Boca Roja Wine Tours


Boca Roja | Baja Wine Adventures from Tim Barnes on Vimeo.

Boca Roja Baja Wine Adventures

Single day winery tour, overnight, tacos, breweries, food, surf, corporate team getaways, FUN!  Click above link or contact here.

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Pacifico and Dennis


D.E.P. Dennis Carden

 

Adobe Food Truck


With all of the haute cuisine offered in Ensenada’s wine valley, my tastes prefer a simpler level of food that can be enjoyed with a glass of wine.  Adobe Food Truck is my favorite lunch spot in the Valle de Guadalupe.

This warm Saturday in September included mushrooms, shrimp and polish sausage plates.

The dry rose mood has caught fire in the Valle de Guadalupe.  We thoroughly enjoyed Adobe Guadalupe’s “Uriel” rose.  This is a combo blend of Tempranillo, Mourvedre, Grenache, Syrah, Barbera, Cinsault & Sauvignon Blanc.  Wow, what a palate party with cherry and cranberry flavors to enjoy.

We doubled the fun of our lunch, running into a couple of winemakers from just down the street.  This particular wine maker let us know that good things were coming from this year’s harvest with a 45% increase grape haul over last year.

Napping is a fun thing at Adobe Food Truck.  Leda, when are you going to get some hammocks to rent your guests?

Here was Saturday’s “slow food” menu.  The tapas offerings are fun, shareable and fresh.

Yes, Leda, Pita and team’s kitchen is the food truck, but the service in the garden seating area is excellent.  You will always get a description of the food, recommendations and you are also at Adobe Guadalupe’s tasting room.  Wine tasting flights are available and you can always buy a bottle or two for your team.

You can make a reservation at Adobe Food Truck by phone at 52 646 117 0627.

Adobe Food Truck is located at Adobe Guadalupe Winery, on the eastern edge of El Porvenir, approx 1/4 mile off the El Porvenir paved road.

Our staff award Adobe Food Truck the prestigious 6 Serrano Hams(out of 5 possible)!.  The extra Serrano Ham is due to the fact that everything on the menu is less than $10USD.

Valle de Guadalupe Airstream Glamping


52 646 185 3352 phone

Aistream Glamping Facebook

 

 

 

Best of Baja Cuisine 2017


El concurso Best of Baja Cuisine 2017, organizado anualmente por la revista Todos Santos, celebra a lo mejor de la escena culinaria de Baja California durante el año en curso.

Vota por tus chefs, tap rooms, experiencia dulce, cervecerías y establecimientos de cocina urbana favoritos del 2017 en nuestra categoría Readers’ Awards, el premio de nuestro público a sus favoritos.

¡Vota y comparte este link!

Votación abierta del 1 al 16 de octubre de 2017 (Cierre 23:59 pm  15/10/2017).

Workout Success


No wonder that so many give up so early on their new exercise plan.

The first day, the first week and the first month is full of pain, little success and lots of frustration.  Sore muscles tell you “just fuggeddaboutit!”.  Injuries say “what were you thinking?”.  Your tortured mind tells you that the upcoming workout should be procrastinated at all costs.

No, I had not let myself go to complete flab this year.  But, I was likely up 10-12 pounds at one point due to travel, weak mind and other distractions. Exercise and fitness goals are a huge part of my soul.

Waitaminute, we thought you did not own a scale and don’t believe in weighing yourself as a good measurement of fitness, right?  Right!  But, they way I feel, look and clothes fit tells me exactly how many weeks of serious effort are needed to correct my conditioning.

August 8 began my recent workout discipline.  I started with an easy chest and arms weight workout and a light 2 mile hike. The photo of my neighborhood above is my outdoor gymnasium.  Only required additives needed to these hills are good shoes and good attitude.

Today marks the 8th week completed of my path.  Out of 56 days, I missed only 8 for an 85% success rate.  More importantly, was that at week 2, I began throwing in some serious hill interval workouts to kick my bunz into puddles of protoplasm.

Today’s 12 repeat sprints of a 200 yard hill(approx 8% grade) followed by chest and arms weight session was a winner.  My new sofa grabbed me hard for a spontaneous nap today after this morning’s punishment.

About my diet, I slightly moderated the amount and type of food enjoyed.  Added fat with avocados, olive oil, coconut oil.  Preferring veggies and salads over rice, pasta and spuds.

Last night’s spaghetti dinner modification example including 1/3 the normal pasta serving.  The other 2/3 was zucchini and spinach.  Those 2 veggies go great with my red sauce and Italian sausage.

Cucumber, tom, apple, avocado, chicken salad with olive oil, lime and Tajin dressing

Yep, I like my beer, wine and occasional starch sinning.  But, I’m guessing my diet only changed approx 20%.  Biggest change was focus on adding veg intake.  In calorie terms, guessing I’m devouring 10-20% more than before due to the intensity of my workouts. Like my no scale rule, I don’t count calories.

It is fun to be in a place that I can eat virtually as much as I want.  Other than my beer and wine fixes, I’m lucky not to own a sweet tooth. Well, I need an ice cream score on occasion, so I load up my daily protein smoothies with ice, so that I have to spoon it.

Smoothies, salads, fish(not fried) tacos, stews/soups, pork/chicken/seafood, nuts, broccoli.  Nope, I’m not perfect on these, but, my trend with these fresh foods is my friend.

Food tastes better, my mind thinks more clearly and sexual performance and enjoyment are improved, youbetcha!

Sharing my success as encouragement for you and yours to find a way to improved health.  If you only walk around your block, that is better than sitting in your Barcalounger.

Bajadock’s 5 tips for long term exercise success:

  1. Find an exercise activity that you might enjoy. Hey, I don’t completely enjoy all of my types of different workouts, but, I enjoy taking on the challenge and the satisfaction of achievement.
  2. Set an exercise schedule, add a buddy if that helps you and get it done in 30-60 minutes.  A 10 minute high intensity interval workout is better than going out for a 1 hour walk.  Quality  and consistency win over quantity.
  3. Modify your diet.  Unless you are working out with intensity for 2 or more hours a day, you will not outwork a bad diet.  Find vegetables that you enjoy.  Do a one day per week “cheat” day to take care of your cravings.  Modify, don’t try anything crazy, because that won’t last long.
  4. A little bit of fruit , especially berries, in a smoothie(I like whey protein) is good.  Fruit juices and a whole lot of fruit might look healthy, but the sugar content will defeat your plan.  OJ in your morning is a weight loss killer!
  5. Extra bonus:  Until you reach some little point of success, weight loss, % of planned days executed, keep it your little secret.  I hear many announce their new plan or buy the shiny new equipment and discuss their purchase with 20 friends.  Shhhh, JUSTDOIT, exercise and wait until you have health news worthy of a press conference.  Thanks for reading mine, CHEERS.

La Concheria Surprise


This Friday’s episode had me enjoying Chef Roberto’s “surprise me” dishes at La Concheria restaurant in downtown Ensenada. That’s Roberto working hard in the corner.

I have been ordering “sorprendame” since a well dressed, traveling salesmen ordered “surprise me” during my second week of my table waiting career decades ago in Bloomington, Indiana.

First up for our surprise were fresh oysters from Ensenada and Kumomoto oysters from a bit further south in Baja. These melted in our mouths and paired well with a rose sangiovese from Montefiore winery.

La Concheria is a small restaurant that might seat 30 people.  This Friday had a few people waiting for a spot as Roberto, Memo and team were working hard and fast.

Next up came Roberto’s ceviche especial with big chunks of octopus, clams and fish with peppers, onions and tomatoes. Mint is a big surprise element is in this big surprise.  Roberto learned about Peruvian ceviche in Peru.

Everything is fresh at La Concheria and the menu is one page, printed on approx a 5X 7 laminated card.  We love one page menus!

Music can happen anywhere and at anytime in Ensenada

We were full, but, when this dish joins your table, you have to dive in.  My guest had been eyeballing a few of the mussels dishes being served to other tables.  Roberto obviously is telepathic!

Roberto, Memo and Equipo La Concheria get our 5 out of 5 telepathic mussels award for fresh seafood, helpful service, a unique atmosphere, exceptional flavors and outstanding value.  La Concheria Facebook.

646 178 3271 phone

La Concheria is located on Lopez Mateos/Calle Primera/First Street in Ensenada and is open lunch until 6:30-ish PM.

Touring Ensenada


Ensenada Weekend Road Closures


 

Bajadock: From the Ensenada toll booth south to downtown SHOULD BE AVOIDED Saturday, 30 September, from 11AM until 4PM, southbound or northbound.  2 of the 4 lanes of that stretch of coastal road will be closed to accommodate the Rosarito to Ensenada bicycle ride.  Yep, traffic will be moving, but, the 10 minute drive from toll booth to downtown or vice versa will likely take you one hour during the 11AM-4PM time period.  JUSTDON’TDOIT!

elvigia.net

In order to avoid agglomerations and vehicular incidents, the Municipal Public Safety Directorate (DSPM) informs citizens about the closure of roads for this weekend.

 

As of yesterday, the Rotary Club Street between Dunes and Coastal, where preparations are made for the Rosarito Ensenada Cyclist Ride, were closed in both directions.

On the occasion of this event at 10:00 hours this Saturday will begin the partial closure on the boulevard Fernando Consag and its returns, as well as the cruises of Boulevard Costero to Rocas Street and total closure of the lanes north of the same boulevard from Rocas Street to the Castle.

Sports circuit closures
On Sunday, October 1, from 4:00 p.m., all lanes will be closed with north and south directions of the Costero Boulevard between San Ginés and Estancia; and the eastbound and westbound lanes of the Esmeralda Boulevard between Costero and Pedro Loyola, due to the 1.6 mile Ensenada Grand Prix event.

The population in general is urged to respect the Traffic Regulations and the indications issued by police personnel who will monitor these activities; as well as to use alternate routes and leave with time of their homes to prevent any type of incident and / or agglomeration of road.

Baja Pulpo Three Ways


newworlder.com

Though octopus has been embraced by kitchens and chefs around the world, for many, octopus still remains the murky stuff of phantasmal nightmares — a sea monster that lingers menacingly in the shadows of kelp and coral, waiting to wrap its long, suctioned tentacles around unsuspecting prey. And in countries where octopus is not regularly available on restaurant menus, murkier still is the thought of actually eating it.

But in Baja California, octopus, or pulpo, is a widely utilized ingredient that can be found virtually everywhere — on white plates of Mediterranean-influenced food in the Valle de Guadalupe, stuffed into a taco de mariscos (seafood) in Tijuana, or piled atop a crunchy tostada at an Ensenada street cart. Pulpo is as ubiquitous in the region as codorniz, jurel, and borrego — quail, yellowtail, and lamb.

Humans have consumed octopus, one of the earth’s oldest creatures, for millennia. A fifteenth-century Neapolitan text contains one of the earliest records of its preparation: “If it is alive, beat if forcefully on a stone with a club. Then blanch it well in hot water. Cut it into bite-sized pieces of a finger’s length long and put them into a pot with some oil on top of the coals, away from the fire. Add fried onion, aromatics, and spices. Mix well, boil, and serve.”

Few dishes in the civilized world require the main ingredient be repeatedly and savagely beaten as part of its preparation. In this category, the octopus floats alone. Notoriously rubbery and tough if not properly tenderized and finished, pulpo is one of Mother Nature’s most difficult creations with which to work.

On the Mediterranean coast, Greek fishermen still believe that 100 whacks to their just-caught pulpo on a sea stone is the best way to soften this unfortunate member of the cephalopod family. Conversely, in Japan, they give the octopus a nice, notably non-violent massage – similar to their treatment of wagyu – using salt and daikon. Italian chefs will braise it in red wine, and swear that adding the cork to the braising liquid assists in contributing to pulpo’s optimal tenderness.

If it’s tenderized properly, the grilled, fried, boiled, steamed, or marinated pulpo should be buttery yet meaty, flavorful, and – when cooked – crisp on the outside as its thick, fleshy skin caramelizes. In Baja California kitchens, stalls, and street carts, cooks add spices, chiles, rubs, marinades, and sauces to create a diverse assemblage of pulpo dishes.

Pulpo in Baja California has historically been caught south of Ensenada around Guerrero Negro and along the northern Sea of Cortez coast south of San Felipe all the way down to La Paz in Baja California Sur. However, a reduction in population due to overfishing in areas such as Bahia Los Angeles has slowed down the flow of much of the local stuff. Nearly half of the fishing cooperatives in that region have self-imposed a ban on fishing octopus through late November 2017.

Surprisingly, local pulpo isn’t necessarily an ingredient that many restaurants in the region seek out. Many prefer the octopus from Campeche on the Yucatan’s gulf coast that is shipped frozen. “A lot of chefs like the Campeche octopus better than the local octopus,” Marco Bejarano of Think Blu Seafood in Popotla indicated, “…because they have smaller heads and longer, thicker tentacles.” Some also prefer the frozen version as freezing is believed to produce meat with a softer texture and fresher taste.

Regardless of the source, pulpo is a must-try ingredient in Baja California. From one of the Valle de Guadalupe’s best gourmet kitchens, to a locally loved taco and mariscos stand and the world’s most famous seafood tostada street cart, here are just three ways pulpo is served in Baja California.

Malva/Valle de Guadalupe, Grilled Octopus in Chickpea Puree, Kettle Popcorn, and Adobo

At Malva, Chef Roberto Alcocer only uses locally sourced ingredients, so if octopus isn’t available from the nearby Pacific or Sea of Cortez coasts, he doesn’t have it on the menu. When available, he applies his rustic, modern Mexican touch to create a dish that contains layered ingredients complement the main ingredient.

A recent example is his grilled pulpo in chickpea puree, kettle popcorn, and adobo (below). Alococer boils the octopus for about 30 minutes to tenderize, marinates it in an oil of chile de arbol, and grills it over a wood fire to achieve a slightly crunchy exterior. The octopus is then bathed in adobo and served with popcorn atop dollops of chickpea puree and adobo. A crisp Sauvignon Blanc from Mina Penélope vineyard, where the restaurant is located, is a good choice for pairing and provides a refreshing counterpoint to this dish.

Mariscos Mazateño/Tijuana, Taco de Pulpo Enchilado

Mariscos Mazateño is located on a busy three-way intersection near the airport in the eastern part of Tijuana. In addition to offering an array of Sinaloa-style seafood specialties such as aguachile and cocteles, this local favorite is known for tacos de mariscos, especially the taco de pulpo enchilado (below), in which an abundant amount of succulent grilled pulpo is heaped atop a warm corn tortilla filled with melting quesillo cheese.

The recipe for the rich rub applied pre-grilling is a closely guarded secret, but one may detect a bit of garlic, perhaps some salt, and a smoky hint of what might be guajillo chile powder. A friend heard from a friend that heard from an unverified source that the secret to the rub may a base of Knorr granulated boullion cubes, often considered a Mexican kitchen’s “dirty little secret.” Regardless, it’s one of Baja California’s best seafood tacos.

La Guerrerense & Restaurante Sabina/Ensenada, Ceviche de Pulpo “La Guerrerense”

Sabina Bandera is one of Mexico’s most iconic marisqueras and has been serving Guerrerense-style seafood tostadas from a street cart in Ensenada for over 40 years. Last year, the family opened a new sit-down restaurant just across the street where diners can also enjoy hot offerings such as fish and shrimp tacos and a delicious seafood pozole. Pulpo is featured in the pozole, a grilled taco, and as a topping for one of her famous tostadas.

The tostada ceviche de pulpo “La Guerrerense,” (below), uses octopus sourced locally from Guerrero Negro and features a base of ground octopus – grinding seafood for ceviche being a practice unique to Ensenada – combined with onion, tomatoes, cilantro, and lemon. It’s then topped with chunks of tender cooked octopus and slices of avocado. It’s best enjoyed splashed with one of Sabina’s many salsas; particularly the salsa de tatemados con cacahuates (roasted salsa with peanuts).


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