North of the Border – Back to Tacos and Beer – Tuétano Taquería and Latchkey Brewing

It is rare to cross north of the border for tacos. Much more to cross just to San Ysidro for tacos…

But south of San Diego has been having a slow revival. Breweries and restaurants opening up where there was nothing but chain crap and abandoned businesses.

I crossed the border for work. No pictures of burgers this time. It was pictures of other stories. My job is not always as great as just take pictures of burgers and get to eat them.

Nah.

I had to drive far.

It was still fun. Had to take pictures at a concert. But that’s another story and another job.


Before I did the drive, I stopped by Tuétano Taquería, the new taco place in San Ysidro.

It’s a far walk from the border, but I was craving this place since I first heard of it at the beginning of the year…

I met Priscilla, the owner, earlier in the year in a private dinner at Toshi Toshi with a group of foodies. I’ve been following her on Instagram before but I have no idea how it started. Oh wow. She has 21k followers. Follow her HERE @VainillaMXNA

Priscilla is an accomplished chef with the dream of opening a taquería in San Ysidro. After years and years of planning and working to make it happen, she finally opened the doors to Tuétano Taquería a couple weeks ago.


TUETANO is BONE MARROW for those who that didn’t know.


And some of you don’t even know what bone marrow is…

If you never had it… think of it as steak flavored butter. It’s the goopy inside part of the bone which is all fat and nutritious. It’s not for everyone, but I enjoy it.


The first taco I ordered was the one I saw trending online… birria taco with bone marrow on top.

You grab the bone marrow.

And poke the delicious goop meat.

Through the hole.

BAM!

Delicious.

But the taste of the birria overpowered it that I felt like I rather have just marrow…


Great greasy taco. Small. Better than some birria in Tijuana. Great tortilla. Wish it was double.

$2.50 for the taco $2.50 goes for the extra bone marrow.


The menu is a mix and match whatever you want.

There’s birria, arrachera, quesadillas, cochinita, rajas, and several others. You can top it all with a bone marrow.

The place is a small location in San Ysidro and as of now, it feels sort of empty. It needs to be lived in a bit more. The kitchen is tuck away in the corner and you see all Mexican señoras working the comal and making tortillas and the rest.

Next thing I got.

And… that’s a no for me.

Much better.

If you don’t get it. You don’t know me.


Delicious arrachera. Delicious spicy salsa. Ok cheese.

One more.

Dirty cochinita!

Let’s add some limon to that.

Again, small and delicious.

I thought I was ready to eat 7 more. But I oddly fell satisfied. Both the cochinita and the birria are greasy disasters. Add to that more fat with the bone marrow. And you have deceiving tiny tacos.

Cochinita could use more of that acidic cochinita kick. My neighbor’s mom used to make cochinita and memories might betray me, but that was some really great cochinita. And the flavor lingers in your mouth forever.

This one did. But softly. I tasted the taco later while I was working at the concert.

All in all, some of the best simple tacos you’ll find north of the border at a more than decent price. It hurts when you are used to Tijuana prices, but for San Diego it should be considered cheap.


My suggestion for myself for next time. Get two tortillas ($1) and two bone marrows (for $5) and ask for a cup of frijoles puercos that SHOULD BE IN THE MENU.

Priscilla told me how she makes the beans with marrow and they sound so fatty and delicious…

So that’s my idea.

Make two beans and marrow tacos. Sprinkle some salt. Go to town.

Arrachera, pibil, or birria also great choices.

And I’m sure the vegetarian choices are great as well.


I’M SO HUNGRY NOW!


Another not so exciting photography gig took me to Mission Hills a few days later. I took the trolley.

Near the Washington Trolley Station is the old Mission Brewery, San Diego’s oldest brewery.

Except it is not.

After doing the gig, I walked back to the trolley and decided to check it out.


The old brewery changed to other brands a few times and since April (I think) of this year, it has become Latchkey Brewery.

The main brewer is old Ballast Point brewer, which is fucking PROMISING AS FUCK!

Oh.

And Latchkey delivers.

Oh boy! Do they deliver!

First.

All pints are $6

Just that. $6.

And a flight of four?

$6

I got me a pint of their “It’s My Jam” Berliner Weisse with raspberries and black currants. Fucking fresh red pinkish sour with a 6%

Refreshing and deceiving.

They had around 8 IPA or IPA similar tasting beers (NEIPA APA ETCIPA). I had a flight of four.

I didn’t take notes because I’m lazy. So I’ll tell you what I remember.

They all had a unique taste. I think it was the hops used that I never had before. Cashmere and Ella. Especially Cashmere. It has a funky unique taste to it. They were all tasty but not like other IPAs. Couldn’t quite figure out why.


I got a crowler of the Berliner Weisse and went to catch the trolley.

Except I missed it so I decided to kill 10 more minutes at the brewery.

Ordered two more samples of I forgot which ones and same uniqueness to it. Chugged them and went back to the trolley happy with my crowler.


I opened the crowler three days later. I might have been a day too late. It wasn’t as fresh and lively as poured directly from the tap.

Still delicious. But it gave it a more soda-like quality.


And now I head out to a Tijuana Saturday.

The city is changing A FUCKING LOT that it is TOO MUCH TO FUCKING KEEP UP!

Norte is celebrating their third anniversary. They are opening a kitchen and two new beers.

I’m going to go try that right now before the city gets all wild.

Also.

Because I’m hungry right now.


 

 

 

 

 

 

Burgers Part 4: Best San Diego (IMHO) Burger Revealed – Cali O Burgers, Craft House, Tom Ham’s Lighthouse – Enjoying? Let Me Know!

I waited another week to continue my burger mission. I was feeling much better, but the idea of burgers was still not the most appetizing.


I ended up in Cali O Burgers, famous for their bison burger. Buy some burgers. Or bison burger? Buy some burgers!

Buy some bison burgers!

The first bison burger I remember was in Taylors Falls in Minnesota. OH YEAH! WTF?! Minnesota in a Tijuana/San Diego food blog!?

Well fuck. I was over there with some friends. This was around a decade ago. Time goes fast.

And I just googled the place. My memory doesn’t lie. It looks exactly the same. Check it out.

That place had bison burgers. And we bought some burgers. And we kept repeating bison burgers, buy some burgers, buy some bison burgers!

And that’s my stupid story about bison burgers!


I didn’t get a bison burger. So my story was pointless.

I got the beef burger.

A simple delicious beef burger.

Downed with Elysian’s Space Dust IPA.

I really like that beer. I know Elysian sold out. But that Space Dust is delicious.


The burger was good. I wish I got the bison, might have been more special. If I go back, it would be for that.

My appetite was back. I was glad for that. Not that much appetite for two burgers, but at least to eat a whole one and feel normal after that. I finished the burger and went to the next place.


Next place was Craft House inside Rip Current. It was a bit weird because there was a bit of miscommunication with the owner. I thought he was expecting me, but he wasn’t expecting me, but at the end, it all worked out.

I didn’t eat the burger, but I did have a couple of great beers. 

And of course, the photoshoot.

MLEM!

Even more MLEM!

The chef insisted I take it home. So I did.


I was going to have it for breakfast or give it to someone (Hola Marifer!) but I’m glad I didn’t. But while editing the pictures I got really hungry and there wasn’t much to eat at home.

Two burgers in one day after being sick with burgers. Yeah. I wasn’t craving it. I didn’t want a burger.

But I decided to have a couple of bites to calm my hunger and to continue editing. I ate 1/5 of it and it was tasty as fuck.

Went back to editing pics… and suddenly I craved it again.

Gave it a few more bites and left half of it. For the morning or just for later.


After I finished editing, I put Netflix on to go to bed. That’s how I sleep. With Netflix as background noise.

But while watching The World’s Most Extraordinary Homes… I craved the burger again.

Something about the bacon… and the sauce. And the meat patty. So well balanced. Such a perfect creation.

I gobbled it all down like a madman. Fulfilling all my taste buds.

My love for burgers came back, albeit, it has to be high-quality burgers. Yep. I became more of a princess. But seriously, Craft House delivers a mean fucking delicious burger. So good, that even after some hours of sitting on the delivery bag, and for a dude who got food poisoning on burgers and never really wanted burgers again… Craft House made me believe.


Craft House is definitely a place I will go back for burgers and beer. North Park is an area that I actually do wander in sometimes. And I was sick of the same places. This is a nifty corner tucked away a few blocks from the main corners where the hipster tourist mania has been occurring.


After that, I still had at least one more place to go to fulfill my mission. And my appetite was back. I took a break for a day and went back for the last burger.

I made it across very early so I had more than an hour to kill before heading to Tom Ham’s Lighthouse.


The trolley dropped me off at Santa Fe Depot. I decided to be a tourist and walked around Seaport Village. Caught me some Magikarp that I was missing and made my walk to Tom Ham’s.

It’s a very long walk.

A very very long walk…

I decided that halfway there I’ll just grab a scooter since I have the Bird app and I saw dozens before.

Nope.

Once I hit the halfway point, I didn’t see any more scooters of that brand.

I was a mile away and I was about to be late. And I was FUCKING tired. I seriously thought I walked more than that my iPhone told me. So I gave up and called a Lyft for the final stretch.

What an old man.


They were expecting me at Tom Ham’s. Lunch was half full so I had one section of the restaurant to do the photoshoot. They offered me a beer. I obliged and got a Batch 6 strawberry apricot sour by Belching Beaver.

It was murky and great. While waiting for the burger, I had an idea for the photo.

Great view huh?

Well… this is what happened when the burger arrived.

This is what happened when the burger arrived.

It was one of my favorite photoshoots.

I sort of want to print it out and frame it…

Even without the view, the burger pics look amazing.

All angles. Just super photogenic burger and place.

And one of my favorites because I like catching myself in the reflection.


So how was the burger?!

I ate half of it at the restaurant. It was great. A bit of a difficult to bite since it is a tower. But give it a big squeeze, put one tomato on a side, and that tower turned a bit smaller. Still a huge fulfilling burger. And a great burger that is. It’s no Craft House, but the views make up for it.

And a place with such views you would expect the prices to be outrageous. Nah. they were reasonable.

Also, they served me the first beer, but they also brought me different beers to go with the burger.

The story requested a brown ale and an IPA. So I got three beers…

At least I wasn’t driving. But I had to deliver the pics to the office.

Got a box to go for half my burger, then headed to the office, then to meet a friend because I was spent the night in San Diego so I wouldn’t be late to the burger fest the following morning.


At that friend’s house, I got hungry at midnight. I wolfed down the other half of the burger over the sink.

It might be that some burgers taste better if they’ve been sitting for a while. It might be that might appetite is weird. It might be that I get more enjoyment eating like a god damn pig that civilized in a restaurant. But that burger tasted better like that (I also remove some of the caramelized onions as I found they were too many).


The following day was the burger fest!

And I already wrote about that.

Because I blog in reverse.

Go read it here.


Craft House gets my award (the official Tijuana Adventure award!) of San Diego’s best burger. And since San Diego is Tijuana and Tijuana is San Diego, Craft House is the best burger of the region.

My other love, The Friendly burger. I just had it this weekend and it wasn’t as good as I remembered it. But it was still the delicious cheap greaseball that I love. And I loved it again.

Until September of next year… if I still have the same gig. Or if I have a gig similar to this gig. Or if people actually start paying me for writing shit.


It’s Monday. Time to work.

Enjoying this stupid blog and the pictures?

Let me know in the comments!

Seriously. Let me know.

Burgers Part 3: The Not So Really Burgers – Ramen Burger and the Loco Moco – Common Theory and Trade Winds Tavern

A week passed and I was still pretty disgusted with burgers…


I kept it easy and slow. Avoided burgers at all costs. Then crossed the border to get two in a row.

And because I am a dumbass without a car, I had to take public transit. Hit two places that were near to each other. All the way to Kearny Mesa.


First stop, Common Theory.

The burger here… A ramen burger.

Not only a ramen burger.

One with kimchi, scallion cream cheese, gravy, and a sunny side up egg.

This is what that monstrosity looks like.

Close up.

And cutting into the egg!

That is the owner poking the egg with the fork.

He hovered near me for some of the shoot, which many times I actually dislike, but Cris turned out to be an awesome dude. That is his name. Cris Liang.

Yes. He is Chinese. And we got talking about Tijuana… and wait a minute. This dude spoke perfect Spanish. He was actually born in Rosarito!

So I guess he is Chinese/Mexican/American serving a burger influenced by South Korea and South USA?

Anyway.

The burger.

The burger is not really a burger. And it is one monstrous thing. Despite that a week went by… burgers were still a bit eek to me.

This one you obviously can’t pick up. It’s a knife and fork endeavor. The meat patty was delicious, the kimchi could have been more kimchish (stronger), gravy combo with scallions was great, and an egg is always welcome. Ramen as hamburger buns… meh. Not really. I wasn’t loving it.

Clever idea, but I don’t think I can call this thing a burger (even though I just did 20 times). The same thing could have been accomplished if it didn’t have a burger form. It’s very creative and awesome to look at. Doubt that hamburger buns would work, so I guess no option but ramen. It’s pretty out there. It’s pretty damn good.

The place had a GIANT menu and I saw other food going by. Some chubby dude next to me was going at some fried chicken that smelled delicious. The beer/bar menu is also gigantic. A couple on a date were drinking wine to the left of me (though this place didn’t seem like a wine place). If I ever go back, I don’t think I would get the burger since there were many other options.

If… I ever go back. It’s really out of the way for me.

The bar is ALSO great. The place, in general, had a great vibe. Though it’s in a strip mall, it doesn’t feel like it. Definitely some of the best in the area. Because… well… that area doesn’t have much.

Oh.

And that ramen burger would be a hit in Tijuana. This city loves its gimmicks. The whole place would be very welcome here.


I didn’t finish the burger. I ate most of it. That’s very unlike me. But again, my appetite was still low. Which totally sucked, because I had another burger to photograph.


I walked to my next destination. Trying to walk off the burger and get hungry again.

I didn’t.


The other place was Trade Winds Tavern. Again, in a strip mall. Kearny Mesa is an odd place.

The writer got the Loco Moco. It looked like this.

I’ve never heard of a Loco Moco. Apparently, it’s a Hawaiian thing. I’m not very fond of Hawaiian food. This looks delicious… but at the time, with absolutely no appetite, it wasn’t looking great.

Also, it isn’t a burger.

Yes. There is a burger patty in there… but come on!

Then spam, gravy, bacon, and an egg (on a bed of fried rice). Sounds like a delicious hefty breakfast to me. Not late dinner with a beer.

Also.

IT ISN’T A BURGER!

I was confused, especially because my assignment was to take pictures of burgers.

I took a bunch of pictures of the Loco Moco.

Then went back to the bar and asked if they had it in burger form. They didn’t. I asked if they could make it and the chef said yes. He came up with an awesome burger. Looked even better than the real Loco Moco plate. I suggest they add it to their menu.


BUT AGAIN!

I wasn’t hungry…

Chad came to the rescue and though he said he wasn’t hungry, as soon as I was done taking pictures, he wolfed it all down as if he was starving.

And honestly, I would have too… If it was normal me. Look at how good this burger looks. I made it look good, but I trust that it was also very good.

That looks like a damn proper burger.

Fries with parmesan also looked great.

I tried to add some scenery. The editors like scenery.

The burger glistening under the sun.

I asked for some help from the bartender to do the holding the burger shot. The egg dripped immediately.

Drip.

That was one of my favorite pictures.

I also developed a mini-crush on the bartender. She was adorable.

Then Chad crushed the burger.

Sorry if a bit gross of a picture.


After that, we probably went to Bitter Brothers. That’s a great brewery. But writing about it will be for another time.


It’s Saturday and I just had two mini Tijuana Adventures in a row. Chad came down on Thursday and I was out until 2 a.m.

Then my friend Joey came down late last night.

I was up until 2 a.m.

Both times, though I retire from tour guiding, I still do it. But it’s with friends. It’s different. I enjoy it like that. I actually enjoyed it with strangers as well. I’m just lazy and needed a break.


My favorite burger that rescued my appetite and gave me the confidence that I will eat burgers again comes tomorrow.

I really loved that burger…

Burgers part 4 and maybe final part tomorrow!

 

 

Burgers Part 2: A Food Bloggers Nightmare – No Tj Burgers, San Diego Only – MishMash and The Royale Reviewed

Burgers explained.


I was supposed to work on a text about the best burgers in Tijuana. That was going to be my third year doing a write-up.

The problem is, Tijuana doesn’t have that many great burgers, and I cannot repeat a place.

Everyone recommended Slow Burger… but here’s the thing. I don’t like it. They are not good burgers. It’s not a good restaurant in general. I am thinking of giving it YET another chance, but it’s been like 5 chances already.

But again, people love Carls Jr. So there’s that.


I chose a few places to write about and one in San Diego. The Friendly.

The Friendly was going to be my intro and say that there is not a burger in Tijuana that is as good and solid as The Friendly, which is the shittiest best burger one can ever have. It’s dirty. It’s cheap. It’s a greaseball. And you cannot modify it.

It’s Randy BoBandy’s ideal of a burger. Junk perfection. Go get one.


Then I was going to mention that there are some burger places in Tijuana that are worth it.

So I started my investigation.

And…

The first burger got me really sick.

LIKE REALLY SICK.

Warning. You might wanna skip between the next lines.


SKIP.


I’m not going to disclose the place because I believe it was a stupid mistake. I’ve eaten there before and I was fine. Not this time. This time… it was horrible.

I had the burger. It tasted fine. It was going to be a positive write-up. It was a normal evening. Went home and felt like always felt (in a deep pit of depression… I’m kidding).

At 4 a.m…. my stomach started bothering me. Like a sharp pain in the gut. Knives. Knives perforating under the skin.

Got up. Went to the toilet. Exploded. Painfully.

Felt gross. Thought it was over. Went back to bed.

Less than an hour later, the pain was back. I tried to ignore it and tried to go back to sleep. Nope. Decided to get up for an Alka-Seltzer, and as soon as I got up… I felt it. The pain was worse than before.

Ran to the sink. And barfed. Barfed. Barfed. Barfed like a mother fucker. Just kept barfing until I almost filled it up with barf.

It hurt so much I was crying. It felt so fucking gross.

I showered. And cried. While barfing in the shower.

My stomach was empty. The knives were still there. And I kept barfing.


CONTINUE.


After that, I told the editor and the gang of writers that I was out. I couldn’t even eat or smell a burger. The idea of it sounded disgusting…

But of course, a few days later I had to be in charge of the photography.

I was sick for a couple of weeks. Anything I ate, my stomach wasn’t happy. I tried to eat healthier and calmer. It helped, but it was still bad. My burger and food craving, in general, was at its lowest.

GREAT!

Nightmare: A food blogger with absolutely no appetite.


Still. Work calls me. And my gig is sweet. I had a list of fourteen burger places to visit. I wanted to hit them all up. Then I saw how difficult that was as a task ahead and ended up going to eight. Not bad.

Pictures are GREAT!

Some of my favorites.

And I get to try some of the best burgers in San Diego. And I have a favorite one for sure. The one that revived my appetite and made me not lose all hope that burgers disgust me from now on. I’m just… really fucking picky.


The first burger I had was at MishMash in Barrio Logan.

Highlights: The mother fucking cheese is DELICIOUS!

Here’s the owner handing me the burger:

When I got there… I was still a bit disgusted by burgers. And this is a monster burger. It started fine, then I noticed that it was very spicy. I thought it was the sauce, but noped. More bites. Ok. There’s habanero in there somewhere.

I mentioned the spicy to the chef. Oh yeah.

They make their own cheese. And the one I got was infused with habanero. REALLY nice kick.

I couldn’t wolf it all down like my prefer eating method because… again… my appetite was low. But I finished the burger. And when I was done… I didn’t feel good.

NOT THE BURGER’S FAULT. My stomach was just not cooperating.


No need to skip.

It wasn’t horrible as the last time.


After that, a stranger joined me for the second burger. That stranger, Marta!


I had the idea of creating like some sort of food club. That way we can all go to one place, get a lot from the same menu, and have conversations about food.

Also, I can take tons of pics.

I’m busy, so I haven’t been able to form this club. But many people seemed interested.

Marta was one of them.

So she joined me for my burger quest.


Second on the list was The Royale in Mission Beach. Marta picked me up and we drove there.

This burger looked REALLY good. I actually wanted to eat it. It is smaller and it just looked jampacked with flavor. It looked more like the burger I needed with my weak stomach instead of the monstrosity at MishMash. But as much as I wanted for my beast of an appetite to be there… it wasn’t.

Told you it looked good.

I tried the onion rings. They were good damn onion rings.

And the restaurant is beautiful in general. Super nice aesthetic. So nice, that while we were there, a large group of people with cameras arrived. A meetup group called @BeersandCameras. They were all shooting film. There are some behind the scenes of me taking pictures of the burgers on my personal Instagram here.


Yes. Marta enjoyed the burger. And I enjoyed the company.

My old roommate, the Chadmaster joined us.


And turns out. He is good friends with the owners of this place.

And it turns out… they previously crashed in my apartment.

And it turns out… that he got the same burger.

Look at that beauty.


Despite not fucking trying it… I rank it as one of the best burgers out there.

Seriously.

Just from the smell, the pictures, and the groans of satisfaction of Marta and Chad (hahaha I made it sound gross). It’s also cute. I like those type of pickles. Mustard seeds look amazing. Bacon, onions, and cheese. Fuck.

I know I’ll have to try it.

Again. My appetite was non-existent.


One burger revived it and made me believe in burgers again. That one burger… on the next post.


To read what other writers wrote about the burgers, click here!

 

 

Burgers Part 1: Blogging in Reverse – Burgers & Beer Festival – 52 East is My Winner

September is burger month.

That’s because September is burger fest and I get to be the stage manager at a burger festival. I don’t really do much, my old roommate booked the bands. I just make sure they are there on time and that they get paid.

That’s about it.

So I have time to walk around and grab burgers and beers.

Here are a couple of the best shots of that festival:

This was the first burger I had… and it was my favorite.

It was from 52 East Neighborhood Eatery and it was solid perfection. I ate a lot of burgers this month and I was wowed by the quality of this one. AND IT WAS THE VERY FIRST ONE.

The second burger was by Hundred Proof and it was alright.

Third burger was from Pure Burger and it was better than Hundred Proof, but FUCK that first burger was so fucking great that it just made the rest of burgers not seem as good.

DO YOU SEE THE STAR IN THE PICTURE?!

Hah. That’s great huh? It’s not shopped. The burger was glistening under the sun and that happens at a very close f stop. STARS! Crazy cool.

And that was about it for me with the burgers…

The rest of the fest looked like this to me. Beers. Work. Photos. Beers. Work. Photos. Beer.

This was the stage I “managed.” That was the first band. The Fuzzy Ustins. They were fantastic folky music. Also, great guys. Hope they had fun.

Panca was there doing some live art.

More beer.

This other artist killed it. I met her as Michelle but forgot her artist name. Seriously fantastic art.

This bassist of New Me was fucking rocking it.

And more beer!

That was the best beer I had at the fest the Berliner by Wild Barrel. I went back for it but they were out, I tried their Double IPA and it was also very good.

The rest of the beers were also of great quality… But that Berliner is the only one I remember that it wowed me.


I’m doing everything in reverse.


The festival is Burgers & Beer. This is the second year in a row that I end up “managing” the bands because the dude that is supposed to do it can’t so I come in as a sub.

I ran around this year more than the previous year. So I didn’t get to write notes about beers or burgers.

I also got a lot of sun which gave me a headache and was getting me tired. I didn’t sleep much the previous night either.

It happens when I have something “important” the following day. I can’t sleep. I stay up all night worried that I’m not going to wake up on time.

And that’s what happened.


Burgers & Beer is a lot of fun. It’s all the burgers you can eat and all the beers you can drink for free (well, for an entrance fee). VIP tickets are recommended to try all burgers before lines get crazy. Then friends are recommended so you can collect several burgers. Then lines get crazy so just drink beer and enjoy the music.

That’s how I would do it.

But that’s not how it went down.


I ran around a lot.

And said hi to a lot of people.

And tried to be of general help.

It went alright.


Didn’t eat as many burgers as I hope. Just the ones mentioned. Then tried a vegan one and didn’t like it.

That vegan one ended up being the winner.

Vegan burger the winner of a burger fest. Only in California.


I would have voted tenfold for that first fucking burger. It was seriously burger perfection (at least for me). The bacon was super nice, it had chunky shrooms with cheese, topped with arugula (which I adore in burgers for some reason), and tiny pieces of red onion. And the meat pattie was juicy and TASTY!

Burger perfection if you ask me.

The Friendly is also the other burger perfection.

Oh.

And I had a lot more burgers before the festival.

And found another burger perfection. Probably my favorite burger in San Diego.

And again. I ate a lot of burgers.


That will be a post for some other day. Perhaps tomorrow. But I have a very busy day tomorrow.


What I did before burger fest… soon with Burgers Part 2.

And then you’ll know why I only had three burgers at burger fest…

It was a nightmare. What occurred was a total nightmare… Especially for a foodie like me.


 

 

New Tour Guide Joins the Team – A Lot of Tours – Sorry: Page was Neglected

So….

I got really fucking busy for the past couple of months.

Last thing I posted was about the beer fest over a month ago. And I said was going to post here weekly. Not only did I got a lot of work from the real job that is my bread and butter…. I also did a lot of tours! I mentioned a price hike forever ago, and a few people wanted to hit me up before I became more expensive…

It’s not like I am more expensive, I just have less time to go on wild Tijuana Adventures. Thus I’m more expensive. AHH FUCK IT! Yes. I value my time more (I mean… tours used to be free!). I still hate charging people though. I always have too much fun.

I had like 7 tours in the past 2 months. All sorts of tours as well. The latest was a bachelor party with 11 people. This is the last time I do a party this big. It was difficult to coordinate, however… IT WAS A LOT OF FUN.

We covered a lot of ground.

Went to ORYX Capital for a nice fancy dinner. Got the chicken. It was grand. Everything there is on point. A full on review will come out later and I’ll link. One of the best features of ORYX is that there’s a speakeasy in there somewhere. The “secret” might be ruin soon, so I’ll just say that it’s in there somewhere for now.

The pics are not from the tour, but from when I discovered ORYX and Nortico originally. The bachelor party loved the food and the speakeasy detail. There’s a pic of the 11 of them somewhere (and I might be able to use it here).

Then we went to Plaza Fiesta, the amazing beer plaza (read more about it here). A lot of craft beer, and a lot of classic bachelor party banter. The group was huge and had a lot of colorful individuals. A bunch living in California, some in Minneapolis, one from New York… the bachelor is a very popular guy.

From beer plaza we hit up downtown. Where more beers and mezcal shots ensued. And around midnight… the real bachelor party fun. That stays under wraps. But I must say… Tijuana is ten times better than Vegas for bachelor fun…

LETS MOVE TO HUGE ANNOUNCEMENT!

Haydeé (aka HidHawk) Joins the Team

I haven’t posted anything not only because I’ve been busy as fuck… but because the other guys I invited to join ended up doing nothing (thanks guys!)

Talking to a good friend and Tijuana local, I mentioned the direction of Tijuana Adventure. She liked the idea and actually WROTE HER BIO and is excited to join in! To read more about her, CLICK HERE!
haydee
Haydeé traveled the world and when she came back, she discovered that Tijuana had changed a lot. Like me, she basically became an accidental tour guide. With the many projects and events she handles, she takes hoards of people from all over the world through the places she loves in Tijuana. She is in charge of Borderland Noise – music events both sides of the border.

Haydeé is on the right - Group of visitors at Public House tap room
Haydeé is on the right – Group of visitors at Public House tap room

Haydeé also has AirBnB available, for those who want to get a whole package of a place to stay that includes a tour guide… then… THAT’S A NEW AWESOME POSSIBLITY. I’m going to try to do this myself (currently looking for a house).

I’ve been kinda burnt on doing tours, that the bachelor party was the last tour I’ll be doing for a while. But now there’s Haydeé! A complete different approach to Tijuana Adventure. She has her own price, her own ideas, her own taste in music, drinks and food, her own limitations, her own tour, her own adventure.

Also, I believe she speaks fluent German (I might be wrong though… I’ll check soon and confirm).

I’m hoping the team will grow even more, and for visitors to have the option to choose what type of tour adventurer they would prefer. I know, I know, I’m using the word adventure too much that now it seems like a kids game… but seriously… you have no idea how many times I woke up in the morning and think to myself… holy shit… that was one crazy Tj adventure. No city that I know off can offer so much of everything in such a bizarre presentation that you would never know it existed unless you are a local.

Visiting Tijuana, don’t hesitate to contact either Haydeé (aka HidHawk) or myself (Matt aka Matingas).

Matingas

Expo Cerveza Artesanal Part 2 – Friend Brewers – Drunk Matt

It’s funny how things can change from one day to another.

I’m still pretty much broke, but great things are in the horizon, including a Tijuana Adventure tour this Friday and a lot of work from home that will be $$$. This upcoming adventure should be fun, it’s four accountants from San Diego. Which reminds me, I should email him with the plan instead of typing this…

—————– Expo Artesanal Part 2 – Drunk Matt

Round 2. Walked by the Adelita’s girls again, now with the courage that beer provides, I can take a lot of pics without being shy.


I knew my palate was gone from drinking a lot of tiny samplers of beers in many places and I still had to hit up the brewers that I can call friends. So I went to Ley Seca because I’ve been craving Juan’s beer for a while. But… they were having some troubles. So instead I visited Luis Durazo over at Teorema.



I asked for a sampler. He gave me a full cup of double IPA at around 10% alcohol.


Luis. Don’t hate me for this. But this was probably the beer that I enjoyed the least. It wasn’t bad. There was actually no bad beers in general. It was just syrupy.

I think I also have really high standards and regards when it comes to Teorema. The concept is great, the logo is cool, the execution is well done, beers are not there yet though. When I first had Teorema, it was in their brewery room which remains in Avenida Revolución. I had two beers, don’t remember the names or the kind, but one of the beers was just superb.

For some reason, it tasted like key lime pie. The foamy light beer floated to the back of your palate and lingered there leaving you with some sweet tart flavor while the liquid smoothly went down. This is the Teorema beer that I want to taste, but so far all the ones I tasted don’t come even close to that first try. My roommate wrote an article about those beers and about Teorema a few years back, he stole my “it taste like key lime pie,” bit. Read here.

Also. Luis keeps saying he will open his tap room soon. 2 years ago he said they were about to open. A few months ago he told me he will be ready by the end of May. And now he says that it will be ready by the end of June! So… Luis… OPEN… SOON!


With Teorema in one hand but not truly loving the beer, I went to seek out more new brewers that I never met. I saw Cervecería Heisenberg, the concept is basically they are the Walter White but instead of cooking meth, it’s beer. Alright concept I guess. I enjoy it. Now… beers I can barely remember what they tasted like. I talked to brewer Oscar Lencioni and my notes read that I had an Imperial IPA with columbus, zythos, amarillo and cascade (I might be wrong).

I went to say hi to the guys from Baja Brew Labs… and the older Echavarria just started giving me beer! No notes. I don’t remember the beers, but if you haven’t check it out, Baja Brew Labs is in downtown Tijuana and they are doing really creative things in there. Also.. YAY PING PONG table in their brewery. So that’s always fun.


My notes have random hops and initials that I don’t recognize. But apparently many brewers are using mosaic, chinook, nelson and cascade a lot.

Next to Baja Brew Labs, Cerveza Cardera, one that I never had before. I talked to Armando Cardenas, the brewer, but drunk Matt could barely concentrate. Notes say I had a “bourbon chips french toast blah!” Which means I had a dark beer that I thought BLAH!


Then finally went back to Ley Seca for my craving of Gringo Pale Ale, single hop Citra.


Now.. this was the best beer I had in the fest.

Of course I am bias. I liked Juan’s brews since a few years back, but not only that, Citra from what I have learned, is my favorite hop so far. I think I’m also liking single hop brews, it’s an honest flavor. The Gringo Pale Ale was just spot on what I like. Hoppy, citrusy, perfect body…

Speaking of perfect bodies…

I spotted a girl I recognized… She looked at me, I forgot who she was. A few minutes later I saw her again….

Oh yeah!!! It’s my ex-girlfriend’s friend. I texted my ex, she was on her way to the beer fest.

Yep. My attention deviated from beer tasting to hanging out with my ex-girlfriend (who was easily the prettiest girl in the expo.. Or town.. Country… world?!)

Before hanging out with her, I had a job to do, so I went for last round of brewers.


Zombie Brewery from Ensenada, had their black IPA I believe, notes just say simcoe, centennial, chinok, amarillo and columbus.


Then I went to Doble C Brewery which is spelled out like //c. This concept I truly enjoy, the beers, I forgot, but in my notes I gave them approval. Notes read “Chinok mosaic pale ale, buena. Sombra verde. Nutty after. Buena.” Didn’t write the names of the brewers or where they are from, but I hope to see them again soon.


My ex arrived. From there on, I just stayed with her. She said she wanted dark beer, so I took her to Norte because it’s a guarantee that their Porter is going to be spot on (and it was). Then her and her friend wanted to taste something different, and I took them to Vibra (which I’ll remind you, their fruit beer was my favorite surprise of the fest).


At some point in the night I visited Angelo who was previously with Norte Brew, but is now at Tijuana Homebrew Club (THC). This is an interesting place, it’s a monthly gathering of brewers who like to do things different. I had a tiny shot of their Grapefruit IPA. I don’t remember it.


The main event. Kinky started playing and the expo was packed. I’m guessing that 80% of the people went mostly to see Kinky. More than 50% of the people that went to the expo drank Indio and if they drank a craft beer, they only tried one.



I tried drinking a lot of them, and still didn’t even cover half the ground!

Shout out to El Sauzal, La Belga, Madueño, and others who offered me free beer but there’s just so much a man can drink in one night!

CHECK OUT THE FULL ALBUM OF MY TIJUANA ADVENTURE (sorry for shouting)!

 

Until next time on more beer adventures! You know where I will be.