I seem to be very good at doing this – going missing for months without a peep. It may be only me, but there are times where I run into a rut and remain in there for some time unable to get up again.
When I was going through my archive of pictures, my mind was already mentally kicking me telling (more like yelling way too loud) that these were posts you were going to write. This just makes me feel guilty and I burrow further into my ditch which I’ve dug myself into.
However, after almost a YEAR of hiding, I’m coming back and picking up the pen again.
Without further ado:
My current food craving (literally right now as I type this, this is what I am craving) is the taco. Specifically a spicy shrimp taco with a crispy layer melted cheese on corn tortillas. What you see here are two examples of that from Oscar’s Mexican Seafood, which have three locations.
One gorgeous afternoon, CP and I wanted to make a drive to the beach and grab lunch. After much deliberation, I suggested we head back to Oscar’s for some tacos because what goes better than a nice, sunny day in San Diego in April? Tacos of course!
I got two spicy shrimp and one smoked fish taco (un-pictured). The amount of food that’s given to you is quite hefty and I left the shop lugging my happy stomach.
Each shrimp taco is filled with plump, juicy shrimps that have been marinaded and charred on the griddle. While its vessel is being warmed up with a layer of cheese that crisps up so that you get a nice cheesy crunch. Yes, that little bit of cabbage gives you that crunch too, but to compare cabbage to cripsy cheese sounds like an insult.
My tacos were then topped with a nice helping of habenaro salsa (me thinks they mix in some crema). Oh man…
ALL BOARD THE FLAVOR TRAIN! IT’S PARTY TIME! CHOO CHOO!!!
Like I mentioned, they have three locations, so get your bum out to one of them, try those tacos if you haven’t already and get on this tasty party train!
703 Turquoise Street
San Diego, CA 92109
746 Emerald Street
San Diego, CA 92109
646 University Avenue
San Diego, CA 92103
On a seemingly cloudy start to a Saturday, a group of nine ventured across the U.S. and Mexican border for a foodie adventure. What I am about to share in words and pictures, cannot fully explain or describe the experience and food we had. It is something to be enjoyed first-hand and then one can appreciate it fully.
The day started early in Tijuana at Marisco el Mazatenos. Now this place has been highly recommended by coworkers for the past couple of years and I finally got to taste it myself.
They start with providing chips and salsa, along with a seafood consommé. This consommé is your preview to the amazing food that one is about to partake. The broth is rich with flavors of shrimp, tomato, garlic and spices we could not pin point. With a little shredded lettuce, a squeeze of lime, you had yourself a cup of delicious soup to warm your belly.
Our first indulgence was their ceviche. It was refreshing, tart, sweet, and tangy and the appetizer to continue to excite the palate.
The main attractions and the reason why we were all there for: the La Mazatena tacos! Plump shrimp with garlic, tomato, peppers, and again probably with spices the restaurant will keep guarded. Melted on the tortilla itself, was a layer of cheese to make it more tantalizing.
All that was left was for us to dress them up with shredded lettuce, pico de gallo, crema/white sauce, and a spicy green sauce (their “secret” sauce that even when asked by my coworkers on different occasions, no one knew since it was a made by the owner in secret). With a squeeze of lime, we were taken into taco heaven.
I’ve had my fair share of seafood tacos, but it was the complete package that took me to a food bliss that no other taco has ever taken me. Maybe I am over exaggerating, but from coworkers who have visited this restaurant on multiple occasions will proclaim again and again that this is the best seafood taco you will ever have.
That day, we had not only the shrimp tacos, but also the marlin and the octopus. The octopus was amazingly tender and melted in your mouth. There was no need to chew repeatedly on the meat in attempt to swallow it because it fell apart in your mouth. (Sorry, we only had a fuzzy picture of it sadly…we were all a little busy eating and given it was our first meal of the day, we were quite hungry.)
Breakfast was delicious, the service was friendly, and with our tummies full, we headed south.
The beautiful and off-season Rosarito beach is so relaxing. We came the weekend right after the colleges’ spring break, so we pretty much had the beach to ourselves along with locals and the few vacationers. The day was just absolutely perfect to just lounge around, play ball or kicking the ball around. The was way too cold to swim; I tried putting my feet in the water and my muscles immediately cramped up from the cold.
Well after spending a few hours on the beach, we were all getting pretty hungry so we headed off to Puerto Nuevo. However, along the way we did make a pit stop to get a snack:
I forgot what this was called, but it translates to “coconut shrimp”. As you can see, it’s not the fried coconut shrimp you would think. This is literally a shelled out coconut, filled with cooked shrimp and cucumbers. Refreshing, sweet and tangy, a perfect little snack on our way to our meal. (Actually, we also bought some tamales too along the way, but we ate those up so quickly that no one remember to take pictures sadly =(…they were quite delicious though!)
We arrived to the port town of Puerto Nuevo and for such a small town, there was no end in our choices for dining. However, our intended destination was La Casa de la Langosta:
And if it was not obvious what we were here for by just the name of the restaurant…
Delicious, delicious lobsters! At La Casa, you have 3 lobster options that they’ll either steam or fry (aka “Pueto Nuevo” style). There is the large, medium, and smaller lobsters and rule of thumb from what I found is the smaller the fish or crustacean, or anything from the sea in general, tends to be sweeter and tastier. Everyone went for the smaller, local lobsters, and most went Pueto Nuevo style, only couple went for the steamed version. The meal came with soup or salad, rice, beans, and tortillas.
Look at that pile of awesome, juicy, deliciousness. Geez louise! I can taste it just looking at the pictures. The meat was juicy, sweet and just a little spice for good measure. Who can say nothing taste better with a little spice? Butter wasn’t even needed since it was plenty succulent on its own. Just pile on some rice, beans and unbelievably soft and warm tortillas, we were in eating heaven.
Needless to say after our meal, we all kind of felt like Don Pisto…
So what’s a team of foodies supposed to do with the sun slowly setting and full bellies? Well…we enjoy the sunset, the scenery, and a couple of brewskis leftover from the beach earlier that day. Aaaah…life is good.
BUT WAIT!!! What was that? We needed more food? Tacos? Street tacos? Why yes, please bring us more!
At Tacos el Franc (yes, the name was not lost upon us when a coworker suggested it because it was just too funny…or maybe we were suffering from food-induced dementia), they serve a simple menu of meat on corn tortillas. Street meat…BRING IT!
Oh delicious cone of carnivorous delight, why do you tempt me so? How is it that you can still tempt me to consume you when my own stomach is still filled with the delights of the sea?
I do believe at this point in the day, we were all just delusional and following our gluttonous instincts – especially one of us, whom probably won in the day’s eat-a-thon. JA at the end of the day, polished another 5 tacos at el Franc and was still smiling at the end.
And although one would think that would be the end of the foodie trip to Mexico as would any normal, sane person would, but no, we were not sane nor normal to begin with. We needed dessert before calling quits – off to find some ice cream! Which we did and again, forgot to take a picture of our delicious and palate cleansing passion fruit ice cream.
That my friends, is how we have a good foodie adventure. No diets. No logic. No room for weaklings or food-a-phobes. All you need is a will of steel and determination and be willing to hand yourself over to pure pleasure of food.
Least to say, in order to truly appreciate what I’ve shared with you in this post, you have to experience yourself first hand. There are no words to describe the experience without it sounding repetitive, so just soak it all in via the pictures and pretend you were there…until you finally make it there yourself! 🙂
Disclaimer: We had two guys with us who grew up in Tijuana and has made multiple trips back and throughout Mexico. This made the trip a lot easier to navigate having someone who knew the landmarks and roads. It’s helpful to have someone who knows the city/country, or if you were to travel there on your own, do a lot of research and mapping of your destination beforehand. This is to keep you safe in a country that is more than willing and wanting tourists to visit, but to travel without preparation is not advisable. But most importantly, remember to have fun and be willing to take on the unfamiliar because in the end, you’ll find yourself in a more familiar state of mind then when you first started.
My favorite Sunday ritual especially when it is sunny: wake up, go to the gym, clean up, and head down to the Hillcrest Farmer’s Market!
The Hillcrest Farmer’s Market is one of my favorites and I love buying fruit there. It is the colors, the sounds, and most of all – the smells that keeps me coming back over and over again.
When I visit with CP, we will always (99%) have our lunch here. What’s on our menu you ask? Here is our favorite spread:
Tacos are a staple in our diets. For CP – chicken, for me – al pastor. Three corn tacos loaded with our selected meats, guacamole, cilantro, onions, and salsa. Whenever I go to a taco shop or any Mexican joint and see “Tacos al Pastor”, I must have it as I am on the quest to find the best al pastor! It is a long journey…with many tacos to be consumed. It’s a tough job, but somebody’s got to do it!
A new addition to the spread are the empenadas! I have stared at the stand that sells these (across from Charlie’s Best Breads) for sometime, until I finally decided to try them. My first taste, I had gotten the chicken, spinach, and the cheese empenadas (3 for $5). Now ever since my first taste, I realized that the chicken empenadas were “money”.
The shell is like a pastry crust, a little thicker and not really flaky. However, it gives right away when you bite into them without fall apart nor taking my tooth with it. Which is perfect because these little puppies are FILLED to the brim with shredded, spiced chicken. Take their chimichurri and you have a samba in your mouth!
Pair this meal with horchata (for me) and fresh squeezed lemonade (for CP) and we have ourselves a wonderful picnic on the DMV lot!
3960 Normal Street at Lincoln (Adjacent to the DMV)
San Diego, California 92103
Sunday: 9 am – 2 pm