When I had a huge craving for fish tacos one evening, Mike and I decided to drop by the Combine Eatery which is well known for their fish tacos. The recently opened restaurant is located on the Danforth, just a few minutes away from Broadview station. We came here without a reservation around six on a Friday and had no problem getting a table but it soon afterwards it got pretty busy.Upon entering the restaurant, I was impressed by its décor. With its modern-rustic look, exposed brick walls and a gorgeous bar, it really added to its nice ambiance. I just wasn’t a fan of how close together the tables were placed. There were only a few inches between our table and the one next to us.
The Combine Eatery’s menu contained a nice selection of tacos, burgers and other comfort food options like meatloaf, mac and cheese and ribs. In addition to the tacos we were going to order, we started with the Vegetable Fritters – Corn, red pepper, green onions and potato ($7.95). They also had lobster fritters on the menu which sounded interesting, but they were almost twice the price so we decided on the veggie ones instead. The plate arrived with six freshly fried fritters with a side of fresh salsa and sour cream. They reminded me of samosas without the spicy kick and peas. They were pretty tasty and I liked that the potatoes weren’t cooked to a mush as they still had a bit of a bite to them.For our mains, we decided to get two plates of tacos. The first ones we tried were the So-Cal Fish Tacos. This came with three soft corn tortillas, with your choice of grilled or fried basa, cabbage, pico de gallo, fresh cilantro, Monterey cheese and lime crema ($15.95). We decided to go with the fried basa since we thought the crispiness would add a bit of texture to the tacos. We found the tacos to be quite mild in flavour. Yes, the fish was fresh and cooked well but we both thought it could have used a bit more seasoning. As for the tortillas, I found them to be a little dry and crumbly so they didn’t hold up too well. Overall, I thought they tasted decent but I wouldn’t say they were anything special.
We also ordered the Fried Shrimp Tacos ($15.95). The tacos came with the same toppings as the fish tacos and each taco had two small shrimp on them. I was going to add some hot sauce to my tacos but thankfully I had tried one first before doing so. I was thrown off by the spiciness of the fried shrimp but I’m not complaining. It added a nice flavour and kick to the tacos. We both enjoyed the shrimp tacos and preferred these ones over the fish tacos. I have to point out that I thought the prices of the tacos were on the high side – $16 for only three tacos. We were full afterwards, but I think we still would have been hungry if we didn’t order the fritters to start.All taco dishes are served with a side of either the house coleslaw or house salad and we got the coleslaw for both. Although I found it to be a touch overdressed, it was quite delicious.
Although I’m sad to say that the fish tacos didn’t live up to our expectations, the shrimp tacos were pretty solid. And on the whole, we had a pretty good experience. The service was fantastic – all the servers were incredibly warm and personable and came by often to check on us, refill our water, etc. The atmosphere here was also great, with its rustic-modern feel. I’d come back to try some of their other enticing menu items.At a glance:
• Located near Broadview subway station
• Known for their fish tacos but we preferred the shrimp tacos
• Great service
• Warm, rustic-modern décor
Ratings (out of 5):
• Food: 3.5 stars
• Service: 4.5 stars
• Atmosphere: 5 stars