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Flavors of the South: Easton's Point Chef Shares Her Fish Taco Secrets

Southern spices meet New England sauces at Easton's Point restaurant on Aquidneck Ave.

For almost 30 years, Middletown resident Doreen Beattie, executive chef at Easton’s Point Restaurant on Aquidneck Ave., has been creating unique dishes in Middletown, which have even the most critical 'foodies' traveling to Middletown just to experience.

“My dishes are a combination of different flavors and sauces I’ve picked up over the years," said Beattie. "They are all my own.”

She is best known for her signature dishes that combine the spices and flavors southern regions with the more delicate sauces of New England.

A group from Wakefield said they came to Middletown on Thursday night, just to try Beattie’s popular fish tacos. They learned of Easton’s Point after reading outstanding reviews on Yelp.com and Restaurant.com.  

“We are taco snobs,” said Brendan Haggerty proudly.

His wife Laura Haggerty explained they lived in Arizona and traveled to Baja, Mexico, so their standard for tacos are higher than most Americans.  They said they were impressed with Easton’s Point fish tacos and that it matched the quality and authentic flavors of Mexico, which they have been unable to find in Rhode Island.

“Most gringos are afraid of flavor and spice,” said Laura.  

Laura explained that she appreciated the restaurant's choice of Cod, since she has found most New England fish tacos dishes are prepared with Haddock, which is typically cheaper to purchase.

“What you get in terms of value is so much better than what we are used to,” she said about the $11.95 entree.  “And I’m loving this rice,” she said as she continued to eat.  

Her husband pointed out that she was the only one at the table who was able to finish her plate. He said the portions were much larger than what he expected, and over double what is served in Arizona or Mexico.

His wife stopped eating and pointed to her pregnant stomach as an explanation of her large appetite.

Beattie came to Middletown in 1981, after the Navy brought her from California.  She began her cooking career in the kitchen at the Greenhouse restaurant, which is now the .  After 15 years, she went across the street to cook for the for another 10 years, until she started with Easton’s Point approximately 7 months ago.

Beattie said cooking is more of an art than a science, and she but she stepped us through how she prepares her signature dish of fish tacos..  

How to Prepare the Fish:
1.) Make the Sauce

  • juice of 2 limes
  • tsp cumin
  • 1 1/2 tsp chopped garlic

2.) Blend together with any oil except olive oil and add salt and pepper to taste. 3.) Coat the the vinaigrette sauce and flour
4.) Either deep or pan fry.  

Build the Tacos:
1.) Place a flour tortilla on the grill, just long enough to get crispy.
2.) Lay the fish on the tortilla
3.) Pour some of the prepared sauce on the cooked fish
4.) Sprinkle coleslaw (Beattie uses a homemade, sweet coleslaw)
5.) Spread on a spicy mayonnaise (Beattie makes her own, but said you can experiment to taste)
6.) Top it with a mix of salsa and ranch dressing
7.) Sprinkle with scallions and tomatoes

[editors note: After our interview, Beattie prepared the fish tacos entree, and even with the reviews I heard around the neighborhood, I was surprised with the varied yet balance of flavors and textures.  The gentleman next to me, said he eats her cooking almost nightly, suggested I come back the next day and try her Peach BBQ Pizza,  which he said is still a favorite for Middletown residents, even after 30 years]

Melody NewportRIRocks February 24, 2012 at 06:48 PM
Chef D is the Best! I am a BIG FAN OF HER ENTIRE MENU! Faves: Loaded Nachos RIB EYE Steak with Mashed and Veggies Chicken Quesidilla's with Her Special Rice Peach BBQ Pizza !!!!!
jenni February 24, 2012 at 08:56 PM
Chef D is fabulous! She has modified traditional dishes to be vegetarian friendly and delish. Had a Great Greek pizza she made yesterday. I,m not sure how this is but she makes the most awesome french fries EVER!

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