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Bites Nearby: Catch Up with Go Fish for Seafood Lunch in Silver Spring

Chef-owned food truck shifts focus to satisfy lunchgoers and home cooks.

Did you ever play the Go Fish card game growing up? Well, picking winning cards from the "pool" might be a lot easier than finding fresh, chef-prepared seafood for lunch, especially if your office is blocks away from the restaurants in the center of downtown Silver Spring.

"I enjoy seafood. We don't have a lot of food around here within walking distance, so it's good when the trucks come," said Michelle Evans, a Columbia resident.

Evans and many of the other customers gathering around the Go Fish food truck on a Tuesday are Discovery Communications employees. One loyal follower and a friend walked over to Kennett and Newell Streets from the AFI Silver Theatre & Cultural Center, almost a mile away.

"They make some really good food, and I like the fact that you can take food home for dinner," said Matthew Boratenski, a Howard County resident. "It's been a big hit with my wife the times I came home with some of their concoctions."

Missy Carr and her partner, Greg Casten, thought fresh seafood deliveries and pick up orders would fuel the Go Fish business they started more than a year ago. After the food truck hit the streets in July 2011, they discovered that selling prepared dishes at lunchtime was a better way to promote the quality seafood products sold at Casten's wholesale market, ProFish.

"It was like a marketing hook, a way to build the brand and establish our quality. Our mission, I guess, is to try to get people to eat more fish," said Carr.

The Go Fish food truck no longer does home deliveries. Fresh, uncooked seafood can be picked up at the truck if it is ordered online in advance. Lunchtime customers line up for the $14 lobster rolls, $12 crab cake sandwiches and $9 fish tacos.

As a former Rhode Island resident, Jeff Lesperance, asked about the authenticity of the lobster roll because he "wanted to know how she made it, and whether it was in the style of the New England lobster roll or not." He seemed pleased with how the lobster meat, mayo and lemon zest looked on a split top roll.

First-time customer Melinda Hicks is glad to have some New England clam chowder to go with the lunch she brought to work.

"I have tasted the soup, and it is absolutely delicious. She makes it from scratch. It's light but flavorful," said Hicks, a Baltimore resident.

Chef Carr spent several years operating catering and meal prep businesses after graduating from L'Academie de Cuisine. The mother of three creates the dishes sold on the truck from fresh ingredients.

"I think our fish tacos are the most popular. We use fresh Mahi Mahi. It's seasoned and grilled. We make a nice lime-cilantro coleslaw that goes with that," said Carr.

The fish tacos are also served with cheddar-jack cheese and a chipotle cream sauce in a flour tortilla. If they prefer, customers can get their tacos served in corn tortillas or over lettuce as a Fish Bowl.

After Carr and Casten serve seafood to lunchgoers, they usually head for St. Patrick's School in Rockville or another Catholic school. Those stops give home cooks a chance to buy ready-to-prepare seafood items or fish taco kits. The Go Fish truck welcomes the chance to serve new customers in Montgomery County. Just send your request via email, Twitter, Facebook or the Go Fish website.

"We do everything from nonprofit events to festivals and office buildings. If an office wants us, there is a demand, and they are willing to help promote us, that's a huge up for us. We always welcome that," said Carr.

You can follow the truck's stops on the Go Fish website or get some of Carr's recipes, such as the Super Simple Stuffed Flounder. There are photos of the fresh seafood that can be ordered online for pick up. If source and sustainability are concerns, the product descriptions have a "more info" link that connects readers to the Monterey Bay Aquarium Seafood Watch.

Note: This is a food truck profile, not a review. Opinions expressed do not represent the ideas of the writer or Patch.

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