I’m still continuing to give tours, I’m just not really calling them tours. The tours I give are usually much different than the rest of the other tour guides. I tend to befriend everyone that goes on my tours and it just doesn’t feel like I’m a tour guide. That’s why I say I’m not doing them anymore. I don’t know what to call them…
I had a blast yesterday in a sort-of double date tour.
I have done this before. A couple wants to tour around Tijuana and wants someone to show them where to go. The problem is that just as one tour guide is that I don’t want to be third-wheeling. It would be really awkward. So whenever I am presented with this circumstance, I invite a lady friend with all expenses covered to go out. This time, I asked a friend, who I just found out that she is my neighbor, to join us in this Tijuana Adventure.
We met Ryan and his wife Meara right under the arch on 1st street. Ryan and Meara have been married for 8 years (or was it 18?) have been together since their college years. Ryan from Minnesota, Meara from Oregon, they have lived all over the USA and have traveled quite a bit from all the stories they told me. And since they are keen of traveling, they have been to Tijuana more than just a few times sans my help (they even have Global Entry).
My friend/date, works retail up in Hillcrest, so she is used to crossing everyday and living the border lifestyle. However, she had never been to some of the places I took the tour on. And what fancy feast did we have (not the cat food).
Since Ryan and Meara have been to Tijuana a few times, they already knew my favorite breweries, so they wanted to see much more than craft beer besides Plaza Fiesta and Norte. This made me venture into new territory as well, keeping the name of this website to a real ADVENTURE.
First stop was Nelson bar, a Tijuana classic and one of the oldest bars in the city (also, the first building to have a working elevator). They wanted to see what cocktails Tijuana offers so this was a must stop. Nelson’s is known for having Especial, a simple drink that consists of light and dark rum, splash of sprite and coke (on a highball glass with salted rim).
We hit up La Justina next for a bite to eat and more cocktails. I always get the Snake Oil here, which is bourbon, fernet, coke and two roasted marshmallows (in your hipster mason jar glass). We sampled some of the menu including tacos de lengua, there steam buns (which are amazing), oysters, and a tostada served on a bean sauce.
After a short walk, I showed them Bresca (that resembles North Park to my taste), and Colectivo 9. But we were looking for cocktails, so we went to El Tinieblo, the bar behind la Cevicheria Nais. The Mezcalitas here are amazing (margaritas but made with mezcal). I know they have other drinks that are great, but they haven’t upgraded their menu and I always forget to ask for the ones that are not in there.
We then took the long walk to Teléfonica Gastro Truck Park. No cocktails here, but we enjoyed a few craft beers and Ryan and Meara split a hot dog from Humo. After that, we enjoyed another long walk through the maze of La Cacho towards CazaClub, a restaurant that I knew about, but had never been inside (I used to live across the street from there). Cocktails here were good, but way too sweet. I got the “Homenaje” (Homage) which was bourbon with basel and tobacco leaves and honey. I expected a smokey taste, all I got was sweetness. The other drink I tried was the Coco-rosa, a pink frosty drink that tasted like a piña colada/Brandy Alexander but without the grated nutmeg (and if I’m going to have a girly drink, put some nutmeg please, I love that touch on girly drinks).
We did heavy walking through the eve, because after that, we walked to Plaza Fiesta. I took them to the newest craft beer tap room, El Sauzal. They had some DJ playing good dancy music but too loud for us to enjoy a conversation. Here I tried their Bob Barley beer, but I was also already pretty drunk, details are fuzzy, all I can say is that it was good.
We stopped by the other new tap room from Rosarito, Los Reyes Brew. Both Ryan and myself opted for their double IPA while the girls chose water. I had a glass of water as well and… well… it was really nice good cucumber water. About the double IPA… it didn’t taste like an IPA. It was too syrupy and had no hoppiness to it. If an IPA is not hoppy, I’m not happy (especially a double). Still fairly drinkable.
And for the last stop… Paralelo 28. I had Silenus’ Xanthos IPA and like I mentioned on the beer guide, it is one of my favorite beers in Tijuana. We parted ways after that, taking an Uber home and Ryan and Meara to the border.
When I got home, my neighbor had a party going. I stopped by for one drink (some random wine in a plastic cup cuz my neighbor got mad after grabbing a glass). The party went until 5:30 a.m. I didn’t. Wine kills me and it did it’s job fine. I went to bed and did not hear the roaring party.
FOR THIS WHOLE ADVENTURE, I didn’t have my camera. I thought about carrying it everywhere, but for some reason, I opted against it. Not going to happen anymore, next time I’ll bring my camera with me so this is not just a wall of text.
The only picture I have is of this morning. The small community patio of the apartment building woke up like this. I can only imagine what my neighbor’s apartment looks like (apparently it got vandalized… )
My cousin says I should be a new form of Anthony Bourdain. And that’s kinda what I’m going for. I don’t know how much Anthony Bourdain would charge to join him in an adventure, but I would like to think it’s nothing. I am still going to give tours, but tours are reserved for awesome people that don’t cancel on me.
I have also invited other writers to share their Tijuana Adventures to give this blog diversity and include everything that what Tijuana can be. Another friend is also designing a logo, so far he only provided this:
It’s better than what I have done, but I think it can still be way better.
Let’s see how this goes!
Thanks for reading and let me know if you like the new Tijuana Adventure.