Along Baja California’s Culinary Route

Driving down Baja California, past the towering border wall and the ever-busy Tijuana, a surprisingly arresting view of the coast greets us. Miles of hazel, fog-blanketed hills gently roll down unto the foamy shores of the blue Pacific. It’s a scene reminiscent of dreamy Big Sur, perhaps just ever so slightly browner, drier and less of a reverie.

Even more surprising are the houses, Mediterranean- and adobe-style, that adorn this coast. Their reddish brown rooftops peek charmingly over Federal Highway 1D, the main road that takes travelers on a scenic drive from Tijuana, its starting terminus, to just a few miles north of Ensenada. Collectively, they add a captivating and busy detail to an otherwise serene panorama.

It’s not at all how we imagined this part of Mexico would look.

Baja California (Photo: Michelle Rae)

Most surprising of all is the food… the glorious food, the delicious and hearty dishes centered on the freshest catch of the day – tuna, abalone, shrimp, oysters and even lobsters. Living in Southern California, we have heard all about BC’s legendary tacos de pescado (fish tacos), a dish often replicated in many restaurants in Los Angeles, but we needed further proof.

So began our weekend-long culinary journey along Mexico’s beautiful Pacific coast.

Fried langosta and sides in Puerto Nuevo (Photo: Michelle Rae)

On a balcony overlooking the baby blue coast in a little town called Puerto Nuevo, we sample the fried rock lobsters (langosta), served Baja-style with refried beans, rice, tortillas and salsa on the side. Further south in downtown Ensenada, we squeeze past the crowd to try La Guerrerense’s famous (and incredible, we know this now) ceviche, served on hard taco with avocado on top, ignoring rumors of it being overrated. And we walk less than a mile away from the tourist zone to Tacos Mi Ranchito El Fenix, whose battered fish and battered shrimp Baja-style tacos are a revelation, utterly addictive and some say the best in town.

Puerto Nuevo (Photo: Michelle Rae)
La Guerrerense, Ensenada (Photo: Michelle Rae)
Tacos Fenix (Photo: Michelle Rae)

We partake in a languid Sunday breakfast affair at Hotel Coral and Marina’s BC Bistro and Cava, whose Sunday breakfast buffet include not just heaps of delicious, hearty chicken mole, cochinita pibil, Mexican Barbecue beef, beans, pozole and tamales, but also carnitas, ceviche and a large slab of lamb meat slowly roasting in an open flame, all for only about $15 per person. We sample local wine in Valle de Guadalupe, whose historic wine route is responsible for much of the tourist traffic in these parts. And, of course, we drink the local coffee, La Negrita, cheap yet surprisingly good and chocolatey.

Ensenada from our hotel room balcony at Hotel Coral & Marina (Photo: Michelle Rae)
Winery in Valle de Guadalupe (Photo: Michelle Rae)

By the end of it, we are happy, satiated and too full to consume anything else. Or so we think…

As we drive back up to LA, resisting to urge to go back to Fenix to get fish tacos for the road and already planning our next trip down, we get stuck in border traffic despite our fast pass. There in line, we purchase a bag of churros from a young girl selling them at a mobile stand right in the middle of that slow and busy highway – a striking contrast to the idyllic scene that welcomed us at the start of our trip; and we devour these Mexican treats within minutes. After all, full or not from our food adventure, there’s always, always room for dessert.

* * * * *


Hotel Coral & Marina. Carretera Tijuana-Ensenada Km.103 #3421, Zona Playitas, 22860 Ensenada | 52-646/175-0000


Villa Ortegas. Barracuda 77, Puerto Nuevo | 52-661/614-0706
La Guerrerense. Corner of Avda. Alvarado and First St., Ensenada | 52-646/174-2114
Tacos Mi Ranchito El Fenix. Corner of Espinosa and Avda. Juárez, Ensenada
BC Bistro and Cava. Carretera Tijuana-Ensenada Km.103 #3421, Zona Playitas, 22860 Ensenada | 52-646/175-0000


Hacienda la Lomita. Fraccionamiento 13 22785 Ensenada | 52-646/156-8466
Café La Negrita. Centro Comercial Bahía Loc. 35 | 52-646/178-6512


(Originally published on


all rights reserved. no part of this blog post may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means without written permission from the author.

Taste the Flavors of the World with Try the World

Food is the flavor of travel, and one of the best things about visiting far-off lands whose culture differ from our own. But if truth be told, while grown-ups are more than happy – or at least more inclined – to sample a foreign cuisine that differ from our own, kids are the pickiest eaters and convincing them to try something new may not be easy. This means that traveling with kids to a foreign country can get tough.

A simple solution to get our little travelers to have a wider taste palette and to expose them to the different tastes of the world is to start at home.

That’s where Try the World comes in very handy. An ingenious way of enjoying different tastes of the world, the US-based company delivers gourmet food from all over the world right on your doorstep every 2 months with their chef-curated subscription boxes filled with goodies from wonderful destinations.

Whether you are looking to try some French cuisine, sample the more exotic tastes of Marrakech or savor the Mediterranean flavors of Italy, each Try the World curated box features a different destination and features authentic, carefully selected, USFDA approved snacks and cooking items from that destination. Additionally, each box comes with a card that talks about every item and how they’re traditionally prepared and eaten, as well as a beautiful culture guide that covers interesting things about the destination, including a recipe, a playlist and some movie recommendations.

Courtesy Try the World
Courtesy Try the World

Try the World’s subscription boxes are a terrific way to expose the kids to new cuisines and cultures, and for the whole family to enjoy a genuine food experience without putting in the miles. Well, at least not just yet.

It’s also great for an awesome culture night party with friends, a romantic date night without the kids, or just a special Friday night dinner with the whole family. And when you run out of your favorite items, Try the World has got you covered with their well-stocked online shop.

Every Try the World box is truly designed so you and your kids can have a complete cultural and gastronomical experience. Not only will it prepare the kids for unique culinary experiences, it will also give every member of your family something to look forward to on your next family adventure.

Current box, Buenos Aires, explores the meaty dishes and delicious creamy deserts of Argentina, featuring such treats as dulce de membrillo, chimichurri and Argentine teas. Visit their website now and get ready to taste the flavors of the world with Try the World.

(Originally published on

all rights reserved. no part of this blog post may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means without written permission from the author.