Showing posts with label mexico. Show all posts
Showing posts with label mexico. Show all posts

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Pulqueria Las Duelistas in Mexico City, DF

Let's talk about pulque. Pulque is a traditional Mexican drink made by fermenting the sap of certain agave plants, namely the maguey plant. It's alcoholic (but low in alcohol) and used to be drunk during rituals, but now you can pulquerias around Mexico. A great example that you should visit is Pulqueria Las Duelistas in Mexico City near Mercado San Juan. This place has been around for more than 80 years. Oh, and they're open from 10 am and yes, they only serve pulque (and snacks to go with it), because day drinking is awesome.


No one knows when pulque was invented - it's been around for thousands of years. Pulque is viscous and a bit sour. It may be a bit of an acquired taste, but I really liked it!
Sugar and natural flavorings are typically added to the sap to slow down its fermentation, since if it's fermented too much, it's no longer drinkable. At Las Duelistas, you can get it in fruit flavors like guava, coconut, pineapple, etc.

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Riding Trajineras Wooden Boats in Xochimilco (Mexico City D.F.)

Despite being the largest city in Mexico, there are still historical attractions and activities in Mexico City, including the ruins of an ancient temple right next to the zocalo. Another of these attractions is the canals in Xochimilco. These canals are what are left of a man-made waterways and lake from the pre-Hispanic period when it was the major transportation system.

Tourists and locals alike rent wooden boats called Trajineras. Locals typically go on a boat ride on the canal to party it up. The boats are equipped with a large table seating about a dozen people, perfect for families and groups of friends.
Smaller boats of vendors roam around the canals selling elotes, blankets, more food, and - most importantly - micheladas. There are even mariachi bands if you come during the busy times!

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

MeroToro: Bringing Baja to Mexico City

Why would one eat Baja seafood in Mexico City? Why, because the chef is Jair Tellez, of course! His outpost in the Condesa neighborhood, MeroToro, has brought Jair Tellez to the top of the culinary scene in Mexico City, and I got to experience it first hand when I tagged along to Mexico City with Street Gourmet LA.

I was extra lucky because we had so many sea urchin dishes that night! We started with this beautiful dish of Baja uni and barnacles with uni consommé, radish, and cherry tomatoes

Served with a light tostada as a vehicle.
Even though Baja sea urchin is only on the second tier in quality, Chef Tellez wanted to promote domestic ingredients and prepares it such that it melds the flavors of Baja seafood beautifully.

Next: more Baja sea urchin w cucumber

Monday, September 17, 2012

Go Thee To Baja! Baja Culinary Fest Oct 11-14

October 11-14 is the 2nd annual Baja California Culinary Fest! Thanks to the generosity of Chef Javier Plascencia, I was able to attend the 1st annual festival last year and with more experience, this year's is promising to be even better. There are many different events over the four days, from special dinners, a gastro tour of Tijuana, a visit to the Ramonetti cheese cellar, a festival in Rosarita, and many more.

It all culminates in a festival at the Galerias Hipodromo. Last year's festival had some of the best restaurants in Tijuana, and this year will probably have even more. Instead of paying an all inclusive ticket, last year attendees buy tickets for each item purchased.
From a whole leg carved on-site by Cheripan, Tijuana's premier Argentinean restaurant.
There was a great chocolate clam cocktail from Catavina (it's a type of Mexican clam, there's no chocolate in it!)
Clam Cocteles

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Crispy Empanadas and Pickled Pig's Feet at Panchita (San Felipe, Baja, Mexico)

You find gems in unexpected places. Even in places you already expected to be good, you can still find unexpected dishes. Such was the case with Cenaduria Panchita in San Felipe.

During the last Baja trip, our host took us to Panchita for the best empanadas in town, but to our delight we also found ... pickled pig's feet! This specialty of Jalisco was quite a treat, with the bright pickle flavors counteracting the fatty pig's skin. Very different than the sweet Chinese style I'm used to.
Of course, there are the empanadas. After all, that's what Panchita is locally famous for. They also serve taquitos and other things, but I didn't find those particularly memorable.

Here, the meat-filled empanadas are fried (according to Street Gourmet LA, this is more Baja style than Jalisco).
What I really loved about these empanadas was the thinner skin, and of course the crispiness from the frying. These were some of the best empanadas I've had recently. I wish I could've taken some back to LA but they would've gotten soggy. I guess I'll just have to return to San Felipe to have them for breakfast!

Iced Jamaica, much needed in the hot San Felipe summer

Cenaduria Panchita
Calle Ensenada #201
San Felipe, Mexicali, Baja California
Mexico, CP21850

Monday, June 25, 2012

Bacon-Wrapped Shrimp and Chile Relleno Dogs in San Felipe (BajaCalifornia, Mexico)

Some of you already know about Sonoran style hot dogs, even the bacon-wrapped kind. But in San Felipe, they took advantage of the seafood nearby and made ... Shrimp hot dogs! Bacon-wrapped shrimp hot dogs, to be precise. Oh, and bacon wrapped chile relleno dog also.

Martin started this "dogos de camaron" cart one and a half years ago, with a small cart in front of his house. Now he has two carts, chairs for his numerous customers, and even a little TV sitting on top of his fence. He will also be opening another cart on the main street of San Felipe soon.

The shrimp dogs aren't shrimp processed into sausages, but actual whole grilled shrimp - the bacon wrapping is what keeps it in shape.

According to Street Gourmet LA, it's not a Sonoran hot dog without Sonoran bread, and even here Martin ships the hot dog buns from Sonora. It's that heavy, comforting, late night food you've always loved (and craved when drunk) - but with fresh shrimp! And crispy bacon, mm..

The front of the cart held all the necessary toppings for a Sonoran dog. I had no idea what I was supposed to put on it, so I let Street Gourmet LA do all the work.

San Felipe, Baja California, Mexico

Cenaduria Panchita (empanadas, pickled pig's feet)
El Balcon Cocina Artesanal

Street Eats
Tacos Estilo Ciudad Obregon (bacon shrimp dog, chile relleno dog)

Valle de Los Gigantes

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

El Balcon: Alta Cocina in San Felipe (Baja, Mexico)

Unlike the more metropolitan Tijuana, there aren't too many high end dining options in San Felipe, a sleepy town during the off-season. Still, there is at least one, and a very good one at that.
El Balcon
El Balcon Cocina Artesanal opened in Jaunary this year by Chef Julio Cesar Gonzalez Zetina who had previous worked at the Ritz Carlton in Cancun and researched Mayan culinary traditions for the university there. Now he also teaches the subject at the local university after a recent move from Ensenada.

El Balcon wasn't a fancy restaurant, just a few cute tables outside on the second floor of La Plazita, and an outdoor kitchen. Thick tortilla chips are accompanied by a bold housemade salsa.

Our lunch tasting began with an Aguachile de Cazon (dogfish marinated in burnt chili sauce and green sauce, smoked tuna, sea asparagus and "Huaxes" (toasted seeds), grasshopper, verdolaga
We have had plenty of bounty from the Sea of Cortez, but this was the first time in San Felipe that we had it raw. The fresh dogfish carpaccio reminded me of kanpachi and both of the chile were so good that despite not being able to eat that spicy, I had to finish the entire plate (while downing plenty of water).

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Giant Cactus! Valle de Los Gigantes in San Felipe, Baja California,Mexico

People think of the beach and ocean when they think of San Felipe in Baja California, Mexico, but it is also a desert. A desert with giant cacti!

Thanks to Street Gourmet LA, I went along on a media trip to San Felipe this past week and saw these giants with my own eyes.
Valle de Los Gigantes in Rancho Punta Estrella features gigantic sahuaros, which are only 6 mm when it's a year old but can grow for 2000 (yes, 2000!) years!

They don't produce the first seed until they're about 75 years old, and after that it will go on to produce millions, but maybe only one will survive until maturity. Well, when "maturity" in the desert amount to thousands of years, that's not so surprising ...

For size comparisons:
See Street Gourmet LA with his camera to the right? It's not that he's far away in the background, that really is how big that cactus is.
I don't know why this one didn't sprout any branches, but it sure grew to be a lot taller than the rest!

San Felipe gets really hot in the summer months (March is the ideal time to vacation here), but it was definitely worth the trek to see them.

Friday, January 20, 2012

Cebicheria Erizo (Tijuana, Mexico)

Chef Javier Plascencia from Tijuana can be likened to Wolfgang Puck in Los Angeles, dominating the Tijuana dining scene with numerous restaurants. Capping off the weekend-long Baja Culinary trip this past year was a tasting at one of these restaurants, Cebicheria Erizo, specializing in fresh seafood (including, of course, ceviches). Seafood from fish to octopus to clams are displayed in refrigerated cases as you enter; daily specials written on the blackboard above it. For our visit, though, we left it up to Chef Plascencia to serve us whatever he wanted.


To whet our appetite was a shot of leche de tigre with cucumber, fish jerky, and sea urchin (erizo de mar, the restaurant's namesake) hidden at the bottom.
Uni ShooterSea urchin

Following up was a bowl of lightly spicy callo de hacha, Baja scallops with chicharrones
Instead of scooping up ceviche with tortilla chips, why not take it to the next level with chicharrones? Better yet, can we replace salad croutons with chicharrones from now on?

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Mariscos El Mazateno (Tijuana, Mexico)

My last trip to Tijuana with Street Gourmet LA took me back to Mariscos El Mazateno, a Sinaloan seafood taqueria. I came here on my first trip to TJ, but back then I was even weaker to spicy food as I am now so it was nice to revisit and enjoy it even better this time.

The must order here is the Taco Mazatena (shrimp/camarones enchilado), a taco packed full of fresh, crisp, lightly spicy shrimp. If you walk by the kitchen, you can see them cooking the spicy shrimp in a giant pot.

Taco Mazatena
Dress this with the available condiments including cabbage, crema, pico de gallo, and a bottle of house made spicy green sauce made with avocado and serrano chili. The shrimp taco to end all shrimp tacos!

The meals start with a styrofoam cup of shrimp consomme.
While waiting for our tacos, they served us a plate of seafood cocktail including shrimp, octopus, scallops, and more.

If you have room for another after the heaping shrimp taco, try the smoked marlin taco, equally stuffed to the brim.
Smoked Marlin

The pulpo/octopus was also popular among the other diners.

The tacos here cost up to 40 pesos (around $3) and considering how much seafood you get with them, it's not bad at all. Whatever the price may be, the taco mazatena is a must try!

El Mazateno
Mariscos El Mazateno
Calzada Tecnologico,No. 473-E
Tomas Aquino

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Food (and Booze) Events to Look Forward to in October!

Saturday, October 1
Taste of Italy
This annual Italian feast benefits the Italian American Museum of Los Angeles and rightly features all things Italian, including restaurant sponsors such as Il Pastaio, Locanda del Lago, Paciugo Gelato while the beverage sponsors include Fernet-Branca (!) and San Antonio Winery.
$45 pre-sale, $50 at the door (includes 6 food tickets and 6 drink tickets)
424 N Main St., Historic Little Italy, Los Angeles 90012

Saturday, October 8
Baja Culinary Fest

Cross the border for the first ever Baja Culinary Fest! The extravaganza actually starts on Wednesday, Oct 5 with cooking competitions, food-related movies, hunting for your own lunch (seriously), winery or cheese tours and various special dinners in Tijuana and Ensenada. Take a week off and go to all of them if you can, but if you can't, the main festival takes place on Saturday Oct 8. Restaurants, street food, and can you say tequila? Also, stay for the lobster festival in Rosarito Beach on Sunday if you have the time ($25pp).
General Admission: $15
Interactive Museum El Trompo and World Trade Center Tijuana

Sunday, October 9
Cooking for Love: Savor the Season 2011
Savor the Season returns to benefit Break the Cycle, an organization to end domestic violence. The restaurant lineup includes Jar, M Cafe de Chaya, Oyster Gourmet, Morton's Steakhouse, and Beachy Cream. Here's a recap of their past event.
$100 for general admission (or $150 for two), $250 for VIP ticket.
Global Cuisine by Gary Arabia at The Lot Studios. 1041 N. Formosa Ave - West Hollywood, CA

Saturday, October 15
LA Beer Float Showdown
The LA Beer Float Showdown returns for its third year. This time 5 chefs are pairing up with 5 breweries to compete for the title, including Chef Ilan Hall (The Gorbals) with Tustin Brewery, Chef Laurent Quenioux (Vertical Wine Bistro) with Beachwood BBQ, chef CJ Jacobson (The Yard) with Firestone Walker, Chef Andre Guerrero (The Oinkster) with Eagle Rock Brewery, and Chef Thi Tran (Starry Kitchen) with Ladyface Ale Company.
$35pp. 25% of the proceeds benefit Share Our Strength
1-4pm. Eagle Rock Brewery. 3056 Roswell St, Eagle Rock, CA.

Friday, October 21
Dionicess IX
Dionicess returns with craft beer cocktails to Steingarten LA. This time, they have recruited bartender Matt Biancaniello to craft some beer cocktails. Each of the 5 cocktails will come with 5 vegetarian dishes served by Randy Clemens (author of The Sriracha Cookbook).
Steingarten LA, 10543 W Pico Blvd. Los Angeles, CA 90064

Sunday, October 23
Los Angeles Mag's The Food Event
One of my favorite annual food events returns to Saddlerock Ranch in Malibu featuring Farmshop, Eva Restaurant, Stella Rossa, Lukshon, MB Post, The Royce, Rivera, Nancy Silverton and Amy Pressman's new burger joint, Short Order, and so, so much more.
To see posts from previous years, click here and here.
Saddlerock Ranch. 31727 Mulholland Highway Malibu, CA 90265

Sunday, October 23
The 3rd Annual LA Beer Week Festival
It's THE beer event of the year! The Festival will feature over 70 breweries pouring a wide selection of their beers including rare beers and some special beer week-only beers. There will also be a selection of food trucks and local artisans.
$45 pre-sale, includes unlimited 4 oz pours of beers.
Union Station, 800 N Alameda St, Los Angeles, CA 90012

Thursday, December 9, 2010

"A Dose of Vitamin P" for FoodGPS!

Since FoodGPS had a disappointing week in pork, the bloggers who went down to Tijuana for the Pork 5 ways meal decided to each do A Dose of Vitamin P, dedicated to FoodGPS! (For those of you who didn't know, P here stands for Pork. FoodGPS highlights the best pork dish in his weekly Dose of Vitamin P.)

My Vitamin P was this tosta de cachete con erizo from Chef Jair Téllez of Laja in Valle de Guadalupe. He had run out of food within an hour so I was the only one in the group who had it (sorry!). Here you have uni and avocado on top of a "toast" made with pork cheek. Sweet, creamy uni. Crispy, fatty pork. Mind, blown.

Pork and Uni
Toast? Crostini? BORING. Crisped pork needs to be the new toast. Bruschetta with crispy pork. I'm going to smear foie gras torchon on a piece of toasted pork cheek. Pork rillette on pork, anyone?

For more porkporkpork, check out my fellow adventurers Street Gourmet LA, e*starLA, and My Last Bite who are all supposed to be posting their Dose of Vitamin P today.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Dec 8: Pig Out in Tijuana, Head to Tail

Mexico? It ain't that far, and this Wednesday is the perfect time to cross the border. How does a pork feast, from head to tail, with paired wines for 350 pesos (about $35) sound? Talk about a deal! Yup, on Wednesday December 8, you can partake in 5 Chefs, 5 pork preparations, 5 Baja wines at Villa Saverios in Tijuana.

Here's the chefs' lineup:
Chef Max Bonacci from The Linkery and El Take it Easy (San Diego,CA)
Chef Benito Molina from Manzanilla and Muelle Tres ( Ensenada)
Chef Jair Tellez from Laja (Valle de Guadalupe) and Mero Toro (Mexico City)
Chef Paul Zamudio from Peacocks(San Jose del Cabo)
Chef Javier Plascencia from Villa Saverios, Casa Plascencia, and Mision 19 (Tijuana)

Paired with wines from Valle de Guadalupe:
Adobe Guadalupe
Sinergi VT
Tres Valles

For reservations, call Villa Saverios, from the US dial 011-52-664-686-6443,ext. 104.

Wednesday, December 8,2010, 7PM.
Villa Saverios
Blvd Sanches Taboada
Esq. Escuadron 201
Zona Rio, Tijuana, Mexico

Friday, June 11, 2010

Special Viewing Party: Bizarre Foods - Baja at La Guelaguetza

A fellow foodblogger, Street Gourmet LA, has made it big. You may have seen him recently as a guest judge on Top Chef Masters: Scary Surf & Turf episode. Now he's going to be on screen with Andrew Zimmern, acting as his guide in the Bizarre Foods episode in Baja!

La Guelaguetza on 3014 W. Olympic Blvd will be holding a special viewing party for him on Monday June 14th (hopefully on their new 150" screen?) and will be offering some great $5 special deals.
The $5 specials include chapulines (grasshoppers), Taquitos, Clayudas, and some awesome specialty mezcal and tequila cocktails including the Donaji garnished with crushed agave worm salt and other less adventurous cocktails.

The party starts at 6 PM and the viewing will start at 7 PM. There will also be a special message from Andrew Zimmern via satellite and everyone is invited!

Friday, April 9, 2010

Tijuana (Baja, Mexico)


  • Barbacoa de La Ermita - Hidalgo style lamb barbacoa cooked overnight in a pit. Open on weekends only and there ain't no hangover cure like it.
  • Cebicheria Erizo
  • Cheripan -a great Argentinian restaurant with an amazing flank steak and a big martini list, including tamarind martini.
  • La Querencia - one of the most exciting places in Baja with the Baja Med food movement in the forefront.
  • La Vuelta -Fun place with some good beer offerings and a great mariachi band. Open late so get your party on here.
  • Lorca - a great little Spanish place with delicious paella and whole suckling pig.
  • Mariscos El Mazateno
  • Mariscos Ruben - THE best seafood truck on this coast with THE best marlin taquitos.
  • Mision 19
  • Tacos El Poblano - Their carne asada tacos, made with 3 different meats, blow any carne asada taco in Los Angeles out of the water.
  • Villa Saverios Restaurant - Both Italian and Baja Med influence the cuisine of Chef Javier Plascencia at this gorgeous restaurant.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Tijuana: Mariscos Ruben and the Best Marlin Taquito

I like going to Mexico with Street Gourmet LA, just blindly following him to the places he's researched and discovered (hey it's a vacation). He has not disappointed yet.

On our last trip to Tijuana for Tequila Expo, he took us to one seafood truck that I can't get my mind off of. Mariscos Ruben.
Husband and wife team Ruben and Mirta Rodriguez have operated this Sonoran seafood truck at this very corner for the past 20 years and they employ quite a few staff working the "kitchen" in the truck.

There's a small tented area where patrons squeeze into plastic chairs and stools. Some of the locals are decked up in suits and fancy dresses, but good food has always brought people together.

Our meal started big.
A plate of Manitas de Jaiba (crab claws).These small crab claws are fresh and sweet and served with citrusy chile marinade.

The crab tostada was equally impressive.
Fresh crab meat topped with onions, salsa, and thick slices of avocado really brought out the sweetness of the crab meat even more.

But it was these babies here that I crave, that makes this place so memorable to me. Marlin Taquitos.
Meaty smoked marlin in chargrilled tortillas are topped with cabbage, homemade thousand island dressing, and another homemade secret sauce. There's the smokiness, the creaminess, and then there's the crunch. To put it simply, they're the best taquitos ever.

Ruben works a small charcoal grill behind the tented area. The wife high recommended we try another dish before leaving: Almejas Gratinadas (Clams au gratin, basically).
We watched as Ruben Rodriquez picked up foil-wrapped Pismo clams from the charcoal. One of the cooks then split them open and prepared the real deal for us.
Like a treasure box, the big clam shell is now topped not just with the tender clam meat swirling in its juice, but with octopus, shrimp, scallops, cream and monterey jack cheese. We can see why Mirta wanted to make sure we try these and we're so glad we listened.

Every now and again I find myself wanting to drive down to Tijuana. The main reason would be this place and their marlin taquitos. I regret everyday not making a pit stop on my way home that time.
If you're ever in Tijuana, make sure you stop by and check this place out.
No, wait, scratch that. If you're not in Tijuana, get in your car and drive to this street corner.

Other reviews for Mariscos Ruben: Street Gourmet LA, Food GPS,

Mariscos Ruben
Corner of 8th & Quintana Roo
Tijuana, B.C., Mexico

Open 7 days a week, 10am-6pm

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Tacos El Fenix: The Real Baja Fish Taco

What would a Baja trip be without Baja fish tacos? Since even the thought is unacceptable, our Cotuco-sponsored weekend FAM Media Trip naturally included a stop at Taqueria El Fenix in Ensenada.

Taqueria El Fenix uses angelito shark (angel shark) meat, coated in a secret-recipe batter (rumors suggest mustard and oregano, among others), and double-fried in, yes, lard.
Here at El Fenix, you dress your own tacos the way you like it. The expected toppings like cabbage, onions, cilantro, salsa, guacamole, etc etc are all there.
The crunchy fried batter makes way for the juicy and meaty piece of shark. It really is about the batter and the double frying here. The mustard laden batter gives it that much more flavour and the double frying makes it so crispy yet very much not greasy, despite the frying in lard.

Taqueria El Fenix
At Calles Espinoza and Juarez (Calle 5)
Ensenada, Baja California, Mexico

7am-9pm daily

Friday, November 13, 2009

Cheripan in Tijuana: Argentinean Steak and Exotic Martinis

The Zona Gastronomica in Tijuana, Mexico isn't all about Mexican or Baja-Med food. Located in the heart of this district is Cheripan, a wonderful Argentinean restaurant offering a great selection of steaks and other Argentinean cuisine, a nice list of cocktails, and a large wine selection.

Naturally, it was one of our 8-restaurant-stop first day of Baja extravaganza sponsored by Cotuco.

Cheripan has a whole list of fresh fruit martinis, from the fruits you typically find in the US like strawberry to the more interesting ones like tamarind and nanchy. On my first visit I opted for the tamarind martini, shaken and poured tableside.
Sweet, smooth, and strong, it definitely goes down easy. We all liked having the shaker left next to our glass - you know, refills. You definitely get a lot for your money.

The second time I tried the nanchy martini. Nanchy is the fruit you see here, and tasted like something fermented.

Now, back to my first visit, and our meal there.

We had two types of empanadas: meat and spinach/cheese
When they give you fresh flaky puff pastries with two different fillings, that just means everyone will end up eating two of them.

Chorizo sausages were nicely spiced.

I really enjoyed the Ensalada de palmitos (hearts of palm salad), which were fresh and crisp.

Fried sweetbreads were nice, although they could be crispier for my taste.

Although skirt steak is typically known to be a touch cut of meat, the skirt steak at Cheripan was not only very flavorful, but very tender as well. A winner.
You'd be hard pressed to find skirt steak this good in LA.

For dessert, some chocolate gelato from the gelato shop owned by the same chef/owner.

And, of course, milhojas (literally "thousand layers") an Argentinean dulce de leche 'napoleon'

Zona Río Escuadrón 201-3151
Col. Aviación C.P. 22440
Tijuana, Mexico
Phone: (664) 622-9730

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