Tijuana Weekend, some very good eating
Arrived Saturday, lunch at Carnitas Uruapan, Gustavo Diaz Ordaz 12650, excellent carnitas served with tortillas, beans, chilies, cilantro, onions, limes and a couple of salsas. The salsa rojo was strangely flavorless, but otherwise everything was excellent. The carnitas were crispy at the edges and very tasty.
Saturday dinner was at La Differencia, Blvd. Sanchez Taboada 10611-A, Zona Rio, and it was fantastic. The place is very pretty, comfortable, the service was impeccable. Fresh chips and salsa came to the table. The salsa verde had some bite and a truly great fresh flavor. The black beans were very good with a nice porky taste, once again the salsa rojo didn't have a lot of flavor, but was better than at lunch. We started off with Crepas Huitlacoche (which they spell Chuitlacoche). They were truly incredible, perfectly thin crepe pockets - almost more like dumplings - stuffed with a lot of huitlacoche and just enough Oaxacan string cheese. They were served on a roasted poblano cream sauce that was amazing. We were drinking it with a spoon at one point. For main courses, my friend had duck - kind of duck carnitas - served with a tamarind sweet and sour dipping sauce, cilantro, onions and freshly made blue corn tortillas and it was fantastic - crispy on the edges, moist and tender, flavorful. I had a chile relleno stuffed with crab and topped with a tomatillo cilantro chile verde sauce that was great. The chile was lightly breaded and perfectly fried, the stuff was perfect. We had wines from Baja as well that were surprisingly great. I had a fantastic Tempranillo from the Santo Tomas Winery. I have got to try and find it in the U.S. My friend had a Cab that was a bit unusual but nice, not as nice as the Tempranillo though. For dessert, the flan was excellent, the only low point was the coffee - espresso would have been perfect but they only had fairly week brewed coffee.
Breakfast, at the recommendation of the bellman at our hotel, the Pueblo Amigo - nice enough, clean, reasonably priced - was at a place called Super Antojitos in the Plaza del Rio shopping center. Fresh orange juice, good coffee. I had the breakfast Mexicano with chiliquilles verde that were superb, served with fried eggs, rajas and beans. Just what I needed. My friend had the Azteca - ham on top of a tortilla with fried eggs, sprinkles of bacon, avocado, a light chile rojo and excellent tripas on the side, as well as beans. I will definitely be back for breakfast again the next time I'm in Tijuana.
We spent about an hour walking around the Mercado Hidalgo, which is a great market - some really unusual dried chile powders - especially green ones - and then we had tacos at Tacos El Gordo just outside the entrance to the market. The al pastor was good, but not as good as I remember it being. It had an odd, white, slightly creamy spicy salsa on it that kind of hid the taste of the meat. My friend liked her tacos cabeza very much.
All told, a good weekend and some very good eating.