Everyday is Taco Tuesday in Tijuana!

I finished working on a production in Tijuana for three months, and I’ve been in Taco heaven!  I’m spoiled with having so many delicious tacos and for half the price I pay back home.

You can find all the meat in Mexico, starting in TJ!  Theses Taco stands have all the parts of the animal you can think of.  Not much is wasted.

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The first taco establishment I was recommended was Taqueria Franc, a place that is known for their “Adobada” Tacos, aka “Al Pastor” tacos.  When I first saw “Adobada” on the menu, I had no idea what that was, and then I was confused as to why I couldn’t find “Al Pastor” on

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Taqueria Franc

the menu even though I saw it cooking on a the vertical rotisserie.  I then found out that in Tijuana and other states such as Michoacan and Jalisco, it is referred to as “Adobada,” which means marinated.

 

 

 

In San Diego, there was an “Al Pastor” contest, where Taqueria Franc participated and won 1st place.  Since then, many Americans have crossed the border for a plate of tacos.

The next place that became my favorite was Taconazo, there a couple of these locations throughout Tijuana, but it was the one on Hipodromo Avenue, down the street of the Grand Hotel that was the best.  Not only did I enjoy all their meats, I loved their vegetarian taco too!  The “Vegetarian” comes with grilled cactus and guacamole, and topped with pico de gallo and hot sauce.  I never thought I would be ordering a vegetarian taco but it is that good.

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The employees provide a happy ambience with great memories of your order once you’ve gone two or three times.  This became my Sunday night ritual.  I would uber to the place, pick up my 6 tacos (hey, it was my sunday funday), pick up a “suero” at my hotel bar, and go up to my room to watch Game of Thrones while chowing down.

What were these tacos made of? Tripas, Cabeza, Lengua, Adobada, and if they weren’t out of it…Ojo (eyes)

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Taqueria Franc:

Blvd. Sánchez Taboada 9013
22000 Tijuana, Baja California
Mexico

Taconazo (Hipódromo):

Hipodromo 126, Tijuana, Mexico

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La Corriente Cevicheria Nais, Tijuana

By far the best Ceviche Tostada I have ever had, and I had my share of trying many ceviche dishes during my summer in Tijuana.  While there were many great seafood establishments, fancy to hole-in-the-wall, there is one that stands out and will have me back the next time I step across the border. Cevicheria Nais, pronounced “Na-ice” or “nice” in a Borat voice.

Located in central Tijuana, the restaurant is a spacious but cozy place, complete with a back patio and a nautical theme throughout.  You get greeted with a cup of seafood broth at your table, and this settles you right into the seafood vibe as you sip and scan the menu.

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Back Patio (photo courtesy of Mrt. T)

One of things you will notice about the Micheladas here is that there is a separate menu list for what all can come inside your Michelada, called “Clamatos.”  It can be as simple as having clam juice to having bites of octopus, shrimp and clams with saladitos (salted prunes).  I had the “Tiburon Tiburon” (Shark Shark) which is beer, clamato, clam juice, shrimp, celery, and a saladito.  This feels more like a shrimp cocktail with beer.  Depending on how you look at it, it can be like a little appetizer you have all to yourself, or a beer with too much going on for your taste.  If you are looking to pound a cerveza down, you’re better off just ordering it plain.

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Tiburon Tiburon Drink

 

 

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Pacifico Tostada

On to the star of the menu, the Pacifico Tostada! It is a batch of thinly sliced fresh tuna and scallops marinated in lime juice, Petrolera Hot Sauce, Serrano Chilis, and onions.  It is the freshest and and most savory tostada de ceviche I have ever had.  They do not skimp on the fish and scallop at all, you will find bits of delicious tuna falling off to scoop up afterwards.  All for the price of about $5

 

Then we have the Aguachiles, a molcajete (stone bowl) of raw shrimp curing in a bath of lime juice and your choice of smashed chili, and mixed with cucumber and red onion slices.  This is a mouth-watering treat for thoseimg_1682 who love lime juice and getting heat on the tongue.  The classic is usually the green serrano aquachile that packs a good punch.  This is great way to get your thirst going and start backing those bottles of cerveza.

 

 

 

 

There’s more savory treats like the Octopus Cracklings, Marlin Tacos or Grilled Octopus Taco with melted cheese 😛 No matter what you get, it will be taste fresh and delicious.  For your appetizer, make sure you get the Pacifico Tostada, it’s worth trying at least once.

Address:

Flores Magón 8330
Col. Centro
22000 Tijuana, Baja California
Mexico
 

 

Huntington Library Tea Room, Updated

In the past I have known the Huntington Library Tea Room to be set up as a food buffet with tea and scones served at your table.  Now a tiered tray of tea sandwiches and pastries are served to your table. You receive a menu listing the items that will be presented. There is also a long list of teas that you may request in addition to the signature Huntington Blend (Jasmine, Tropical Fruits, Vanilla, Bergamot).



Smoked Salmon & Caviar 🍴Avocado w/ Arugula and Mushrooms [intended to taste like bacon] 🍴 Persian Cucumber w/ Goat Cheese and Watercress 🍴Chicken Salad Sandwich 🍴Egg Salad Cup 


Crumpets are a new item that are added to this tea experience. Scones and Crumpets are made fresh every morning…


The fruit was fresh and refreshing. I noticed a little fella on the top tier that I was not familiar with, it was a gooseberry…


Oh you little Gooseberry! Fun Fact: High in Vitamin C and known to fight aging, cancer, and neurological diseases. Fun Urban Term: Someone who tags along with a couple or couples, but is single themselves 😁 
It was a mixture of rain and sunshine today. My group was lucky, it only rained when we were in the tea house. It was so calming to be sipping teas and nibbling on finger foods while looking out at the garden with seeing the rain fall 

Live Sea Urchin @ Smorgasburg Los Angeles

A friend introduced me to heaven today…Smorgasburg in Downtown Los Angeles.  I wish I had a big enough stomach to fit all this wonderful food. I had to choose wisely since I was only going to fit a few items down the gullet. 

There it was, I saw someone pass by with a huge sea urchin on their plate, gold meat just seating inside a giant shell. Off to Jolly Oyster! $15 per Santa Barbara Sea Urchin freshly cracked. They remove the membranes and have it ready to serve. Now I didn’t realize the spines would still be moving, I instantly felt some guilt thinking this animal was being tortured. However, I later found out that it’s common for the body to move even after it has died, and with a lack of a central nervous system, it is unaware of the pain. 

Immediately I noticed the saltier flavor of this Urchin, it’s the salt water taste which doesn’t last long because it is immediately followed by the creamy uní flavor that coats the tongue. It’s probably one of the hardest food flavors for me to describe. Since there is not a lot of “meat” in the shell, it forces me to take my time and savor since the experience will end after a couple of bites.  Thank you succulent Sea Urchin for feeding me so wonderfully today…



Epazote!

Excited to be growing Epazote, an herb native to Mexico and South America. My mom would place a bouquet of Epazote in the middle of the table for us to pick leaves off and sprinkle it over tacos or soups. Consumed as a tea, chewed raw, or applied on skin, it is known to lessen flatulence, alleviate cramps, and even kill intestinal parasites. Too much though, and it becomes toxic 😅

38 degrees Ale House & Grill

Taco Tuesday is now celebrated at the 2 locations of 38 degrees Ale House (Alhambra, CA & Monrovia, CA).  They may not be $1 tacos like most places, but the flavor is worth paying a little extra. These are are the 3 types of tacos i ordered for my 3 for $8.

Roasted Brussel Sprouts Tacos with roasted tomato salsa quemada, caramelized onions, and vegan creme fraiche. 


Braised pork tacos w/ daikon sprout and carrot slaw, sliced jalapeno, sriracha aioli. 

Sesame marinated beef short rib tacos w/ house-made kimchi, queso fresco, salsa verde (center)


Pair that with one of their beers and you’re all set 😌

Guy Fieri’s El Burro Borracho- Best Place to Eat in Laughlin

I have been driving to Laughlin, Nevada for a lazy getaway with my family since I was a child.  This is our mellow version of the Las Vegas strip vacation.  With the strip, you can easily relax, but can easily get caught up in the running around to see all the fancy hotels and casinos, race to catch a show or make it into the latest hyped up club.  With Laughlin, I go with the mindset that I will spend the majority of the time laying by the pool and river with bloody marys and dine at buffets.  The active part would include a walk through a few casinos, gamble in the evening, and do one water activity such as ride a wave runner on the river or drive a patio boat on the lake.  I truly relax and feel a good distance from home without having to drive more than I would for Vegas.

This time, however, I went with an added goal. I saw that Guy Fieri opened a new restaurant, El Burro Borracho at the Harrah’s Hotel, where we were staying.  As much as I enjoy the buffets, I was very curious about this restaurant and thought it would make for a nice birthday dinner for my sister.  I am happy to say that everything ordered was excellent!

I enjoy margaritas, but sometimes I think twice about ordering one, due to places that load them with a lot of syrup and sweetness.  On this menu, the margaritas sounded really good, and I had to try one…

I ordered the Habanero-Pineapple Margarita: Pineapple + habanero-infused Cabo Wabo Silver tequila, triple sec, pineapple chucks, and homemade sour mix

Pineapple-Habanero Margarita
Pineapple-Habanero Margarita

If you like spicy, you will love this drink. It tastes light and fresh with a light lingering burn and the added spiciness of a chili salt rim.

Next, it was time for the appetizer- THIS WAS THE BEST PART OF DINNER.

We ordered Grilled Street CornGrilled corn cob, crema, chile de arbol, cilantro, lime, mayo + crumbled Cotija cheese 

This was so creamy and with the right touch of salt and spice.  It is the closest thing to having street corn in Mexico.

Grilled Street Corn
Grilled Street Corn

There are enchiladas, tacos, tortas, fajitas, and burritos for entrees.  It was very hard to choose just one entree, but fortunately there were four other dishes that were ordered at my table, so I got to taste more than one.

Pork Chile Verde EnchiladasMarinated pork shoulder, queso casero, tomatillo salsa, sweet onion, tequila-lime crema + cilantro

Pork Chile Verde Enchiladas
Pork Chile Verde Enchiladas

Chicken Mole EnchiladaGrilled Chicken, queso casero, mole verde, diced onion, tequila-lime crema + cilantro

Chicken Mole Enchilada
Chicken Mole Enchilada

Old Skool AmericanoSonoran-style braised ground beef, shredded cabbage, cheddar cheese, tequila-lime creme + pico de gallo, parmesan cheese-dusted crispy corn tortillas

Old Skool Americano Tacos
Old Skool Americano Tacos

Drunken Fish TacosBaja-style or la plancha mahi mahi, shredded cabbage, avocado, tequila-lime crema, pickled red onion + cilantro, grilled corn tortillas

Drunken Fish Tacos
Drunken Fish Tacos

There was not one plate that wasn’t delicious.  The combination of ingredients worked very well and tasted very fresh.  It truly was authentic Mexican food.  I am in love with Guy Fieri now for the dinner I had here.

Oh! let’s not forget about their way of celebrating birthdays…

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They provide a straw hat with long, soft donkey ears and a delicious dessert, all while singing a birthday song!

Birthday Dessert

Check out the rest of the menu to see how incredible each recipe sounds!

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