I spent this last Sunday not sleeping in like every other Sunday but instead in the closest proximity of the motherland: Tijuana. Thanks to the valiant efforts of Street Gourmet L.A and Jahdiel Vargas, Emma Cruz, and all the people at CANIRAC and COTUCO, an impromptu day trip out to the Seafood Festival was made possible for a few of us. The family oriented free event took place in the Playas area of Tijuana this last Sunday.
And no I was not shot at, I was not mugged, I was not raped–ha ha. Its a damn shame how easy negative rumors get around and somehow substitute the truth. Oh well, more local, fresh seafood for us!
Ni Cual Localvore Ni Nada Hombre
Cesar Escandon of a local restaurant La Cafeteria was churning out the local seafood standards but ever so deftly executed. Like a fresh ceviche made out of swordfish or one made out of octopus and prawns served on artisan Tostadas, here they drizzle mayonnaise on just about everything. I like.
It wasn’t too long before we ran into the quintessential Baja staple though.
Fried twice with a jaggedly crisp, lightly mustard flavored battered. These tacos are generously garnished with raw slivered cabbage, pico de gallo and a milked-down mayo sauce and Guacamole combination, a truly unctuous seafood experience.
It was time for a water–or wine–break. Meaning, take in the glory of Baja wines. Vinicola Don Cetto is one of the big hitters down in El Valle De Guadalupe, basically the Napa Valley of Baja. This particular sparkling white wine was a tad on the sweeter side for my taste since I usually like my bubbly’s on the dryer side but still refreshing nonetheless mang.
Next up was some Paella done in the Baja style as well. Looked way better than it tasted. Basically, this meant nothing but the most pristine seafood flavored rice but without the enticing aroma of saffron. I also wasn’t too impressed with the use of short grain fat rice grains and not traditional Paella rice. But SAS! Can’t have it all.
One of my favorite things of the day was tasting the first and original Caesar Salad from the original hotel that created it itself, the Ceaser’s Hotel on Revolucion. Here, the only ingredients were raw egg yolks, Parmesan, olive oil, garlic, anchovies, lemon juice salt and pepper. All are emulsified beautifully to a lush, creamy full bodied dressing that coats romaine lettuces like no other.
Another thing I love about Tijuana is the street availability of just about anything, like this roaming ‘snack-ero’ that slanged everything from Dried Mango In Chamoy to chile powder-roasted fava and garbanzo beans, my munchy favorites.
The absolute Glutster street snack favorite in Baja though are the freshly cracked, young meat of local coconuts. These taste a lot different than the widely available Thai young coconuts available here in L.A with a more savory flavor spectrum to them, which makes them all the better when doused with lime, chile and chamoy!
And last but not least, Baja style stuffed churros! Actually, I regret to inform you guys that I actually didn’t get to gorge on these this time around but nonetheless here they are in all their unabashed sweet, decadent glory. mmmmm
And this was only the beginning of the day. See “T.J” isn’t that bad now is it?