My sister just left, and as I try to hold back the sadness that threatens to engulf me I realize I’m just really glad she came. She got here about a week ago, but instead of spending a whole week in OC, we met her in Tijuana for a quick road trip to Ensenada and Rosarito, Baja Califorinia, MX. The hubby and I have been wanting to go there for a while, since we live so close, but we had never made the time.
We walked across the border, where my sister and her boyfriend picked us up. We decided to skip Tijuana and went on to Rosarito, we stopped for breakfast at Los Pelicanos Restaurante. The restaurant is supplied by their own farm where they raise quail, deer, and lamb. In season you can find these items on the menu cooked over an oak and mezquite wood fired grill, served with warm tortillas, and homemade jams. After a a breakfast of crispy chilaquiles, fried quail eggs, and refried beans we drove off to Ensenada.
We decided to take a detour and visit el Valle de Guadalupe, which is Mexico’s wine country. We only visited one winery, L.A Cetto. We had a wine tasting led by a Chef Iker, who shared his knowledge of the local wines and gave us some recommendations on where to eat. Honestly, we weren’t too impressed with the wines or the winery, but we did just come back from a trip to Napa, so it’s not really fair to compare.
While driving back to Ensenada, on a last minute whim, we decided to go to ” La Bufadora”. “La Bufadora” is the site of one of North Americas largest blowholes, and one of the many tourist attractions in Ensenada. The site is surrounded by shops selling all kinds of hand crafts and souvenirs. There are also small food stands offering fresh seafood and cold drinks to quench the summer heat.
On our return to Ensenada we stopped for tacos before checking into the hotel. Did you now fish tacos are said to have originated in Ensenada? So naturally I just had to have some. I can’t seem to remember the name of where we ate, I’ll have to get back to you in that one. The tacos were simple: battered and fried fish, a chile ‘guero’ stuffed with smoked marlin, topped with pickled onions, cabbage, and salsa verde. Quite unique and delicious.
Finally we arrived at Hotel Coral and Marina and spent the rest of the day at the pool. In the evening my sister watched the munchkin so we could go out for a drink. Well at least that was the plan, but after a whole day of travel and activity all we could muster was to stop by the hotel bar. I like Mexican hotel bars. They have plenty of tequila, and are generally “old school”. The bartender was an older gentleman dressed in a classic waiter’s uniform, bow tie and all. We had margaritas, no sour mix (thank goodness!), and peanuts.
The next day, the guys went deep sea fishing while we walked around the center of town, stopped at Sanborns for some caldo Tlalpeño (spicy chicken soup), and paid a visit to the Mercado Negro (local fish market). On the drive back to Tijuana we stopped at Puerto Nuevo to feast on their famous lobster dish: broiled lobster, refried beans, hand-made flour tortillas, and Mexican rice. All in all, for such a short trip we had a wonderful time. With our bellies full and our hearts content, we walked across the border pondering how two worlds so different can be so close, and yet the wall that claims to separate them cannot keep them from blending into each other.