sauce. We felt we were off to a good start, as the beer-battered onion rings were hot, fresh and quite tasty; the onions were crisp-firm, but not raw. Overall, pretty perfect onion rings. We were a little baffled as to what made them "Maui," however, other than the name. Unfortunately, we did not receive our Baja Rolls before our meals were served.
I ordered a Wahoo's Sandwich w/Fries ($7.25); the sandwich ordinarily includes your choice of protein (I went with grilled chicken) guacamole, salsa and cheese. I actually don't much care for guacamole, so I requested mine without. In retrospect, I'm afraid that may have been a mistake. There were a few things that troubled me about my sandwich. First, when I received it, it included the guac I'd asked to have left off; so I returned it to the kitchen. When I later (much later) received the replacement sandwich and opened it to check for the offending condiment, I thought I'd discovered the kitchen had simply scraped off the guacamole and re-assembled the sandwich. The good news is, that is not what happened; an entirely new sandwich was made. What I learned was this: there is apparently a green sauce that is toasted onto the bread when the sandwich is made (there is no mention of this on the menu board), and when it gets toasted, it turns a very unappealing shade of brown. Additionally, there is a very large amount of shredded lettuce, and the bun greatly out-sizes the amount of chicken included in the sandwich. I had imagined I was going to have a grilled chicken breast, but the sandwich is actually made with diced pieces of chicken. Finally, because I had my sandwich sans guacamole, the unseasoned chicken left the sandwich to be somewhat lack luster in flavor. The fries included in my sandwich combo were nothing to write home about; some shoestring, Sysco fries with what I thought I detected as Seasoned Salt, as there was a slight sweetness on some of the fries.
When Julie (the server) brought our meals to us, we asked her to check on our Baja Rolls, which she returned with just a few minutes later. The Baja Rolls were described as "cream cheese, spinach, chicken and salsa, rolled in a large, lard-free tortilla." What we received looked and tasted more like simply spinach and flour tortilla. We unrolled one of the rolls and discovered the source of our dilemma; the chicken is actually ground down to almost nothing so it's hard to see or taste any chicken at all. Overall, not what we expected.
I ordered the #2 Combo ($6.50), which includes two tacos or enchiladas, or one of each, with sides of rice and beans. Based on our hosts suggestion, I opted for a chicken enchilada with red sauce and a shrimp enchilada with green sauce. I also decided on brown rice and black beans. My plate arrived hot and fresh looking very appealing. The chicken enchilada was slightly dry and rather mild in flavor while the shrimp enchilada had just enough spice to allow for a distinction between the sauces and the shrimp itself. The shrimps were of average size which you might expect anywhere else and the freshness was good for a non-seafood type establishment. The rice could have cooked a bit longer and the full flavor of the black beans didn't need any seasoning at all.
At the end of our meal at Julie's suggestion, we took the opportunity to meet with the manager. We were amused to learn that the young man who had taken our order was the manager. He spent a good amount of time talking to us, listening to our concerns and explaining the overall philosophy of Wahoo's menu. It seems that one of the key things guests need to realize when they come to Wahoo's Fish Taco, is that Wahoo's is not Tex-Mex, it is Baja (as in, deep-southern) California food. So if you're going in assuming you're going to have some spicy Tex-Mex, you're going to be disappointed. But if you're looking for something you might have experienced while visiting the beaches of Southern California, this will be right up your alley. We know people who immediately go to their favorite Baja style cafe as soon as they land in California; that's before visiting anyone, checking into the hotel or otherwise. Wahoo's is also more than just fish tacos, as we'd of course discovered when placing our order. But more than that, all of the dishes intricately rely on each of the ingredients that are ordinarily included in them to bring out the best flavors of the various dishes. For example, in the case of the chicken sandwich, it would seem that yes, removing the guacamole did in fact greatly detract from the intended experience. Additionally, the kitchen's mistake in not prepping the Baja Rolls correctly (not enough chicken) detracted from their intended flavor and texture.
We like to be able to say that we enjoyed our meal and have good things to impart to our readers and maybe we are simply to accustomed to our diet of Texas style food yet, Baja style food seems to be more of an aquired taste. The food at Wahoo's had the look, taste and feel of a freshly prepared meal without the flavor we have come to appreciate in a typical Tex-Mex eatery. Through no fault of the staff at Wahoo's, the food is prepared in the usual Baja style which unfortunately means no spices added to several of the items on the menu. We know that we are not alone in enjoying spicy foods but, there are many people who enjoy the natural flavors of the foods offered by Wahoo's. Is it possible that some of us have become so used to having foods covered up with spices that we are less able to appreciate the Baja style of cooking and these seemingly foreign, natural flavors are unrecognized by our taste buds and are subsequently rejected by the flavor centers of our brains?
Shredded Pork Bowl was very tasty
Wahoo's closed in 2013 and the space was re-opened as Central Taco in 2014.
Berryhill Baja Cafe
The Woodlands Cupcake Challenge 2012
Lama Mediterranean Cafe
Pure Healthy Eatery
The G's Healthy Gourmet
Up Late Cupcake
Wahoo's Fish Tacos
Yucatan Taco Stand