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Taking the Taco Tour in Rosarito, Baja, Mexico

Gypsy Jan Feb 10, 2013 05:42 PM

From baja.com

http://baja.com/rosarito/taking-the-t...

  1. w
    waycool Feb 14, 2013 04:29 PM

    Thank you Gypsy Jan. I hope we can get to one or more of your suggested stands.

    Any suggestions for lobster in Puerto Nuevo? Thinking of trying to squeeze in a lobster dinner too.

    1 Reply
    1. re: waycool
      Gypsy Jan Feb 14, 2013 05:41 PM

      Most restaurants in Puerto Nuevo do not serve fresh lobster - the local waters are pretty much fished out and the stuff that is served is imported from southern Baja or the Gulf of Mexico. The lobster is parboiled and frozen then fried to order.

      We prefer to drive the ten miles north to Vince's Fish Market and Restaurant in central Rosarito, they have live lobsters in tanks.

    2. w
      waycool Feb 14, 2013 09:36 AM

      Thanks Gypsy Jan.

      We will definitely stop at one or more of your suggestions. We usually do Mariscos Alegria and are looking to change it up.

      If we do decide to do lobster in Puerto Nuevo, would you have any suggestions there as well.

      Your advice is very much appreciated.

      1. w
        waycool Feb 12, 2013 10:03 PM

        Do you have any suggestions for taco stands between Calafia and La Fonda? We often stop at a place in Cantamar but wouldn't mind trying somewhere new.

        We are looking for both seafood and carne.

        Thanks.

        6 Replies
        1. re: waycool
          Gypsy Jan Feb 13, 2013 08:54 PM

          Hi waycool,

          Sticking strictly to taco stands, the two JR fish taco stands on Popotla Blvd. (Highway 1 or "The Free Road"), just south of Rosarito are excellent, They are brick-and-mortar establishments with inside and patio seating.

          Farther south, aouth of Calafia, Tacos Charly and Tacos K38 at the well regarded K38 surf spot gets lots of mentions, but I have never eaten there.

          In Primo Tapia, which is the ejido adjoined to Cantamar, Mariscos Alegria, on the inland side of the highway next to the tire repair shop is excellent. A little bit farther south, on the west side of the free road is "Tacos mi Puebla" which is open 24/7/365. They have very good carne asada and adobada (marinated roasted pork carved off the trompa).

          In Primo Tapia, during the afternoon and at night, there are pop-ups - cart vendors who vary their locations.

          Also, every weekend, Saturday and Sunday, there is a tianguis (street market) set up on the side streets next to and south of the Catholic church which always features many food vendors. (Pizza in Baja, anyone?) The market folds up and shuts down by four in the afternoon.

          BTW, it is also a great place to find cheap knockoffs of clothing and shoes, and there is always at least two or more great produce stands and butchers featuring local products.

          To the best of my knowledge, south of Primo Tapia to La Fonda and beyond, the pickings are pretty slim until you drive the thirty plus miles to El Sauzal/Valle de Guadalupe/Ensenada.

          1. re: Gypsy Jan
            cristina Feb 14, 2013 12:19 PM

            Hey Gypsy Jan...a question: you mention tacos of adobada-- "(marinated roasted pork carved off the trompa)". Is this the same as what we in the interior call tacos al pastor?

            Thanks.

            Link: http://www.mexicocooks.typepad.com

            1. re: cristina
              Gypsy Jan Feb 14, 2013 02:45 PM

              Hi Cristina,

              Tacos Adobada in Baja have an onion on top of the sliced, marinated cone of pork instead of a pineapple and the cocinero doesn't put a slice of that onion in the taco, just whatever salsa/raw onion/chopped cilantro combo that you specify.

              I have not discovered any place here that does classic "al pastor" with pineapple on top (and I have looked), regardless of what their sign advertises

              Everyone serving adobada has a secret recipe, so the tacos can vary widely in taste. That's the fun adventure of trying new places.

              1. re: Gypsy Jan
                cristina Feb 14, 2013 04:19 PM

                Thanks, Jan...what an interesting regional 'take' on the dish. And by the way, I've seen many trompas of 'al pastor' meat that don't use the pineapple on top. But I've never seen anybody use an onion! (Just wait, tomorrow I will see three...it never fails.)

                Link: http://www.mexicocooks.typepad.com

                1. re: cristina
                  Soul Vole Feb 15, 2013 10:39 AM

                  Like Cristina I don't think I've ever seen onion on top here in Mexico City. On the bottom occasionally you'll see one or even three as a base for the stacked meat I guess, but they're not served -- the onion on the taco is always raw. And the pineapple on top, while not uncommon, is hardly de rigeur.

                  Sometimes you get a skilled trompero who, with a flick of his knife, can send a slice of pineapple flying through the air which he then snatches in the taco with his other hand.

                  Parenthetically I've heard it said that the juice from the pineapple on top serves to flavor and tenderize the meat. I don't buy it. Pineapple just doesn't give off that much juice without mechanical assistance.

                2. re: Gypsy Jan
                  Melanie Wong Feb 15, 2013 09:57 AM

                  Interesting. The two places I tried in El Sauzal/Ensenada both had pineapple on top of the trompo and not an onion. One called it adobada on the menu board and the other al pastor.

          2. DiningDiva Feb 10, 2013 10:31 PM

            GJ, you live in the area, do you concur with the selections?

            2 Replies
            1. re: DiningDiva
              Gypsy Jan Feb 11, 2013 09:05 AM

              It's a pretty good list.

              Tacos el Paisano - I ate there a couple of times, don't really remember the meals, so it's OK. It's on the main drag (Benito Juarez Blvd.) near the Rosarito Beach Hotel and the big bars (Senor Frogs, etc.) very visible and easy to find.. I assume that they get very busy late in the evening.

              Tacos el Yaqui is on Mar del Norte, the side street that parallels Benito Juarez Blvd. one block east. Long time institution with lots of local business, but...

              We like Tacos el Gerente, a couple of blocks north, on the same side street and same side of the street. The proprietor, Hugo, used to be the main cook at Yaqui, and we followed him because we think he does the job.

              I have never noticed Zurdo or Asadero - I have them bookmarked to try.

              The article didn't mention a long time favorite, Tacos Manuel. The main location is on Benito Juarez Blvd., a few blocks north of Waldo's Dollar Mart and the other is also on Benito Juarez, north of the Calimax market, near the stoplight intersection that takes you to the Home Depot/Walmart complex. They make the corn and flour tortillas from scratch and besides carne asada and pork adobada. they also offer tripa, buche and other offal parts that I am too mainstream to try.

              1. re: Gypsy Jan
                DiningDiva Feb 11, 2013 01:13 PM

                Thank you :-)

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