What Makes a Ventura Beach Fish Taco ‘Brooklyn Style?’ It’s All in the Name, Apparently

Over lunch today–which was, ironically enough, a Chicago-style hot dog at Bark Hot Dogs on Bergen Street–we got the following email from our copyeditor, Doug Adrianson, who was also eating lunch far, far away in California. “Coast to Coast,” was the subject line, and here were its contents…

What’s Brooklyn style? Three sauces on one taco, it seems.

Over lunch today–which was, ironically enough, a Chicago-style hot dog at Bark Hot Dogs on Bergen Street–we got the following email from our copyeditor, Doug Adrianson, who was also eating lunch far, far away in California.

“Coast to Coast,” was the subject line, and here were its contents:

“So I’m sitting at the bar of Spencer Makenzie’s, my favorite fish taco joint on Ventura Beach, and I notice the chalkboard.

“What’s with the ‘Brooklyn Style?’ asks I.

“‘Oh, says the waitron, the owners named the place after their first two kids, Spencer and Mackenzie. Then they had a third kid, and named her Brooklyn.

“Of course.”

Then my editor, Gabrielle Langholtz, chimes in with her always impressive recall of New York City trivia, supported with some savvy Googling: “According to multiple sites including www.ssa.gov, ‘Brooklyn’ is now the 34th most popular baby girl name in America. (That’s really popular!) A decade ago,”  it was like the 350th most popular name.”

Even more meta (meaning for my own lunch, at least) Gabrielle also tells me: “it’s also a popular dog’s name, but that’s another story!”  Yet another story is about Spencer Mackenzie’s wethinks, seeing as the place, which started out as a festival concession stand, which is always a good sign, is the home of the half-pound “giant” fish taco. Hey Doug, we’ll trade you a Brooklyn-Chicago dog for a Cali-Brooklyn taco!

 

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Rachel Wharton is the former deputy editor of Edible Brooklyn and Edible Manhattan. She won a 2010 James Beard food journalism award, holds a master’s degree in Food Studies from New York University, and has more than 15 years of experience as a writer, editor and reporter. A North Carolina native and a former features food reporter for the New York Daily News, she edited the Edible Brooklyn cookbook and was the co-author of both Handheld Pies and DiPalo's Guide to the Essential Foods of Italy. Her work also appears in publications such as The New York Times, the Wall Street Journal and Saveur.