All My Friends is an annual music festival in Northern Baja, mostly near Tijuana. The premise of the festival is that every year it changes venue and time of year. This year, ALMV was beachside at the Hotel Castillos del Mar, the perfect location for a summer concert.
On top of having different kinds of music, there was plenty of food and crafts to be purchased. From Marfil’s awesome sweatshirts to brownies and everything in between, there was something you would want to buy. There was even a tattoo art gallery!
All My Friends was an interesting event, there was a garden, pool and beach stage. All attracting plenty of music lovers. Even if a particular band wasn’t to your liking, you could spend that time eating or browsing the arts and crafts.
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.
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!)
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!
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.
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.
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.
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!
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?
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?
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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.
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!
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.
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!
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“Little is known about wine production in Mexico. But slowly, the world seems to be catching on. For good reason: Mexico is one of Latin America’s oldest wine-producing countries.
Though vines have existed in Baja since the 1700’s, during the 18th and 19th centuries, wine was mostly produced by the clergy, strictly for the Church. During the early 1900’s, production for commercial purposes began, but poor practices and sub-standard techniques led to poorly produced wines. That all changed in the 1980’s, when better vineyard maintenance and incorporation of modern oenological advances helped Mexican wine production steadily improve, particularly in Baja California. Hugo d’Acosta, a French-trained winemaker from Mexico City, inspired the movement and has since become the face of Valle de Guadalupe’s independent winemaking community. A semi-arid geographical region sandwiched between a sprawling mountain range and the salty air of the Pacific Ocean, the Guadalupe Valley Valley offers a unique microclimate that protects the grapes by day and cool the vines as evening rolls in each night. Paired with mineral-rich soil, the “Valle,” as locals call it, is prime grape-growing real estate. As d’Acosta himself attests, “great wine is made in the vineyard; not in the winery.”
Baja Meets New York is a multi-day, multi-format showcase of wine and food events that will shed light on the wines of Baja California, the chefs of the region, and the accompanying food-wine-travel intersection. Showcasing the region is tantamount to giving Valle de Guadalupe and Mexican wines the respect and exposure they deserve. Mexico is already known for tequila and, more recently, mezcal, but never has one imagined that the production of great wine is also taking place in this incredible microsystem with so much beauty and bounty.”
Taken from the Baja Meets NY . take a look here website http://www.bajawinefoodfestival.com/about
I did not write this piece I want to share it with you so you can have access to Baja if you live near New York!
Tijuana, the first Mexican city you cross as your are entering Mexico is a mix of good and bad. Let’s focus on the good. Thanks to Javier Plascencia, the food scene is growing and being recognized worldwide. From typical street food to the more upscale Baja Med cuisine, you can find almost anything your tongue desires.
Apart from food, the nightlife is fun and cheaper than what’s available in San Diego. There are countless bars and clubs which fill up every Thursday, Friday and Saturday night. The drinks are good and the party is late, much later than San Diego. Security is not an issue, one can go out at the Sexta or in the new Plaza Paseo Chapultepec without problem (it’s still safe to be cautious!)
(Picture coming soon)
The sports teams are a fun thing to check out. The Xolos (like “cholos” an Aztec fighting dog) were Mexico’s title winners last year, this year has been a little harder but the games are still fun and the ambiance is typical of a South American soccer crowd. The baseball team, the Toros, have just started playing again and their new stadium is very nice. Last season, the tickets were 50 pesos (less than 5 dollars!) and all is very safe.
José Galicot has been trying to change the image of Tijuana by creating Tijuana Innovadora and Entijuanarte. Both are events that happen every two years, Tijuana Innovadora was in 2012 and 2014 and Entijuanarte 2011 and 2013. Both are great events with promote activity within and outside the community. They are meant to change foreigners’ image of this city. At last year’s Tijuana Innovadora, Blake Mycoskie of Toms and Steve Wozniack of Apple were a few of the invited speakers.
As you can see, Tijuana is an interesting city with lots going on. If you live in San Diego, make sure you come south to check it out!
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