No Need For Fancy Restaurants When You Can Eats Tacos!
When you think of Mexico you rarely think of high class fine dining. However, that doesn’t mean that fantastic culinary experiences are out of the question. Mexican food in Mexico is far more superior than eating Mexican anywhere else in the world – this may seem like a funny statement, but the rest of the world offer various versions of food they consider to be ‘Mexican’. For authentic, locally sourced and made cuisine, the Baja will not let you down.
I have to be honest and confess that I had never eaten a fish taco before arriving in Ensenada. In fact, I was certain I wouldn’t like them and it took me a few days to put any preconceived ideas behind me and give them a try. In the hustle and bustle of downtown Ensenada I ordered and consumed this simple yet flavorsome dish. The fresh fish and shrimp were cooked to perfection and my favorite part of the experience is the abundance of sauces, salsas and added extras that you can add at your own discretion. It wasn’t long before fish tacos were a staple in my Baja diet.
In towns it can be easy to make the right choice as you will often find a plethora of either locals or tourists (sometimes both) milling about a taco stall or restaurant. You can rest assured that you will be unlikely to fall ill from a busy establishment. Firstly, if people got sick do you think they would still eat there? And secondly, more people means a high turn over of food and you won’t be left wondering how long the fish has been sitting out. However, if you are passing through a small village and find yourself experiencing hunger pains, don’t be afraid to be the only guests in a tiny roadside taco hut. On many occasions we made a quick stop and were quickly satisfied and experienced no illness. You can usually make a quick and accurate assumption by the look of a place – you might even find a new favorite, or simply be the first guests!
Aside from fish tacos (or any kind of tacos) I also suggest you sample tostadas. They are almost like a Mexican version of a pizza. A crispy base topped with refried beans and fresh tomato, cheese and avocado, they can offer a tasty break from seafood. Another non-seafood dish are tamales. Warm corn husks filled with tasty concoctions of meat and vegetables, these tasty morsels will certainly leave you feeling satisfied. Of course you cannot enjoy a delicious Mexican meal without washing it down with something cold to drink. Now, I’m not a Coca Cola fan, but I hear Mexico has the world’s best Coke! You will just have to try it out for yourself. My personal favorite is the michelada. It is a beer-based cocktail that combines beer with tomato (or often Clamato) juice, hot sauce, Worcestershire sauce and lime, all served in a chilled glass with a salted rim. I found it to be another of Mexico’s hidden culinary gems and hesitant to try the strange sounding combination. In fact, it’s almost a meal in its own right and not too dissimilar to a Bloody Mary!
You will find each region of Mexico to have its own provincial delicacies and it’s safe to say that Baja capitalizes on its ocean surrounds and has a large array of fresh seafood to offer. Of course you could always try your hand at fishing at catching your own. We did, but the only fish we came back with was a few leftovers from the local fisherman who could see our struggle and offered us some of theirs. With their simple hand lines they are incredibly efficient and we felt rather foolish in comparison!
I would leave it up to the locals to catch the fish, and you to enjoy them. Save the fine dining for your next trip to Paris and embrace the local taco stall -never again will you experience such fresh and fast service, and be full up for less than the price of a Starbucks coffee!!