Ensenada 2010
Friday November 26th 2010, 5:02 pm
Filed under: Jibber Jabber

Ensenada was great. Such a spontaneous trip with an agenda planned on a whim.

Rafael was in the neighborhood so I took him to grab a couple fish tacos when he brought up traveling for the Baja 1000 a few weeks back. I thought about it and realized that’s just something one does not say “No” to, and with that I shoved my chips all in. A week before our departure Phil clears his schedule just long enough to join us in the adventure, and an adventure it was.

Ensenada was an adventure not just cuisine, trophy trucks and wine but the people, culture, and drive down 1D as well as through Tijuana in these trying times. The people in Ensenada were really a pleasure to interact with, many times we often do not know what we have until we’ve been with less and these people definitely make due with less…and in many cases, are a whole lot happier then us so called ‘gringos.’

As we entered Mexico one of the main bullet points on our agenda was AVOID THE WATER AND ICE AT ALL COSTS, and so we invested in a pallet of American water, and stuck to beer while in Mexico. Being a bit older now, this actually did not lead to trouble, but we still had an incredible experience.

Being that yesterday was Thanksgiving, Ensenada really drove home the point of ‘you don’t know how good you have it, until you’ve been.’ With that here’s a large sampling of the photos I’ve taken while down south. Also, because the area outside of the port looks generally like a slum and while we were out about I left my camera in the hotel these photos are well…very culinary centric.

fruit, horchata, and agua fresca

swines on spits

chicharrones - these things almost broke our teeth

chroizo and nopal

huitlacoche, aka corn mold - supposed to be a Mexican delicacy.

Phil holding my churros - oh so good!

grilled clams

fried white fish for Ensenada’s famous Baja fish tacos

fish market

left us craving for some ceviche

Typical port eatery, just across from the fish market. This spot was named ‘El NorteƱo’

Hussong’s, the oldest cantina in the Californias (Baja California, and California), pouring libations since 1892. Also, the birthplace of the margarita!

We just had to become part of its history

After the Baja 1000 start Phil and I become thirsty, ordered up a couple of cervezas. Had no idea they were HUGE!

I also tested fate with a street vendor clam cocktail

So glad I did, it was incredibly fresh and just delicious.

Rafael took us to the most famous ceviche cart in town, La Guerrerense.

We started off with a base, the fish ceviche which is typically very good and consistent all around Ensenada.

Then moved right to the exotic, this was Sea Urchin and Clams. Asking for upset stomachs right?

Finally some crab salad and sea snail. Telling you that they tasted fantastic would be unjust, what we wanted to do was seriously ship her and her ceviche cart up here. Her stuff was THAT good, and the Sea Urchin and Clams? I’m already missing it.

Finally, Friday morning rolled around and it was time to bid this town farewell. However, if you’ve come to expect anything out of me…not before a cup of coffee

While we grabbed coffee, they gave us some kind of Mexican pastry. Not sure what this was stuffed with but it was a dense, cakey consistency and I believe the center was some kind of root. Wow, this caught me by surprise - I really wish I had some of these at home. If any of you know what this is, drop me a note.

With that we headed back to San Diego. 1.5 hours in traffic crossing the border, sitting in an iffy situation in Tijuana and all that to miss my flight back to SJC. 6 hours in the airport later a spot finally opened up, and well…now I’m home. Happy to be back! Photoset on Baja 1000 and Ruta del Vino to come!

Photos of Ensenada, it’s People, Culture, and Food on Flickr.

Places we visited:
Hotel Cortez
Hussong’s
Papas & Beer
Restaurante Manzanilla
L.A. Cetto
Monte Xanic
Laja
La Guerrerense
and all the random fish carts we’ve had the pleasure to sample!

-Wallace