For those that have not had the pleasure of indulging on this seafood dish popular in the coastal regions of Mexico, Ecuador, Columbia, Chile, and Peru, you are missing out on a delectable, good time.  Typically made from raw fish cured in citrus juices and mixed in with various seasonings such as cilantro, onions, salt, avocado, or even sweet potatoes, ceviche makes for an excellent side dish because of its range of flavors.

One of the best things about ceviche is that there is no single recipe or way of making it.  As long as you have some fish, some lime or lemon juice, and some onions, you have the base ingredients for cooking up something special.  We decided to try out some places in Dallas (and a few other cities as well as a bonus), and here is what we found.

The first restaurant we tried out was El Bolero down in the Design District. El Bolero has a “Barra Fria/Ceviches” menu with three ceviches to choose from: Tartara De Atun, Cocktail De Camaron, and Ceviche De Huachinango. The latter is what we tried, and it was an incredible dining experience.  It’s a heavenly combo of red snapper, tomato, red onion, watermelon, lime and grapefruit.

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It was a light ceviche, incorporating summer flavors for a rich, flavorful dish.  The watermelon and grapefruit were welcome bursts of sweetness next to the citrus juices and red onions that formed the core of the ceviche.  What made this dish so good is that the unique ingredients made for a perfect blend without overpowering the red snapper.  Hands down our favorite ceviche to date.  The Ceviche De Huachinango will run you $15 and it’s worth every cent.

Next up is Chino Chinatown, located at 3011 Gulden Lane at Trinity Groves .  You can find their ceviche under the appetizer section of their menu, and they only have one to choose from.  Their ceviche is a fresh market fish, shrimp, lime, cilantro, served over cucumbers and topped with radishes.  It comes with tortilla chips for easy eating.

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The ceviche tasted excellent, with enough lime and cilantro soaking into the fish without giving you the idea that you’re eating soup.  The fish and shrimp were not pureed, but were substantial pieces, making each bite a hearty helping of fish and shrimp.  Excellent presentation, excellent taste, a perfect blend of ingredients for an amazing start to our ceviche adventure.  Chino’s ceviche will run you an easy $14.00.

Next on our ceviche adventure was Urban Taco, located at 3411 McKinney Avenue in Dallas.  They have an entire section dedicated to ceviche, called Cevicheria.  They have four different kinds to choose from:  Puerto Ceviche, Crudo, Ceviche Verde, and Puerto Shrimp Cocktail.  The Puerto Ceviche is a red snapper and shrimp duo, complemented by pineapple mango, pickled red onion, citrus chile spice, and avocado lime crema.  The Crudo is an ahi tuna, complemented by mango, pineapple, avocado & chile oil, and topped with fresh mango jicama slaw, garnished with yucca chips.  Ceviche Verde is another red snapper and shrimp combo, but this time complemented by passion fruit jalapeno sauce, pineapple pico, diced carrots & red bell pepper & crema, and garnished with plantains.  Puerto Shrimp Cocktail is their final ceviche, and it is an Acapulco style shrimp cocktail served with homemade tomato, mint, & citrus cocktail sauce, and garnished with pico de gallo & avocado.

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Since we couldn’t choose just one with so many wonderful options staring up at us from the menu, we opted for three!  They have a trio option you can get for $15.00.  We ordered up the Crudo, the Ceviche Verde, and the Puerto Ceviche.  The Ceviche Verde is the one on the left, easily identifiable by the plantains on top.  The Crudo, our favorite one, is right in the middle with the Yucca chips.  The bad boy on the right is none other than the Puerto Ceviche.

Over all, the Crudo with the ahi tuna was our favorite right from the beginning.  The mango and pineapple brought in a welcome splash of sweetness that went well with the citrus flavors and chile oil.  The slaw was a delicious addition to the tuna, and the avocado and chile oil really brought out the rich flavors of the fish.  Right away, this was the ceviche we were both digging into.

Our second favorite right off the back was the was the Ceviche Verde.  Something about the red snapper and shrimp combos was working for us, and this time the jalapeno sauce brought a bit of spice with it.  Not enough to make your water eyes or anything like that, because it was kept in check by the pineapple pico, but enough that you knew it was there.  It didn’t have a strong citrus or cilantro taste either, and it was a great variant to what we had been eating.

That brings us to our final ceviche, the Puerto Ceviche.  This was certainly the red-headed stepchild of the three, and it also became, arguably, the best.  For some reason, the more you mixed this ceviche up, and the more you ate of it, the better and better it got.  It was like an acquired taste, and it went from my personal least-favorite to, by the end of our eating, my favorite.  I think.  It was good.  The red snapper and shrimp were again that combo of fish that we loved, this time paired up with pickled onions and avocado lime crema.  I’m not sure which of those two ingredients push it to the top, but combined with the red snapper and shrimp, it was the ceviche that we ate the most of (maybe it was mostly me!).  Ceviche at Urban taco will run you $10.00 for the Puerto Ceviche, and $12.00 for the other three.  You can get a trio platter for $15.00.

Next on our agenda was Mexican Sugar, located at the Shops at Legacy.  It is shrimp and black gulf snapper, complemented with avocado, red onion, chile, and citrus juices.  You will find this gem under the Socialitos section of their menu, and they only have to choose from.

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This ceviche was very straight forward and simple in nature. None of the flavors were too strong, and it was very fresh. The pickled onions were great. The cucumbers and cilantro added a nice touch. I would have loved a little more citrus and cilantro flavor to shine through, but overall it was a good dish.  Ceviche at Mexican sugar will run you $13.00

Feeling a little adventurous, the next ceviche comes to us from Houston, Tx.  We decided to check out a top 10 ceviche restaurants in Houston, and found La Grande.   Under their appetizer section, you will find their ceviche, a delectable bowl of scallops, shrimp, and fish,  marinated in fresh lime juice, and served with tortilla chips.

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Nothing special about the chips, but they served their purpose, giving us an edible tool to scoop up hearty portions of the fish, scallops, and shrimp.  As we cleared out the top, which was amply piled high.  The bottom half of the bowl was filled with juices and spices, and each bite at that point was a soaked piece of seafood with a strong citrus taste.  I found myself even soaking the chips in the juice, it was so good!  The ceviche at La Grande will run you $12.00.

Next up is another Houston treat, Latin Bites.  Here, however, they call it “cebiche”.  Under Cebiches, you will find three different kinds available.  Market Cebiche, Fisherman Cebiche, and Tropical Shrimp Cebiche.  Market Cebiche is a white seasonal fish, octopus, crispy calamari, and fried yucca in a creamy aji rocoto leche de tigre.  The Fisherman Cebiche is a white seasonal fish, octopus, shrimp and calamari on a rocoto and aji Amarillo leche de tigre.  The final one, which is the one we tried, is a Tropical Shrimp Cebiche, which is poached shrimp, aji Amarillo leche de tigre, diced mango, mint, plantain chips, choclo, cancha, and sweet potato.

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We got the Tropical Shrimp Cebiche despite my reservations of sweet potato (not a personal fan).  The cebiche was hands down amazing, the shrimp soaked up the juices and was rich in flavor and citrus flavors without being too much to handle.  I personally don’t think the sweet potato contributed to the dish, but maybe I’m just biased against it.  I also wasn’t a fan of the cancha (corn), again, something I don’t think added to the dish, but could be just a personal thing.  The onions on top were delicious, especially when soaked in the juices.  This ceviche at Latin Bites will run you $18.00.

We still have a lot more ceviche places on our to eat list, and as we eat through them we will make a new post with our new favorites.  If you have any recommendations for us, email us at sheeatsdallas@gmail.com.