Category Archives: Eating

Day trip to the Valle de Guadalupe

Finally, after months of wanting to go to the Finca Altozano, we were able to eat at one of the Valle’s most famous restaurants! After waiting around the house for too long and stopping to get gas, we headed to the Valle de Guadalupe. We were excited for the trip and are lucky we decided to pack our swim suits for a post-Valle swim at La Fonda. Otherwise, my sister who has been in England for the past three years, would have never wanted to return!

View of the Finca from the top. Can you think of a better place to spend the afternoon?
View of the Finca from the top. Can you think of a better place to spend the afternoon?

We left TIjuana, it was a nice high 70s/low 80s and as we started approaching the Valle, it started getting hotter and hotter; finally stopping at a pleasant 100 degrees… We got to the Finca and though it looked empty, every single table was reserved (make sure you reserve at the beginning of the week otherwise you won’t be able to get a table). Our table was in the shade, unfortunately not under a fan but there was a light breeze. While waiting for our food, we walked around the grounds. 

They have a garden where they grow their spices and vegetables
They have a garden where they grow their spices and vegetables

This restaurant is the perfect example of farm to table cooking. They take advantage of the space surrounding the restaurant and leave space for a garden and a place for pigs, goats and chickens… Which will later make an appearance on your plate. 

Goats enjoying their lunch, before knowing they'll become yours
Goats enjoying their lunch, without knowing they’ll soon become yours

For lunch, we ordered the Chorizo de Res y Chistorra a la Lena as our appetizer, chistorra is a Spanish chorizo, both are made in house.  It was very tasty and well presented; you can either eat them alone or with a piece of bread. 

Then, we each ordered our meal. My dad got the Pulpo Pacifico a las Brasas.  It came in the same platter as the chorizo and was very good. Sometimes, octopus is chewy and not very good, this was not the case! My sister and I had the Birria de Borrego (she had no idea what she was ordering). Birria is a traditional dish from Jalisco and is a soup made of many spices and served with tortillas. 

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My mom, who does not like eating meat, ordered the Mini Tacos de Ceviche Pulpo Verde and the Tostada de Ahi. Both looked a lot cooler than our warm meals but we did not complain as what we had eaten was delicious.  

Tostada de Ahi
Tostada de Ahi
Mini tostadas
Mini tostadas

To accompany our meal, there was a large selection of local wines and cocktails made in house. We chose a bottle of Don Luis from LA Cetto and tried some sangria and a pomegranate sparkling drink with, of course, a lot of water! Because it was too hot, we did not try the desserts but there are a couple that sound quite good. 

As always, it's busy at the Finca
As always, it’s busy at the Finca

The food was delicious and the setting pretty great, but in 100 degree weather it’s hard not be hot. It’s nice that it’s outdoors and you are in nature. When you’re done with your meal, or waiting to be seated, there are wooden vats that have been re-purposed for you to sit, enjoy a drink, and enjoy the view. 

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 After the Finca, we checked out Monte Xanic, one of the Valle’s oldest wineries. They have just renovated their facilities and it’s quite nice (although I can’t compare it to before). The winery is located atop a hill and looks over a lake with clear water. By the water, you can enjoy wine tastings and relax before you check out the next winery. 

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 After Monte Xanic, we drove over to Vinas de Garza for a wine tasting. For $100 pesos you can try white wines and for $150 pesos, red wine. While you taste, you can order a cheese plate or olives. 

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 It’s a pretty winery, the rows and rows of vines make you think you are in a French vineyard. There is a nice breeze at the top of the hill and a lot of shade to protect you from the sun. It would be a nice place for an afternoon drink. But we were too hot, so we tasted the wine and went straight to the beach. 

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La Fonda is a very nice beach, with a weird, noisy airplane, but apart from that it’s a great place to relax and watch the sunset. Once it starts getting chilly, go to the restaurant and order a beer or margarita. It’s probably one of the best places in Northern Baja to end the night. 

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 Though the Valle is a great place to visit and has much to offer. Make sure you don’t go there on a very hot day. Most of the places take advantage of the area’s wind and have outdoor seating with no protection from the heat. September and October should be good months to check out what the Valle has to offer, because there is much to be discovered there!

 

 

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It doesn’t have to be Friday for you to eat at a food truck!

Right after the Boulevard Aguacaliente on the libre (free) road to Rosarito there exists a hidden food truck haven; have you heard of Estacion 55 yet? It’s relatively new, about six months old or so and is definitely worth the trip to Tijuana or a perfect lunch break on your way south.

How far are you from burgers, pizzas, tacos and crepes?? Closer than Paris or Sydney!
How far are you from burgers, pizzas, tacos and crepes?? Closer than Paris or Sydney!

So, you’re probably wondering what’s available? Well, there is something for everyone. Whether you are looking for a burger, pizza, fish tacos, tortas (burger-sandwich hybrid), empanadas, or crepes, you are sure to find something to suit your appetite. It’s the perfect place if your friends are picky eaters because there are meat, fish, and vegetarian options. (But, for lack of a liquor license, not the best place if you want to support local breweries!)

Tuna tostada loaded with guacamole and salsa
Tuna tostada loaded with guacamole and salsa

There are many ways to go about eating at the restaurant. You can either go for your meal and dessert, just your meal, a sampling of all the trucks, a snack, or just for dessert. It’s up to you!

Cheese, corn, and "rajas" empanada... Yummy!
Cheese, corn, and “rajas” empanada… Yummy!

As an appetizer, order one of the many combinations of empanadas. All are $19 pesos ($1.50 dollar) and accompanied by a boat of salsas. There are various types of empanadas you can order, chorizo with Oaxaca cheese (the king of Mexican cheeses), corn and rajas, picadillo, as well as other great combinations.

Try everything!
Try everything!

If you are craving fish and shrimp, try Ta’Costeno. Whether you ask the waitress what she recommends or you go for the “try everything for $150 pesos (about $12 dollars)” platter you will find your meal delicious.  I highly recommend the “try everything” platter, you try every taco and get the agua fresca of the day. If you aren’t too hungry and don’t want to try everything, give the shrimp taco or the tuna tostada a try.

Looks good and the shell shaped plates are awesome! Even if you’re not crazy about octopus, the Tentaculo Negro is a must try!

If you’re not in the mood for seafood, give Via Bistro a try. It’s a brick oven pizza with all kinds of combinations. And if you don’t feel like trying any other food truck, order a greek salad as your appetizer and a pizza as your main meal. Whatever you order, make sure you try the sauce; it’s the perfect companion to your tasty pizza.

Make sure to ask for the daily special, it's not on the menu but can surprise you, today's was ricotta cheese with basil
Make sure to ask for the daily special, it’s not on the menu but can surprise you, today’s was ricotta cheese with basil

And, the best for last, DESSERT! Make sure you try Rodante’s crepes and macaroons. The crepes are usually Nutella, caramel, Suzette (orange), berries, or apples. Obviously you can never go wrong with Nutella, but it’s always nice to try something new!

Apple crepe
Apple crepe

After eating all that food, there was no place for the tortas and burgers. However, considering everything else was exquisite, I can only imagine those are both great. The burgers have an eating contest, kind of like Man v Food; where you have to eat a GIANT burger, 1 liter of soda and french fries, all within 30 minutes. Are you capable?

Will you try?
If you make it, the meal is on the house!

I’m sure you can tell you should eat there, but the best part was the price. Sharing between four friends, we spent $100 pesos each (about $8 dollars)! How great is that?

 

*Follow Baja is Yours on Instagram @Bajaisyours to discover the beauties of Baja California.

Mami’s Place, Fresh Ingredients, Delicious Food

Right behind the Xolos stadium, in an area known as La Herradura, there is a cute, fresh, delicious restaurant, Mami’s Place. It offers both indoor and outdoor seating as well as a variety of food, drinks, and daily specials.

Outside the restaurant. It's right by a roundabout and a Soriana.
Outside the restaurant. It’s right by a roundabout and a Soriana.

Mami’s Place offers pizzas, salads, paninis, appetizers, fresh juices, wine and beer. You can also ask for the “platillo del dia,” the menu of the day. Today there was chicken or fish with vegetables and rice, both accompanied by beet soup. However, I chose to split a salad and a shrimp pizza.

The House Salad. plenty of colors to brighten your day!
The House Salad. plenty of colors to brighten your day!

The health starts as soon as you are offered the “wait for us snack,” whereas most restaurants give tortilla chips or bread, Mami’s Place gives you carrots and cucumbers with Tajin, a chile powder used on fruits and vegetables.

Fresh squeezed green and energetic juices as well as a fresh garden salad, what else could you ask for?
Fresh squeezed green and energetic juices as well as a fresh garden salad, what else could you ask for?

We ordered the House Salad, which had mixed salad greens, tomatoes and red onions. However the salad selection was varied and offered a red berry salad, a salad with orange slices, among other healthy options. You could either choose the small or large portion, because we said that we would be sharing, we got both a large salad and pizza. A lot of food!

A feast for two!
A feast for two!

There are many pizzas to choose from, whether you are vegetarian, pescatarian or a meat lover, there will be a pizza for you. The “camaron” pizza is shrimp pizza with chipotle seasoning and fresh avocados. It was the perfect amount of spicy and if you wanted more spice, they offer jalapenos and spicy olive oil.

Healthy combo
Healthy combo

The service is great and from the fresh juices to the freshly made pizza and salad, everything is served on time. Just make sure you specify which portion you want, otherwise the waitress will assume you are famished. To make sure the service is fast, the waitress gives you a buzzer in case you need something urgently.

Highly recommend this quaint restaurant. If you’ve been let me know if you liked it!

*Follow Baja is Yours on Instagram @Bajaisyours to discover the beauties of Baja California.

 

 

Taco Fest, What Tijuana Does Best!

There was a lot going on this week-end, from the Craft Beer Expo to the Tijuana Rumble Fest, there was something for every taste. However, I was feeling hungry and knew there were two more beer fests (one in July on the Revolucion and another in August at the CECUT), so I decided to go to Rock’n’Taco. A festival where rock and tacos were combined to offer a fun afternoon.

It sure attracted a lot of people!

The event was held on the world famous Revolucion between calles 8 and 9. The event was free and welcomed 20 local taquerias and seven local bands. As the night went on, the bands were better. Some bands even came from Ensenada.

Taquerias everywhere!
Taquerias everywhere!

You could find a little of everything, from the famous Kokopelli seafood and vegetarian tacos to soy based tacos, and obviously delicious meat tacos. There were birria tacos, adobada tacos, regular beef tacos, everything tacos!

Birria tacos… YU-MMY

I believe this was the event’s first time, however there’s a good chance they will be able to make this an annual one. I’ll be sure to keep you posted if it happens, I didn’t know about it until the day before. I’ll make sure you are aware ahead of time next time!

*Follow Baja is Yours on Instagram @Bajaisyours to discover the beauties of Baja California.

Tijuana’s Kokopelli Tacos: An Explosion of Flavor

What used to be a food truck in the center of Tijuana, and is now located in the Zona Rio, Kokopelli is a cute taco restaurant specializing in grilled fish, shrimp, octopus, and portobello mushrooms.

Jelly fish swimming around you as you eat
Jelly fish swim around you as you eat

When you first sit down, the friendly waiter will bring you an interesting assortment of sauces to try with tortilla chips. Don’t be fooled by his smile, some of the salsas he is offering you are deadly! They go from least spicy to the spiciest; even if you know this, you will not be prepared for what you may accidentally taste.

The salsas, the ones in the front are the deadly ones and as you go further up, they become less spicy.
The salsas, the ones in the front are the deadly ones and as you go further up, they become less spicy.

These tacos are mostly for seafood lovers, however there are some vegan and meat-eating options. The portobello mushroom tostadas are delicious and different from anything else you’ll find in Tijuana. And considering that Tijuana’s main market is meat-eaters, it’s nice to find a vegetarian alternative.

Funky: cheddar cheese, portobello mushrooms, spinach and a goat cheese based sauce.
Funky: cheddar cheese, portobello mushrooms, spinach and a goat cheese based sauce.

The presentation of the food is quite interesting, from aguachile filled boats to regularly presented tacos the restaurant gives its food an interesting touch. Although I don’t have a picture of it, I highly recommend the Gringos en Vacaciones (Americans on Vacation); it’s a shrimp taco with red sauce and spices, and it’s delicious!

The Pineapple Aguachile: pineapple, lemon cooked shrimp, jicama, avocado
The Pineapple Aguachile: pineapple, lemon cooked shrimp, jicama, avocado

The cool thing about Kokopelli is that it supports local breweries. Border Psycho in Tijuana and Agua Mala from Ensenada are a few of the local beers they support. These offer pilsens, IPAs, stouts and pale ales among others. And of course, the regular Tecate, Indio, and other Mexican beers are available.

Have you tried the Border Psycho?
Have you tried the Border Psycho yet?

So, if you are bored of eating the same thing every day and want delicious and affordable fish, shrimp, octopus, or mushroom tacos, try Kokopelli. You will enjoy the change of scenery and love the food!

To get there: after crossing the border, stay on the left, going towards Zona Rio. After the scissor roundabout and right before the Moctezuma roundabout, take a right. You’ll see a stop light, at the light keep straight and it will be on your right, before the next road.

 

*Follow Baja is Yours on Instagram @Bajaisyours to see what Baja California has to offer.

The Foodgarden: Another Restaurant Adding to Tijuana’s Foodie Reputation

Over a year ago, a new restaurant opened, the Foodgarden. Well… to be honest it’s not a restaurant. It’s like a food court but in a garden, hence the name. And every couple of weeks they have an event, there was an Easter event on Thursday and from May 3rd to the 4th, there will be a cultural one. Local companies sell their products to make a name for themselves in the area. Marfil is almost always at their events.

Tom Yum from Asia de Baja
Tom Yum from Asia de Baja

So you’re probably wondering what kind of food there is… Well there are about five restaurants and each specializes in a different cuisine.  Los Chilaquiles offers all kinds of chilaquiles in delicious sauces, green, red, mole, avocado, you name it, they may have it (for those of you that don’t know, chilaquiles are tortilla chips cooked in sauces). Then there is Veggie Smalls, a vegetarian fast food with portobello burgers among other vegetarian delicacies. The crepes from La Luna are famous around Tijuana and not to be missed! There are both sweet and salty crepes. The Taqueseria offers a variety of tacos, salmon, meat, pork, and quesadillas. They’re not your typical street tacos!

The Foodgarden's famous frase... Now, it's your turn to visit tasty Tijuana
The Foodgarden’s famous frase… Now, it’s your turn to visit tasty Tijuana

Right next to the Taqueseria there is a seafood place called Tacos y Mariscos Walter. I haven’t been there yet, but I’ve been told it’s quite good and that the fish tacos are quite tasty. If you’ve been, tell me about it! And lastly, my personal favorite, Asia de Baja, their Tom Yum soups are unmissable! Loaded with vegetables and your choice of protein (chicken, shrimp, tofu, meat, or a mix) you will feel satiated and satisfied.

But the food isn’t the only reason to check out the Foodgarden, they have refreshing aguas; for those of you who have studied Spanish, this literally translates to water but is another name for juice. You will find a variety of unusual aguas; such as mint and watermelon, Thai tea, cucumber and mint. Every time you go, you may find a new flavor you haven’t tried.

What are you thankful for?
What are you thankful for?

So, next time you’re in Tijuana or are having a boring afternoon in San Diego, drive south and try some local food. You won’t regret your trip! And as they say in Spanish, buen provecho!

 

For cool trip ideas and to get to know Baja California, follow Baja is Yours on Instagram @bajaisyours

Looking for something to do next week-end??

Next week-end is going to be busy in Ensenada. Starting on Friday the 22nd, you can taste local beers at the Ensenada Beer Fest. It’s $400 pesos (pre-sale) and $500 pesos (day of the event) on Friday,  you get a commemorative glass and 40 tastings while on Saturday you pay $100 pesos (pre-sale) and $150 pesos (day of the event) and  get to participate in a raffle.

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Hoping you’re not too hungover, you can check out the 4th Annual Walter Caloca surf competition. An annual charity event held at Ensenada’s famous San Miguel beach. It it one of Ensenada’s largest competitions and welcomes athletes from both sides of the border. Proceeds go to UAPO (United Athletes of the Pacific Ocean) to promote surfing on both sides of the border. 

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Don’t miss out on a Baja week-end. Drive down to Ensenada from the 21st to the 23rd and you’ll have a great time!

*I do not own the pictures, I am simply trying to promote events in the area, they were taken from the events’ websites.