Author Archives: bajadock

1972 Cleveland St. Joseph H.S.
1977 Indiana University,Bloomington
1983-2005 Lewan & Associates,Denver; document management
2006 Ensenada, Mexico: wave watching & other sports

Ensenada Bans Alcohol On Beaches

The mayor toured yesterday the esplanade of Playa Hermosa.

Bajadock: Geezo, Can’t enjoy a beer watching the sun set from the beach?  Will be interested to observe how strictly this will be enforced.  Soon, Baja California is going to have as many laws and regulations as Alta California. Remove alcohol, insert poop.

The mayor, Marco Antonio Novelo Osuna said that he has already issued instructions “to prevent alcoholic beverages from being disturbed and to avoid disturbing public order” in the area of ​​Playa Hermosa.

At the same time, it was reported that because the latest measurements of enterococci conducted in the area of ​​Playa Conalep, they showed favorable results and within the established in the norm, the precautionary closure decreed last Saturday was lifted.

César Cueñas Ceseña, head of the Department of Urban Management, Ecology and Environment and spokesperson of the Clean Beaches Committee, reported that the last sampling carried out by sanitary authorities gave 10 enterococos per 100 milliliters of water.

“The samples that were made on this beach are within the ranges established by the norm in the matter, which means that they are suitable for recreational use of bathers,” he said.

Cesar Cuevas, specified that, at this time, all the beaches that are located in the city of Ensenada, are open and can be enjoyed by the local population as well as domestic and foreign visitors.

The head of Civil Protection, Jaime Nieto de María y Campos, indicated that once the results were known, the red flags were lifted on Conalep Beach and two kilometers south that had been closed as a precautionary measure.

Monitoring results in Ensenada Beaches:

Monalisa Beach 31nmp / 100 ml

Pacifica Beach 30nmp / 100 ml

Playa Conalep I 10 nmp / 100 ml

Playa Conalep II 10 nmp / 100 ml

Playa Hermosa 20 nmp / 100 ml

Walks the mayor, esplanade
The municipal president, according to press release, visited the esplanade of Playa Hermosa, accompanied by staff of the Public Services and Infrastructure Department, as well as the Municipal Public Security Bureau

He said that during the visit, people who exercise every morning in this area, where I expressed their concerns to have a better space.

Marco Novelo said that “this area must be a space worthy for the ensenadenses and national and foreign visitors, where the families can have moments of healthy recreation”.

Ensenada Food Tour

Ensenada: Source Locally, Think Globally

Restaurants in Baja, California entice with fresh ingredients, international flavors

By W. Scott Koenig

Ensenada is cradled between the Pacific Ocean to the west, and Baja, California’s five wine valleys to the east—with dozens of ranches and farms dotting the landscape throughout the municipality. Briefly the state capital in the late 19th century, the city is a rich tapestry of the tales and toils of immigrants from Spain, Russia, Italy, Asia, and other regions of Mexico.

Like any great dish, the recipe for Ensenada’s well-earned reputation as a culinary capital is simple—just combine the region’s freshest ingredients with its global influences, add a pinch of Mexican sabor (flavor), and mix well. For added spice, top with Ensenada’s chefs, many who have worked in kitchens around the globe.

No matter the time of day, there’s always something good cooking, marinating, aging, smoking, or fermenting in Ensenada. Here are a few of the city’s latest contenders for your appetite the next time you travel south of the border. Provecho!

Taqueria Criollo


Casa Marcelo is Baja, California queso maven Marcelo Castro’s restaurant in central Ensenada. The menu includes his Italian-style Ramonetti, as well as a variety of other cheeses crafted at La Cava de Marcelo, his working dairy farm in nearby Ojos Negros. On weekends, Casa de Marcelo is the place for brunch. Meals begin with freshly baked bread and queso requesón, a mild cheese similar to ricotto. If you like big breakfasts, order the Plato de Marcelo—eggs served atop griddled Ramonetti, succulent lamb barbacoa, mushrooms, peppers, tomatoes, and arugula.

The patio at Taqueria Criollo is usually crowded with locals, and for good reason. Afternoons, Chef Guillermo “Memo” Barreto creates “Mexa-pop” cuisine—Mexican classics such as tacos and aguachiles with a modern twist. Mornings, Memo’s wife, Chef Tania Livier, helms the kitchen and serves several styles of chilaquiles (fried tortilla chips covered in salsa and cheese). The Chilaquiles Contados is served with an egg your way and a choice of eight guisos (stewed meat and/or vegetables). The piquant tomatillo-based salsa verde ties all these tastes together.

La Concheria


La Concheria is a newly formed pearl at the northern end of Ensenada’s tourist street, Adolfo López Mateos. Chef Roberto de Anda began working with seafood in Puerto Vallarta and only recently landed in Ensenada—happy to work with some of the country’s freshest product at its source. La Concheria offers several types of Baja, California oysters, as well as prepared and grilled clams, ceviches, and seafood-based pasta dishes. Their linguine is tossed with garlic and butter and dressed with a generous portion of perfectly seared abalone.

Pacifico is Chef Miguel Bahena’s casual seafood restaurant, located across from a pleasant grassy park on Calle Septima. Bahena and his wife, Chef Carolina Verdugo, prepare plates of pristine seafood based on the freshest local ingredients. A standout dish is the Pulpo Frito (fried octopus). The octopus is marinated in an adobo of guajillo chile, lightly dredged in flour, and fried in a cast iron skillet until the tentacles are slightly crispy on the outside, and perfectly tender on the inside. Pacifico is also a good choice for dinner.

Mantou Gastropub


After working in kitchens from northern China to South America, Chef Omar Armas returned to Ensenada and opened Mantou Gastropub, where he serves international dishes reflected through the lens of a proud Ensenadense. Set back from Avenue Adolfo Lopez Mateos, the patio is a tranquil place to enjoy, among other small plates and entrées, a Flor de Calabaza (squash blossom) taco. The blossom is lightly fried in beer batter, garnished with nopal tatemado (burnt cactus), finished with aïoli, pickled onion, and chile morita, and served on a housemade corn tortilla.

Chef Tony Petracca fuses the cuisines of Piedmont, Tuscany, and northern Italy with ingredients from Baja, California at his restaurant Da Toni. The result has many declaring it the best Italian in the city. Written on a chalkboard, the menu changes daily based on available ingredients. A favorite are his Ravioli of Cajeta (beef cheek) in salsa higado (liver). Sumptuous pasta pillows filled with slowly braised and shredded beef cheek are bathed in a creamy sauce of earthy chicken livers. Best enjoyed with the house vino tinto from nearby Villa Montefiori.

Cerveceria Wendlandt


Cava Macias carries over 200 Baja, California wines. It’s a great stop if you forgot to pick up a bottle while visiting the Valle de Guadalupe, or want to enjoy a tasting while touring the malecon. Ask Owner Alex Macias about Blu Italia, a new, blueberry-tinted white blend from vineyard Elixir Guadalupe.

Not in the mood for wine? Stop by Cerveceria Wendlandt tasting room to sample their cervezas artisinal. The flight of seven of their award-winning craft beers embarks on a journey from India Pale Ale to Oatmeal Stout. They also offer a small menu offering bar fare such as wings and pizza, as well as fresh oysters.

W. Scott Koenig is a San Diego-based Mexican food, culture, and travel journalist and has traveled extensively throughout the country for two decades. He founded his blog, in 2012, and also writes a column on Baja, California food and culture for Additionally, Scott is the Tijuana and Valle de Guadalupe Food Expert for

A Mexican Birthday Party

Wine festivals, Hussong’s Bar, restaurants, tacos, tourist attractions and souvenir shops attract visitors from around the world in Ensenada.  But, if you really want to get your Mexico on, seek an invitation to a Mexican family party.

The guy who built my house 10 years ago has been building homes and doing maintenance work in our neighborhood for that long.  He and his family have befriended me and I jumped at the chance to celebrate his bday last weekend.

The Rancho is on the tide pool south of Ensenada.  Chickens, lambs, dogs and horses are all part of the petting zoo here.  HE rents part of his land for campers and fisherman.  He also has a fleet of kayaks to rent.  If you want to know how to fish Punta Banda, this is your guy.

We started off the afternoon with beer.  Tequila and local wine were also available.  My builder’s wife went out of her way to offer us some machaca de mantaralla(Manta Ray) tacos.  The meat and veg stew was a fun treat.  Seafood and beer were made for each other.

Here is stage 2 of the machaca.

No ranch is complete without a Mexican alarm clock.

Day was perfect with a nice breeze on the water.  There were about 30 people when I arrived and the party was just getting started at mid-afternoon as the crowd grew.

The kayak fleet that is for rent at this very cool spot.

Here is the borrego marinating in Adobo salsa.  This was a 12 hour process before slow cooking in the oven for 9 hours.

Lamb is one of those meats that is hit and miss with me.  This was out of this world yummy.  There was plenty of fat on these guys and the tender factor was melt in my mouth.  We don’t need no stinking sprinkles, swirls, dollops or mint sauce on our plate to eat real Mexican food.

Feliz Cumple y Saludos.  That was a fast ten years from the May 2007 garage floor pour:

Save the Death Stretch Jugglers

Pop-up, lighting and vertical signage work, as well as regulation of street or semi-traffic, are part of the first actions to be carried out in the so-called “death knell”, informed the councilor Orlando Toscano Montano.

The coordinator of this special commission, to address the problems of the Chapultepec-Maneadero stretch, mentioned that a transfer of resources will soon be approved for rehabilitation of roads, where this artery will be contemplated.

The mayor said that the analysis of the issue was divided into three parts: Rehabilitation, Boulevard Continuation Project, and Road Safety and Traffic.

With regard to rehabilitation, he said, actions were identified that, in the short term, can execute the XXII City Council.

“It’s about establishing what we can do with what we have, and the agreements are focused on signaling, emerging bumping, and lighting,” he said.

Regarding the project for the continuation of Boulevard Reforma, he mentioned that there is a project that was presented to them, and that it is in the stage of resource management in Mexico City.

“We analyzed this third aspect regarding Security and validity and transit, and we determined to work on the synchronization of traffic lights. We know that there is a problem with the software, so it is already seeing with the direction of Public Works and Services “He added.

Orlando Toscano added that in addition to working on horizontal signage, with Traffic Engineering, an alternative solution will be sought to cross the central lane (to the left) in the San Carlos area.

That, he said, leads to a rehabilitation of the exit to the right, which connects to the step below the bridge and connecting to the other side of the road.

Councilor Orlando Toscano, mentioned that within the commission to solve the problem of the so-called “death stretch”, there was talk of the need to verify and regulate the itinerant commerce.

It was considered that, in the way it currently operates, it represents a danger for motorists, and for the people who exercise the activity, since there are jugglers, physical elements placed in what would be a “natural course”.

The mayor pointed out that it is not a matter of taking away the sources of work, but of operating in a space closer to the vicinity of the plots, in order to reduce risks.

He pointed out that at the commission session held on Friday morning, municipal transit authorities, the delegate of Maneadero, and the Ejidal Commissariat participated.

Ceviche, Conos y Concierto

Downtown Ensenada has so many different types of restaurants, events, music and fun.  I have been needing a break from recent focus and found an old friend to share an evening out in our city.

We were discussing which seafood restaurant we would choose and that discussion can open dozens of quality possibilities.

Choosing chef Robert  de Anda’s La Concheria was easy.  Roberto only cooks what is fresh that day and limits his menu to shellfish, the catch of the day, clam chowder, maybe a caldo, pasta and fresh veggies.  Simple, fresh and executed with passion.

Roberto received some Peruvian ceviche experience when he began chefing that folds in some oriental flavors to these chunky textures.

Roberto is working away on my “surprise” dinner.

Sorprendame, por favor.  Clams, octopus and yellow tail ribbons from the Pacific were a sashimi delight.

Even the tostadas are something special at La Concheria.

Love me a one page menu.  Open 10A – 6P.  We squeezed an extra beer out of Chef Roberto to stick around past closing for a few minutes.

There are plenty of familiar labels here from Valle de Guadalupe.  Hey, that’s a sparkling wine from Vena Cava on the right to help you celebrate something special!

Roberto takes time when he can to chat about your food enjoyment and what he did to prepare it.  He also offered us an idea for dessert.  My guest and I aren’t huge dessert fans.  But, we decided to jump on chef’s referral.

This gelato shop is adjacent to our earlier breakfast stop, Casa Marcelo.  Ramonetti Heladeria.  11A – 7P.  A Swiss Italian named Pedro Ramonetti Bonetti came from San Francisco to the Ensenada Ojos Negro valley, bought the ranch now knows as Cava Marcel – which today encompasses 260 acres – and began producing cheese.

Cups AND Cones(conos) available here.

It’s obscured, but, almost tried the “Crema de Whiskey”.  Stuck with  my all time favorite  of vanilla bean.  Also enjoyed the mango sherbet.  The secret of Ramonetti’s creamy goodness is their fresh cream, according to Chef Roberto.  After all, Cava Marcelo,  is the cheese king of Baja.

We ended our adventure in ‘Nada town with the guitar duo of  Giovanny Arreola y Porfirio Ziga at Cafe Arabiga.  They handed out a lengthy set of Latin guitar music that included sambas, ballads and jazz standards like “Autumn Leaves”.  They said they were returning next Thursday, 17 Agosto, to Cafe Arabiga.

Condensation fog and weak photographer, but, you get the idea that you can get your dessert fix at Cafe Arabiga.  Mas dulces…

12th Anniversay

For 22 years, this successful little tech company in Denver and its building at 1400 South Colorado Blvd were my hangout.  It was a good run for me and I learned a lot about business, technology and people.  12 years ago this week(8/12/2005),  traded a corner office, the Porsche 911 and big house in a golf course community for a little change of pace.

Trips to British Colombia and France that autumn were fabulous.  But, my friend T’s invitation to visit Panama turned out to be my best vacation ever.  Panama’s sights, people and beauty were amazing, as I had never been south of Florida in North America.

The possibility of living in Latin America was the biggest part of the vacation.  That Panama trip was January 2006.  If you have never been to Panama, I highly recommend it for its cosmopolitan city, hidden beaches and beautiful coffee producing mountains.


Photo from my front patio in Denver, 2006…Largest tree was one of 3 maples that all survived.

During a very cold and wet winter in Denver, I continued remodeling my home in order to sell it, make a profit and move.  Where?  After construction work during the day, night time was spent researching the internet for my next home.

Panama, Mexico, Costa Rica, Belize, and other countries in Latin America have hundreds of real estate websites full of propaganda.  Promises of future golf/tennis developments, swimming pools, airports, marinas eco parks andon andon are the standard theme “coming soon” to each development that you research.

Climate is also a big expat propaganda item.  Minimizing summer heat and humidity with subjective phrases like “cool ocean breezes” and “gentle Caribbean zephyrs” attempt to mask the 40C/104F temperatures and sauna-like humidity.  Climate happened to be my #1 priority for my next spot in the universe.  I would trade a couple months of cooler(50F days, still golfable) winter weather  in exchange for a mild summer days at 80F and less.

A couple of fuzzy brain cells remind me that the climate thing brought me to researching the Pacific coast of Baja.  The more I read, the more it appeared to be a perfect fit.

August 12, 2006 was the day I received the winning contract to sell my house.

In late August, 2006, 2 days after my house sale closing, I began my drive west.  Peaked at real estate in Rosarito Beach, Ensenada, San Quintin, and La Paz.  It was 103F in La Paz that September. No thanks.  Drove all the way back to Denver homeless, boo-hoo.

Two days later, a realtor in Ensenada, who was out of town during my first Baja trip, called and asked when I was returning.  Flew to San Diego 2 days later, took the bus to Ensenada and bought my lot.  Thanks, J, for the SD accommodation.

Back to the office building photo above, I had one of the south facing offices with a terrific view of Pikes Peak in Colorado Springs 75 miles away(thanks J &F).  But, I think my current view, below, is a smidgen better and also removes the snow from the mountains.


Hope tonight’s sky cooperates for star gazing…

As every year, Earth will cross a field of small particles left by comet Swift Tuttle, which will impact the atmosphere of our planet at an average speed of 50 kilometers per second, which will create green or blue light trails in the sky.

This phenomenon can be seen throughout Baja California and the region, but particularly with greater intensity this Saturday, August 12 and Sunday, August 13, preferably in places away from the urban luminosity.

Ensenada Breakfast War


The Lusty Napkin of ‘Nada has been too busy with other projects.   But, I’m happy to return for the Ensenada Breakfast War to determine the best breakfast in ‘Nada town.

We began our Thursday at Casa Marcelo at 8th and Riveroll and were the only patrons at 8:30AM.  Love the garden seating and well attended plants.  Greeting is always warm and coffee is fresh.


We ordered the Marcelo special plate and the juevos verde.  The special is definitely for big eaters.  Or like my guest, take half of the egg, lamb and veg dish home.  I’m a huge salsa verde fan and the chicharrones’ crunch below the oozing juevos was fun to mop up with tortillas de maiz.

BTW, I ordered my juevos “volteados suave” and that worked for “over easy”.   Following is an egg 101 ordering in Mexico:

Anyone else on how to get your eggs on in Mexico?

We were waiting on an auto repair service, so decided to hop up to the El Sauzal neighborhood and visit Hacienda Corralito. They are located one block south of the 16 story Entremar condo and on inland side of Hwy1.

This place is big and likely seats 150.  Hac’ Corralito has a huge outdoor garden seating area.  But, there is plenty of under-roof seating if the weather doesn’t cooperate.

I know that coffee at Hac Corralito is excellent, but, I was on caffeine delerium tremens.  Opted for a green smoothie that was full of fruit and veggie texture without being overly sweet.

This omelette with mole salsa was an exceptional dish.  Likely due to my Irish heritage, potatoes are not my favorite.  But ranch style spuds with a good crunch seem to compliment egg dishes.  Have also had excellent Juevos Benedictos are Hac Corralito.

Who wins the Ensenada Breakfast War?  I’m favoring Casa Marcelo by only the “pico del gallo” over Hacienda Corralito.

Marcelo is slightly more intimate in size.

Corralito unique kids’ playground and open garden will keep me bringing guests back for many years.

What’s your favorite breakfast spot in ‘Nada???

Casa Marcelo Facebook   (closed Tuesdays)  8a-6p

Hacienda Corralito Facebook   7a – 5p




Dana Point Gray Whale

69th Margarita Anniversary

 Ensenada, Baja California, August 8 .- To commemorate the creation and popularity of one of the most iconic Mexican drinks, the XXII City Hall through the Ensenada Riviera invites the general public to the 69th Anniversary of the Margarita.

Jose Luis González Zatarain, director of the Riviera, reported that this free event will take place on Sunday, August 20, starting at 12:00 in the Bar Andaluz and Patio Bugambilias of the symbolic building.

The official explained that people who come to the party will enjoy a cultural program and artistic presentations of flamenco, folkloric and mariachi ballet, as well as rock bands that will enliven the afternoon.

“In this event where admission will be free, we will have a demonstration of how the Margarita is prepared, in addition to there will be various food stalls for the enjoyment of the attendees,” he said.

He added that Margarita, the iconic drink of El Riviera created in 1948 in the renowned Bar Andaluz, has been popularized around the world, so his invention is of great pride to the people of Tenerife.

Finally, González Zatarain pointed out that for more information, interested parties can call 176 4310 and 176 4333 or go to the offices located on the Boulevard Costero and Club Rotario from 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.


Guitar Duo Thursday, Cafe Arabiga

Thursday, 10 August, 7PM, Cage Arabiga.  Giovanny Arreola y Porfirio Ziga.

No cover charge.

While Cafe Arabiga does not serve adult beverages, they have excellent cold beverages, tea, coffee, smoothies, desserts, light food fare and a comfy setting.

Cafe Arabiga wifi approaches 40mbps for smokin fast net surfing.

Warning, Bajadock is threatening to make an appearance.

Cafe Arabiga is at corner of Second and Blancarte in centro ‘Nada.

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