GUIDES

6 Great Dishes from Baja

By Joshua Lurie | July 20, 2009 10 comments

Food Guide
Last weekend was a Baja blur, featuring a relentless food tour of the northern Baja Peninsula that included state-of-the-art Tijuana tacos, high-end “alta cocina” and Baja Med fusion. We visited more than 20 spots in just over 48 hours. These are just six of the staggering tastes along the way, with a full report to come in the next two weeks.

El Mazateno – Shrimp Taco
Food Baja
The second-largest migrant group in Tijuana hails from the coastal state of Sinaloa. El Mazateno is a leading example of the style, a high-volume open-air taqueria that produces scintillating seafood. The smoked marlin taco was memorable, but couldn’t compete with the taco camaron enchilado, featuring a flaky, paratha-like flour tortilla topped with plump grilled shrimp tossed with chile de arbol.

La Querencia – Beef Tongue Carpaccio
Food Baja
Miguel Angel Guerrero, a fourth generation Tijuanan, invented a style of cooking called Baja Med by combining Mediterranean, Asian and Mexican influences with the best local ingredients. At his nine-year-old restaurant in Tijuana’s Gastronomic Zone, Guerrero features several carpaccios that would shame most high-end L.A. restaurants. My favorite: silky beef tongue carpaccio topped with fried garlic, frizzled scallions/leeks and drizzles of sea urchin cream.

Barbacoa Ermita – Pancita
Food Baja
Every weekend, Hidalgo native Victor Torres opens up his home’s covered patio so people can eat his barbacoa, an entire mutton slow-roasted for 8 hours in maguey leaves that leave the meat moist and aromatic. My favorite part of the experience was digging into the bowl of pancita, a chile-tossed mess of organ meats, include tender strips of stomach and a mixture of kidney, liver and who knows what else. The roasted mutton was great, but didn’t feature pansita’s distinctive organ funk.

GUIDE CONTINUED ON THE NEXT PAGE

Comments

  1. Mama Foodie says:

    How do I get to Victor Hidalgo’s Home/Patio for that great sounding Barbacoa Ermita – Pansita. I’m already living ( and drooling) in San Diego! I will be eternally grateful for directions. Thanx, Mama Foodie

  2. Lorraine Lurie says:

    Josh, you certainly have a talent for encouraging people to try the unusual. Your descriptions entice me to try the yummy dishes depicted in your colorful photos.

  3. Great shots and coverage, Josh. It brings back the most appetizing memories of our weekend in Tijuana. I can’t wait to go back.

  4. Josh, you loved the pancita.You’ve made my day.

  5. Nancy says:

    What a food frenzy! Your photos have my mouth watering.

  6. H.C. says:

    Nice — we share similar tastes on many of fave dishes. Also, mind if I used your sea snails photo? (I’ll credit & link, of course) My hands were too saucy by then for me to snap a shot, but I def. regretted once I tasted those juicy lil suckers!

  7. a great list of dishes; I probably would’ve picked the same ones.

  8. Noah says:

    Nice report! Man oh man…what a trip.

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