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Jeff Houck

The Tampa Tribune’s food writer since 2005, Jeff Houck covers the way people live through their food. He also hosts the Table Conversations food podcast and believes that everything crunchy is good.

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Octopus Salad, Meat Pie, Chocolate Twinkies With Whiskey Caramel [This Week’s Weekend Eats]

Posted Apr 17, 2012 by Jeff Houck

Updated Apr 17, 2012 at 01:09 PM

@nolamaven - Fish tacos with wood-grilled sheepshead chipotle slaw ancho tamarind salsa from @gwfins

The most elusive creature in the food chain isn’t Bigfoot or the Loch Ness Monster.

It’s the satisfying fish taco.

Invariably, something about them infuriates me.

It’s all my fault.

In my mind, I want to bite into a heroic-size portion of fish. I want it to taste like I’m chewing on a whale-size portion.

And that rarely happens.

Instead, I usually get fish bits, tiny nuggets of fish-like substance which give you a hint of fish but not nearly enough to make you overcome the thought that you’re eating a tortilla salad with fish croutons.

But the one enjoyed by my Twitter follower Susan Whelan, who goes by the handle @nolamaven, looks good enough to make me think I’ve eaten half of the Florida Aquarium.

Her photo of fish tacos with wood-grilled sheepshead, chipotle slaw and ancho-tamarind salsa was good enough to best a very stiff week of Weekend Eats competition this week. (Susan enjoyed those tacos at GW Fins in New Orleans’ French Quarter.)

I may have fallen too much in love with this photo. I started to see the face of Our Lady of Guadalupe

Taco and Our Lady of Guadalupe

I know. I’m way too hungry to be looking at food photos.

What did Susan win for her efforts?

The Perfect Ingredient

A copy of “The Perfect Ingredient” by British chef Bryn Williams. I really dug the simple elegance of the seasonal recipes inside. I’d take a crack at the beet soup if I was her.

She also enters the very esteemed confines of the Weekend Eats Hall of Fame gallery on Pinterest.

What kind of competition was the fish taco up against?

Check out this week’s Gallery of Noms. Feel free to tell me exactly why I’m wrong. It won’t hurt my feelings.

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