Tuesday, August 9, 2022 Aug 9, 2022
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Food and Drink

Neighborhood Find: Mainstream Fish House

By D Magazine |
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Photo: Kevin Hunter Marple

In 1991, fine dining in the Preston Forest Shopping Center was limited to a pastrami and rye at Gilbert’s Deli. Then Mico Rodriguez, a scrappy restaurateur with a few dollars and a dream, opened a 12-table Tex-Mex joint just a few doors down. He called it Mi Cocina. The rest is enchilada evolutionary history. Four years later, Rodriguez partnered with Kelly Haden to open a fish joint called Mainstream. The strip on the southwest quadrant bustled with diners drinking blue margaritas and waiting for tables. About a year and a half ago, Rodriguez took sole ownership and Mico-ized the menu. The more or less conventional seafood spot that centered on a small selection of fresh fish, po’ boys, and bread pots (round bread hollowed out and filled with fish soups) now shines with fish tacos and seafood enchiladas. The once-hokey interior, with red-and-white-checked tablecloths, high chairs, and kitschy fish-patterned booths, is now cosmopolitan, with M Crowd-esque warm colors and hip music. The soccer-mom crowds are still there, and so are the other 75230 loyalists who frequent the restaurants in Preston Royal and Preston Forest. Copper River salmon was available recently, and the kitchen delivered a huge slab the color of a brand-new penny. Ordered grilled, the nutty-flavored meat flaked at the touch of a fork. The accompanying spinach was steamed just right. But halibut ruled. Lightly wrapped in a crust of crushed pecans, the initial crunch gave way to tender, juicy fish. We didn’t have enough room for the hush puppies or dessert, but the hush puppies made a damn fine breakfast the next morning. 11661 Preston Rd., Ste. 153. 214-739-3474. $$. —N.N.