Muelle Tres: Binding Mediterranean Flavors to Baja Seafood

Seafood Ensenada

La Guerrerense ignited a four-meal seafood firestorm that showcased Ensenada’s bounty. We feasted on tostadas at La Guerrerense and devoured shark tacos that were double-fried in lard at Tacos El Fenix before hitting Muelle Tres (Pier 3). Whereas La Guerrerense specialized in oceanic oddities like the sea cucumber and sea snail, Benito Molina’s two-year-old seafood bar featured classic Mediterranean flavors. Still, given the ultra-local ingredients we encountered, this experience would have been impossible to replicate in a city like Lisbon or Barcelona.

If you’re a movie fan, you’d probably enjoy the view from Pier 3: the “pirate ship” used in the filming of “Pirates of the Caribbean.” The restaurant itself was small but airy, with blackboard menus, a few stools with prime views of the Muelle Tres shuckers, and a couple communal tables.

Spanish Food Ensenada
We started with golden slices of Tortilla Espanola, the classic Spanish potato and egg pie. This version was especially good, layered and moist.

Seafood Ensenada
We each received a terrific clam ceviche served on the half shell, loaded with sweet, tender strips of chocolata and Pismo, plus fresh avocado and diced cucumber for texture’s sake.

Oysters Ensenada
Fresh-shucked local oysters were cool, briny and unadulterated. Muelle Tres had an impressive selection of bottles hot sauces, so I added a few drops of Lucero chipotle salsa, but these oysters didn’t need any help.

Seafood Ensenada
Ensenada hosts several shops that specialize in smoking tuna and marlin. We popped thin-sheathed potato croquettes that were supple and flecked with smoked tuna.

Seafood Ensenada
Our final taste consisted of plump mussels that were partially submerged in a white wine, tomato and basil broth. This bowl cried out for baguette, but they were nowhere in sight.

This was one of the meals on our Baja bender that I wish we could have prolonged. It was a hot day, but with one hand clutching a refreshing Victoria beer and the other hand holding an oyster, life was good.

Thank you to the Tijuana Convention and Visitors Bureau, Crossborder Agency, Cotuco (Tijuana Tourism Board), and Tijuana Canirac (Tijuana Restaurant Association) for sponsoring our eye-opening culinary tour of northern Baja. Thank you to Bill Esparza from Street Gourmet LA for leading the tour and for supplying so much invaluable information.


Joshua Lurie

Joshua Lurie founded FoodGPS in 2005. Read about him here.

Blog Comments

Are any of the good restaurants in Ensenada open Mon and Tues or should I change my hotel rez?


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