Tag Archives: ensenada seafood restaurants

Muelle 3 Restaurant Ensenada


My maiden voyage to Muelle 3 restaurant in Ensenada was this past Friday.  What has taken me so long? This iconic seafood restaurant is one of the few spots on the water in Ensenada that offers excellent food in a small, comfy setting.

With more than 12 miles of waterfront available from the Ensenada Hwy 1 toll booth south to Estero Beach, finding 5 decent restaurants with an ocean view on that stretch is a dining challenge.  Muelle 3 is a welcome port for sensory treats.

Muelle 3(“mway-yay tres” – Dock or Pier 3) is small, but dishes out some of the best and most unique seafood dishes in Baja.  They are usually busy in late afternoon, because they close at 7PM.  We luckily only waited about 10 minutes for a table at 5:30.

First order was fresh oysters with our beers.  They offer both Wendlandt and Agua Mala microbrew selections.  Wine is also available.

Next up was Pulpo Huitlacoche.  This may be the most creative octopus dish I have ever enjoyed.  I had seen/heard of Huitlacoche(see video at end of this post) before, but, these were my first bites, combined with slices of octopus and veggies.  I jokingly guessed grits on the green salsa support, but, it was polenta with cilantro.  The tortillas made for mini taco bar fun with the pulpo mix.

Yellowtail and veggies

Yellowtail and risotto was my “surprise me” dish.  90+% of my restaurant orders are “sorpréndeme, por favor”.

Both of our seafood main dishes were simply seasoned and seared perfectly.  No sauces or extra goop were added to disguise the fresh fish flavors.

Maybe Muelle 3 can squeeze in 20 diners maximum.  Owner/chef David Martinez is in the yellow shirt out on the patio here entertaining guests.

Our servers also handled kitchen’s last call smoothly.  Noticing that we had only ordered appetizers as of 6:30PM , we were asked if we would like to order more before the chefs shut down for the evening.  There was also no rush to the services that followed, even though we were 2 of only 4 diners remaining, thank you.

Muelle 3 gets our 5 anchor award(out of 5 possible) for flavors, atmosphere, service, value and fun.  Best way to enjoy this is with a 4some sharing different dishes and flavors.  Next visit, I will bring 3 friends and begin at 3-ish.

Loved another online review lamenting lack of ambience at Muelle 3.  WTF?  Cozy dining room attached to open kitchen on the waterfront with boats and gulls bobbing and weaving provide an excellent atmosphere at “Dock 3”.

Location is on water at end of Mercado Negro Fish market in Ensenada.  Street parking works or there is a thrifty pay lot on the north edge of restaurant between Muelle 3 and Cocedora de Langosta.

Muelle 3 Facebook.  646-174-0318  Closed Monday.

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La Cevicheria Oyster Bar


                                                                                                                                                                   

Continued my Friday Food Frolick trend at La Cevicheria, battling the Semana Santa traffic in Ensenada.  OK, per Surfer Dude’s counsel, road crowds ain’t nearly as bad as in Orange County or L.A.

I was pleasantly surprised by the ample outdoor seating at La Cevicheria.  This Friday saw a good crowd with only 2 or 3 tables available at 5:30PM.  There are approx 6 seats at the bar and I’m always comfy in a bar stool.  This spot feels like your little neighborhood bistro.

The interior at La Cevicheria is a small space with room for approx 36.  Exterior seats maybe 24?

La Cevicheria has the usual bottled beer subjects plus a few craft brew selections like Wendlandt and Lagunita IPA.  Bohemia Clara was my choice.  Meet and greet was friendly and the menu was in my hands pronto.  Wine, mixed drinks, tequila and mezcal are also served here.

My bartender made a few suggestions and asked “How hungry are you?”.  Started with the Tuna Al Pastor taco due to the creative combo name.  Yep, that’s pineapple, and although hidden by the mild red salsa, there were plentiul meaty chunks of tuna in this fun taco.  Food trivia nuts: Tacos al Pastor are called Tacos Adobada in Baja.

You also are served a salsa flight at La Cevicheria.  Left to right in photo above is habanero to chipotle,  tongue torch to mild.

Bohemia #2 was accompanied by 6 fresh oysters.  I hate to admit that I’m a whimp on hot salsas.  A little heat is good, but, too much overwhelms the flavors.  I had to try a couple of drops of the habanero on one of these “snots on a shell” and it brought me to tears.  Stayed within the salsa verde and chipotle zone for the rest of my visit.

When I see “house special” or “de la casa” in the menu, my frolick nerves jump at the chance.  But, I was on Bohemia course #3 and was semi-full of seafood and suds already.  OK, I ordered the half portion of Ceviche de la Casa.  Yes, above photo is the HALF portion on a full dinner plate.  I asked for verification that I was not served a full portion.  Yowzers, a full portion could feed 4 people.  This Montaña de Mariscos had clams, octopus, fish and shrimpies. 

I did not want to expand into a new belt size this early on a Friday, so requested “para llevar” and my server gladly took away the dish to put into a container, with the tostadas packaged separately, thanks.

On taking home your saved dinner at a restaurant, do you prefer DIY scooping at the table into your container, or would you rather have a server handle it back in the kitchen?

La Cevicheria is a perfect spot for a sip and nibble, sharing tapas with friends or a full seafood orgy session.  The one page menu(Gracias Dios!) is easy to navigate and gets my coveted 6th star award, because all menu items are less than $10USD.

La Cevichera is located inside Villa Mexicana, a shopping mall, on the inland side of Lopez Matoes(1st street), or seaward side of Calle Segunda.  Easiest way to find it is entry from Alvarado.

FYI for Ensenada visitors, Alvarado runs into the water at the Big Flagpole and Riveroll runs into the 3 Heads Park.

All of my posts are plotted by our team of cartographers on the Ensenada Interactive Map(includes Valle de Guadalupe wineries/restaurants).

Parking is best for La Cevicheria if you just move just inland from Calle Segunda(2nd), you will find a spot with patience and willingness to hike 2 or 3 blocks to your target restaurant in ‘Nada Centro.  Circling endlessly on weekends around Costero, 1st and 2nd will cause dizziness and loss of appetite.

La Cevicheria gets our coveted 6 oyster award(out of 5 possible).  Will be bringing friends back to this fun spot soon.  Ooops, and I was the only gringo in the house(OGITH)!

La Cevicheria Facebook

La Concheria Restaurant


by the Lusty Napkin          

Two friends and I visited La Concheria this Tuesday for the first time.  Chef Roberto de Anda and team gave us some fun suggestions, descriptions, delivery and presentation of fresh seafood at this hidden gem of a restaurant in Ensenada.

A market style window of the fresh sea dwellers available along with the menu is part of the greeting.

La Concheria’s wine selection is a good sampling of  a handful of Valle de Guadalupe varieties.  Negra Modelo and Modelo Especial beers are also on tap.

We started our feast with Negra Modelos and Kumamoto oysters.  A few salsas, lime and hot sauce are a great beer pairing with these morsels from the ocean.

A steaming bowl of Roberto claim chowder was served with crisp bread to continue our flavor discovery.  This chowder is full of clam chunkies.

Here is the bonita fish ceviche.  My team and I prefer this style of rustic hunks of fish and veggies in our ceviche as it shows care for the flavor combos and guests.  One team member said this dish was very Vietnamese in style and flavors.

Yes, with Roberto’s help, we selected a Monte Xanic Sauvignon Blanc to add to the mix.

Next up was the octopus and fish mixed ceviche.  The pulpo was so tender that we pressed chef Roberto on how to prepare our own at home.

Fish of the day is always available at La Concheria, but, we were already full.  But, here is a grilled sampling with veggies.

The menu is limited to the day’s availability of fish so you can expect a caldo/soup, risotto, pasta and the catch of the day to add to the conchas on hand.  Roberto is bilingual and happy to prepare your dish according to your needs.

The flavors wafting from the kitchen to the street bring the attention of nosey hungers.

La Concheria is located on 1st Street/Lopez Mateos close to the Mercado Negro Fish Market at Gastelum.  Hours are 10am – 6pm. phone 52 646 178 3271   Facebook page

 

We will give La Concheria 4.5 out of 5 perfectly shucked oysters for our first visit.  Hope to get to more of the selections soon.  Gracias Roberto, Memo y Equipo La Concheria.

Barra Azul Ensenada


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foto por Masa Assassin

Friends and I were needing some food after the Ensenada All Star baseball game on Saturday 28 May.  My brain cells were not sparking well as I thought about what eateries were open at 10PM.  Tacos?  Not in that mood and preferred a proper seat.

Lucky us, Barra Azul, just around the corner from the stadium, popped into my tired mind.  This restaurant reminds me of a spot frequented by my college professors.  It is small, a bit dark and straightforward with comfy decor and simple menu.

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Full bar and free wifi is available at Barra Azul.  Meet and greet was warm, welcome and bilingual.  We even got the Gringo menus!

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I got the sea bass in mushroom, garlic and cilantro salsa on rice.  Fish was steaky and moist.  All of their fish filets can be served with a variety of approx 5 different sauces.

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Our driver ordered the shrimp burritos.  They tasted much better than the presentation.  But, Barra Azul isn’t the kind of restaurant with lots of swirlies, glitter and vegetable origami.

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She ordered the fish rice, our catch of the night.  This combo of lightly seasoned rice, sesami, seafood and veggies was fabulous.

4.5wusthof

Giving Barra Azul 4.5 out of 5 Wusthof fish filleting knives for delicious food, comfortable dining and friendly service.  Hasta Pronto, B.A!.

Yes, Barra Azul is not exactly in your walking path near the tourist district of Ensenada.  But, for solid seafood dishes, it is as good as you will find in Ensenada.  Calle Once(11th) and Espinoza, 646 178 4846.

Take either Castillo or Espinoza inland to Once or Reforma to Once at North Ensenada Walmart.

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Mariscos Los Primos Ensenada


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On our way to the Ensenada Guitar Trio Concert Thursday, we stopped in at Mariscos Los Primos.  It has been a while since dining there.  We arrived at 6:30 because they usually close at 7.

But, the doors were just being locked and the OPEN neon sign was being turned off.  OH NO.  I had visitors drive all the way from Denver Colorado and they might never visit me again without sampling Los Primos fishy food.  Luckily, Victor rallied his team.  We were seated and beveraged quickly.

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One of my guests suggested sharing a whole fried fish.  I was in on this treat.  Fish is crispy on outside and tender juicy inside.  Shrimp in garlic cream sauce and a Camarones Mojo Ajo were are other selections.

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I see at least 10 shrimpies on the plate.

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Rice, salad and pico de gallo came with the fish.  Los Primos house salsa was an interesting blend of spicy, sweet and smoky.  It had an undercurrent of my dad’s favorite chicken marsala sauce to it.  It also went great with the fish.  Cabrilla was our fish dude and he was delish.

For those never trying whole fried fish, you just gotta do it.  If your restaurant serves good salsa and tortillas, you are ready for some aweseome fish tacos.

If you see the salads, you might guess, “Is that Thousand Island dressing?”.  Youbetcha.  It’s not my fav, but, it worked with this meal.  Los Primos was definitely channeling my dad’s spirit, as “Thou” was his favorite salad dressing.

6 adult beverages and four happy stomachs caught us at approx $40USD before a generous tip for staying open later than Los Primos planned.

And just opened las autumn is Los Primos adjacent sister restaurant, Las Carnesa steakhouse open Friday – Sunday.  Will be back to check on them.

BTW, what is your favorite Baja taco shop that does BOTH Mariscos and carne???

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Los Primos Facebook page     On Riveroll between 4th and Juarez

Barra Azul Ensenada


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calicucaracha

by Ensenada Gringo Food Editor, Cali Cucaracha

Friday night, enjoyed another happy hour Ensenada sunset on the rocks and we are waiting for a concert at CEARTE.  Food?  Something light and easy?  We need a tapas bar at 6:30PM.  BARRA AZUL!

Barra Azul looks like one of your old college hangouts.  It’s in a residential neighborhood on Calle Once(11th) at Espinoza.  You would expect some poets, musicians and professors to be gathered around discussing Hunter S Thompson’s writing or whether Hendrix or Stevie Ray was better.

barraazulenselada

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The menu is seafood and simple.  We started with a salad, which was big enough to split.  It had crisp greens, tomato, strawberries, apples, cucumber and raisins in a light vinagrette dressing.  Note to self: add some more fruit to your salads at home for a sweet changeup.

I continued my Bohemia streak started at happy hour, as that beer is my favorite Mex cerveza.

She ordered shrimp ceviche and I ordered a shrimp cocktail.  My photo of the food, below, is weak, but, the presentations of both of those dishes is outstanding.  But, the taste is every bit as good as your favorite mariscos stand with the addition of comfy chairs, adult beverages and a bohemian atmosphere.

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Barra Azul Website

barrazulmapclick map to expand

Barra Azul is easy to find.  For you weenies that never venture uptown further than Lopez Mateos, Calle Once is about 3/4 of a mile inland.

barraazulcomida

Food comes with a basket of BAKED and fried tostadas plus crackers.  I have become a fan of baked tostadas.

Four beers, salad and two nice seafood plates totaled 315 pesos, approx $24USD.  Add a tip for our attentive service and that’s an easy, fresh and inexpensive dinner.  That’s only a shade higher price than a taco stand.  Our trip to Barra Azul was extremely satisfying.

Mariscos Tio, Maneadero


mariscostio

Editor’s note: Mariscos Tio in Maneadero is fast becoming my GO-TO seafood stand for fresh oysters, clams, great cocktails and interesting soups.  I stopped in on Friday, 12/20, to find some food to share with invading guests for the weekend.  Francisco  prepared 20 fresh oysters for me on the shell.  He had a manta ray soup prepared to which he added shrimp, clams and octopus.  I requested “para llevar”(to go) and Francisco carefully wrapped the dripping fresh oysters in a double wrap and double sealed the soup containers to keep my car fresh while transporting.  He also added a dozen limes and plenty of Saladitas crackers.  YUMMM!  Mariscos frescos, buenos y baratos.
Though it is a block west of highway 1 for travelers headed north or south, you can easily park your rig on the street or on west end of Calimax without congestion.  
By “Subtlebarb”, a friend, neighbor and fisherman in Punta Banda…

While running a few errands in Maneadero today I stopped at the mariscos stand on that small street right next to the Calimax at the “Y”. You know, the one that plays American oldies and is run by Francisco.

Let me tell you about my lunch! Francisco is always quick to point out anything special for that day that is fresh &  especially tasty. Today he told me about the octopus that was so very tender, the chocolate clams that were very large but excellent in taste. And of course the shrimp that is always delicious. Which did I want? “ALL THREE in a cocktail please!”

I should have brought my camera as this was a work of art in progress. First he opened up two large clams, loosened the meat from the shell and washed it off very carefully. Then he chopped up the clams and put them in the glass.  Next he added the octopus which was already chopped in nice bite size pieces.Then the shrimp that were already cooked and peeled. In they went too. Next he added some chopped white onion and some fresh zucchini cut into bite size pieces. Then he filled the glass up with a light tangy tomato sauce and added a half of an avocado cut into slices. Squeezed in the juice of two limes and presented it to me along with several packages of crackers.I sprinkled in some habanera sauce, stirred it around and dug in! Oh my, was that delicious!!

Then it was time to leave and I asked to pay. Only $50 pesos or about $3.85 dollars was my bill. And you wonder why we love Mexico!

To find Mariscos Tio, 5 miles south of Ensenada, you will come upon the small town of Maneadero.  At the Calimax grocery store and the La Bufadora Exit sign, turn right into the Calimax parking lot.  You will hear Francisco’s music playing before seeing his seafood shop just across the street from Calimax.

mariscostiomap
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