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Rosarito, Mexico Report

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Restaurants & Bars 10

Rosarito, Mexico Report

Andrew | Dec 29, 2003 06:09 PM

Since many Californians travel to Baja, Mexico it seemed appropriate to post a review of a trip there. I went over Christmas with my in-laws and we stayed in a nice rented house just south of the heart of Rosarito. Here are some impressions of the food:

Macho Taco
Recommended by the folks who rented our house to us. Ugh, it's like spring break. A "party, party. party" atmosphere with mediocre food.

El Nido
Went here twice, both times it was average. However, the atmosphere with lots of fireplaces and birdcages is nice. The Mexican food is below average. Steaks and quail are OK. Shrimp was good. Fried cheese with mushrooms was good.

La Especial
A local place we stumbled upon. Very tasty with nice, friendly folks. All of the tacos are good, but especially the al pastor, New York, and suadero (back). The al pastor quesadilla was outstanding! Very good agua frescas with lots of fresh fruit. Desserts average. Went here twice.

Pepe's
Near our house. Just OK, but great margaritas!

Puerto Nuevo
15 minutes south of Rosarito. Famous for lobster. Ate at the biggest place in town because my mother-in-law liked the view; they'll probably put the local guys out of business someday. The view was great, but the lobster was just OK. Perhaps I'm just used to Maine lobster. The tortilla soup was tasty.

Ensenada
Beautiful drive about an hour south of Rosarito. Large town. We ate fish tacos at the fish market and it was probably our best meal the whole trip. Several stalls compete for your business; we ate at Taco Mary's for no particular reason. Outstanding fish tacos and shrimp tacos. The tables are lined with several salsa, cabbage and crema and you load up. All were great, but I loved the smokiest salsa more than the others. We also had a shrimp dish with crunchy garlic, a tasty shrimp cocktail. The ceviche and fish soup were just OK. Nice folks too. But we later learned they use mako shark as the fish which is not traditional and certainly not ecologically correct. Too many tourists in this town from cruise ships.

A few other food notes...

Coke in the bottle is far better than the Americanized dumbed down version. Sweeter and thicker. The Mexican versions of the beer were also better than their American counterparts.

Ah, real Mexican flour tortillas!!! Manteca and all! I can't go back to Gringo tortillas now. I've got to learn how to make my own.

Maragritas are better because they use Mexican (key) limes!

We avoided tap water, but otherwise ate and drank with adandon with no stomach trouble.

The beach in Rosarito is horrible, but about 30 minutes south there is a rest stop with a spectacular beach.

Now for the bad news. We were extorted by the Rosarito police Christmas eve right smack in the middle of town! I didn't think this still went on, or at least so blatantly. It's a long story, but now we're out $100 and left Mexico with bad memories after an overall good trip. Someone had a nice Christmas on us! Fortunately, one of us spoke good spanish.

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