Mariscos El Conchal: Specializing in Sinaloa-Style Shellfish
Francisco Javier Mina 14-A
Tijuana, B.C., Mexico
664 284 8748
Date of Visit: October 17, 2009
Mariscos El Conchal might not deliver the oceanic fireworks of nearby Mariscos Ruben, but Umberto Buelna and chef-brother Oscar have still carved out quite a niche for themselves with their Sinaloa-style seafood shack. The Buelnas hail from Culiacan, and for the past 15 years, they’ve dispensed all manner of seafood that’s protected by a shell, known in Spanish as a “concha.”
Mix and match from columns that includes oyster (ostion), clam (almeja), conch (caracol), shrimp (camaron), cockle (pata) and sea scallop (callo de hacha). Options include cocktails, tostadas or ceviche.
We each devoured a tostada mixta loaded with silky sheets of sea scallop, raw shrimp and sea snail, which were all treated with an umami-laden Maggi-spiked marinade and topped with fresh shucked avocado and a dice of tomato, onion and cucumber. La Guerrerense taught us not to fear sea snail, a creature packed with supple clam-like meat. Since there’s rarely such a thing as too hot in a group of food bloggers, we dressed our tostadas with dynamic chiltepin hot sauce.