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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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