Book — Confessions of a Tour Guide: Chapter 13 — Sneaking Through the Backdoor and Time ravel.

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Chapter 13. Sneaking Through the Backdoor and Time Travel.

Changes changes changes.

 

I like to talk about them. And recently, there have been many changes in my life. Nothing is like it used to be. It’s interesting what success looks like depending on where you look.

 

Getting published in a magazine felt like a huge success. The first cover story also felt great. And now it’s a job. I haven’t even done it for that long and I’m already tired of it.

 

Not writing cover stories. Those are hard to come by. Writing, in general, gets tiresome. But also pictures. 


 

This Saturday wasn’t as bad as I thought it was going to be. I had to take pictures at a hip hop show. The light was shit. But I managed. It was fun.


Changes.


“If you put more effort into your tours, you would be so successful.” Or so they say.

 

If I put any more effort into anything I would be more successful.

 

Effort is hard to come by. 

 

I’m easily satisfied with little.

 

And yet I have so much more than many others.


 

I still don’t have a car. And I should get one.

 

Sounds basic. But I’ve been fine without a car for years. I do need one though. I borrow my brother’s car way too often.


 

That’s what I’m doing tomorrow.

 

Borrowing my sister-in-law’s car for a Tijuana Adventure.


 

Changes. Those changes.


From going to strip clubs and being a mini-pimp to whoring out the city’s problems. 

 

The world-famous Hong Kong.

 

The world-famous border wall.

 

Penis.


 

It was a bit over four years ago

 

Weird.


 

Time in Tijuana goes fast.


 

That’s when I started getting published in the magazine. I now do a bunch of things for them. It always feels like I’m pretending to know what I am doing. I have no fucking clue. But it works.

 

Cover pictures are usually mine. I’ve had a handful of covers already. I have another one in mind. I get published regularly.

 

And yet.

 

Yet.

 

I get nervous every single time. That someone is going to find out. That I have no idea what I’m doing or what I am talking about. That I’m just a lazy guy that figures out how to be the laziest and still live.


 

That’s what I have tomorrow that is making me nervous. Tijuana Adventure tours always make me nervous. No matter what I’m doing.


 

I haven’t been to the strip club in almost a year. I stopped caring about them. I bet I would nervous if I had to go. I don’t really want to go, but people pay me to take them… 


 

I don’t really want to go to the thing tomorrow either.

 

It makes me nervous.

 

I just rather stay at home and play video games.

 

But I need to make money.


Journalists from New Zealand are coming over to see the border prototypes by Trump. I’m getting hired by journalists instead of by party-goers or perverts.

 

Changes.


Two are from New Zealand. The other is a famous journalist working on a book about migration.

 

Famous as in she has a best seller and a Wikipedia page. I guess famous is not the right word. More like respected in her field.

 

And that scares me.


 

I know it’s going to be fine. And it will make a great story. I just get nervous.

 

The problems of being an introvert/extrovert.


 

It’s also really early. I have to meet them at 7:30 a.m. at the border. Then a bunch of missions. And end the day early before 2 pm. 


 

My tours usually start at dusk and end at dawn.

 

This one is the complete opposite.

 

Changes…


 

This week is a bunch of busywork. I don’t want to do any of it. Just like I haven’t been writing. Because I don’t want to do it. 


Back then, I was excited about the prospect of writing. It was tough. But getting published was the best. Not only because money! I needed the money!

 

I had no idea how to make a living by writing. Every small publication I would treasure it.

 

Fuck yeah.

 

$100 bucks or so for writing things that I experience. Observe. Write. Details. Quotes. Write.


 

I also got rejected a bunch. I didn’t really have the fundamentals. 


 

I got rejected by the main editor to the point where he was ignoring my emails. That was pointless. But I kept writing.

 

I wrote a basic article about what Tijuana was becoming.

 

So many changes already.

 

I submitted it to the travel section through the website.

 

Different editor.

 

They liked the story.


 

That was my first publication with the magazine. With the travel editor.

 

The smallest of the sections in a very small magazine.

 

And I was so happy with it. I successfully snuck in through the back door. 


After that, I wrote about a music festival in Tijuana. After all, that’s what I liked the most about the city and my obsession. 

 

Music editor.

 

Nice.

 

Two editors on my side.


 

News stories were next. That pays better than travel or music and I landed a great story that involved a border wall riot. I also had the proper contacts for it and had inside information.

 

Bam!


That’s how I started writing for the magazine.

 

My first cover would come years later. And it was about beer.

 

Meeting the marketing manager came later as well.

 

And now, I know a lot of people in the office and I do a bunch of shit.


 

It all started with a shitty travel story about Tijuana’s nightlife.

 

The story talks about all the changes in Tijuana.


 

It wasn’t as easy as I made it sound. It took a lot of time. I’m still not in a great position either. I barely make money. But living the Tijuana life helps.


 

So instead of taking people to strip clubs, I tried to switch my tours to be about music. That was a stupid idea since people that like concerts barely have any money and if they are going to venture to Tijuana already, they don’t need to pay a tour guide.


 

Changes.


 

I was barely making any money through writing. So life was of cheap beer and tequila. My sensei master of a writer, Mr. Chad, drank a lot.

 

I became a professional writer because of him.

 

And by that, I mean an alcoholic.


 

Chad wrote a lot after nights of partying and encountering a deadline or inspiration. He would write through the night while drinking, and drinking a lot.

 

I’m a sleepy drunk.

 

As soon as I hit my nice limit, I usually turn off.

 

I try to never appear drunk despite heavily drinking.


 

I rarely or ever drink in the mornings. Most of the time that I drank in the mornings was because of Chad.

 

I miss him.


 

His room sat across my room. The apartment was basically empty.


 

Now my mom lives there. I’m not sure how I feel about it. It’s only been a couple of days. And it’s supposedly not to be long.

 

Changes.


 

After months of living alone with my cat.


 

Changes.


 

And before that, one year of living with the same girl who I thought I was going to marry.


Changes.


 

Los caminos de la vida, no son lo que yo pensaba.

 


 

That song has a fucking exquisite bass line. 


 

Changes.


 

My friends from Minnesota are also visiting this week. From Minnesota to Tijuana.

 

It sounds strange as fuck. Minnesotans in a Tijuana Adventure. Let’s see what happens. 


 

Changes. My life in Tijuana has been nothing but constant changes. I swear I can’t predict what next year will be like. 

 

Maybe that’s what life is in every big city. I don’t know what my life could be like outside Tijuana… It’s a strange one, that’s for sure.


 

My life is much more tranquil now. I have somewhat of a busy schedule and workflow.

 

I still feel like I’m bullshitting my way through life and somehow it’s working.


 

The writing is catching up to where I am now. But before all of that… There were a lot of drugs, alcohol, and women.


 

The misogynistic writing in the era of the #MeToo in a strange world from a bizarre city continues. 


 

Book — Confessions of a Tour Guide: Chapter 4 — Diaries of a Dirty Old Man.

If you enjoyed this, please support me at: https://www.patreon.com/Matingas

Chapter 4. Diaries of a Dirty Old Man.

 

This is starting to sound like the stereotypical dirty Tijuana diary. Yes. I’m going to write more about hoes.


 

Oh shit! My editor just emailed me that he accepted a story. He says, “it’s good-ish, but not great.”

 

Still got accepted. Still, I got paid. But I know exactly what he meant. That’s exactly how I felt about that story.


 

Hoes. I feel dirty calling them that. And very misogynistic. Prostitutes sound worse. Bitches sound like fun. Bitches and hoes.

 

There are a lot in Tijuana. All kinds.

 

I haven’t visited those places in almost a year. 

 


 

For this story, I was still a Zona Norte rookie. I sort of understood the complexities of it but also didn’t know much outside Adelitas Bar and Hong Kong.

 

I still lived in LA.

 

I still acted as a tour guide despite not knowing the city.

 

And it’s another adventure again with friends of friends of my brother.

 

 


 

 

I believe this happened with Andy and Spencer. They had a band back in the day called HFICLSI (pronounced haifa-colasai). I still have that album. I still enjoy that album. It’s a wreckless dirty attempt at mathy post-hardcore a la The Blood Brothers. A lot of jerky guitar riffs, heavy drumming, and crazy yelping. I’m playing it on iTunes right now. 

 

Anyway.

 

I was out with those kids in Tijuana. I hung out with them a lot in San Diego before, so again, I don’t remember how things started, I just know we ended up in Zona Norte.


 

Fuck this story for just a while. I need to make myself breakfast and think about what I’m going to reply to my editor. 

 

I woke up really hungover today and had nothing to do. I decided to write this chapter since I already have it written in my head. It’s not going like it should. Breakfast and actual work. Then back to this.


 

That was a series of unexpected emails and events when I was just trying to describe one night many nights ago in Tijuana. Last night. Last night was great. Craft beer is nice and cheap. 

 

Back then, craft beer didn’t exist in Tijuana. It feels like forever ago, it was just 8 years ago, late 2010.


I went out with Andy and Spencer, probably to a show, or something similar in Tijuana. After that, we decided to venture into Zona Norte with little money.


 

We started at Adelitas Bar which is way more calm of a strip club than Hong Kong and I sort of prefer that. 

 

We went straight to an empty table at the left of the entrance. Naked girl dancing on stage. Naked women everywhere. And one of them was basically on our table.

 

It was some sort of booth-type table and the girl’s ass was literally hovering over my right shoulder facing the other way, sitting on the booth part. I looked at the guys like “heyyyy check it out, naked ass right here.”

 

The girl saw me checking her out and immediately jumped on my lap.

 

Yep. Had to buy her a drink.

 

She said I looked like a stoner. I admitted that I was. I told her that I had some California kush better than anything she’ll find in Tijuana and we started talking about that.

 

She gestured for her friend to come over. The girl sat between both my friends but it was somewhat awkward and they weren’t feeling her style. I stayed talking to that girl who didn’t move from my lap. The guys wanted out. I told them to hold on.

 

Another beer.


 

The girls told us that it was their time to dance. They got up and went to the dressing room. Before that, the girl I was with told me that she was going to give me her Facebook name and phone number. 

 

The guys wanted out again. I told them I’ll meet them in Hong Kong. 

 

I waited alone while I saw the two girls dance in the general stage. I threw a couple dollars their way.

 

Then they went back to the dressing room.

 

And I waited. 

 

And waited.

 

To the point I was like, fuck this, she’s not going to come out and give me her Facebook. I got up to leave.

 

I saw her rushing from the back, she grabbed me by the hand and pulled me back into the club before I could exit. Then she had me walk with her. She told me the club frowns upon the girls giving their numbers away and sneakily gave me a piece of paper to open later.

 


 

I left Adelita Bar with her Facebook and phone number.

 

Her Facebook name was something along the lines of “psycho NAME chick.” 


 

I added her later that night. And this story does not end in this chapter.


 

Went to find the guys in Hong Kong. I was done for the night. I was running out of money and I was already happy with a new contact that I made. And I showed off the contact as if I had struck gold. A hooker’s phone number. How fun. She wanted to smoke and drink with me, and not in a bar. Or so I thought.

 

They were also running out of money but wanted more and more. We stayed for a couple of beers. They bought a girl a drink.

 

… not really a girl.

 

More like an older woman.

 

She was by far one of the least attractive woman in the whole club. But apparently, affordable.

 

Because the guys bought her just a couple of drinks and them horny fucks were all over the girl. Like both. Together. Just grabbing her here and there. Andy was trying to kiss her. She was not allowing him. But touching her anywhere was fine. And they kept doing it.

 

It was… gross.

 

And at the same time hilarious.

 

I tried to look away.

 

But if your vision wanders in places like this, you’ll end up locking eyes with a girl, she’ll end up in your lap again.

 

It’s impossible to look away in these places.

 

I’ve tried staring at the TV to distract myself.

 

Impossible. Eventually, titties or asses will block your view.

 

I’m pretty sure the TVs are there just for that. To look at something when you are not trying to get a girl. But they don’t work. 

 


 

The guys ran out of money. The ugly older woman got up and left. I told them it was time to call it a night. And so we did.

 

Out of money. Out of luck. Done. 

 


 

The rest of the story of the psycho chick comes later.

 


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Brasa Taqueria and Sal de Maple (and much more) – Keep up on Instagram! Rarely posting here…

Sorry for whoever follows this blog looking for food posts in Tijuana…

I am mostly posting a lot under my Instagram: Tijuana Adventure.

Last place was Sal de Maple and I wrote:

Bennies are one of my favorite brunches, so you bet I am going to be picky as fuck with them.
.
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This comes from @saldemaple .
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Yes. Good Bennies. But… not by very much.
.
.
It’s rare to complain about “creaminess,” but I am going too. They were drowned with cream. Bacon and the pretty veggies on top barely made an impact. It was all dominated by the cream.
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Again… not bad, but not great. Muffin needed more of a toast factor. .
.
Again… I am an asshole when it comes to reviewing food.
.
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For 115 pesos it’s a great deal. The place is small but cozy and fashionable. And HEY! Nice bathroom. I like nice bathrooms.
.
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My buddy got the grand slam. I ate his sausages (no homo). They were good (no homo). .
.
.
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Overall: decent cozy brunch place. .
.
.


And then there’s this place that I love:

So… I have been coming to this place almost weekly: @brasa_taqueria .
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There’s a reason for it. They are fkin good. 90 pesos (around $5) for two arrachera tacos topped with a bone marrow. It’s a thing of beauty. Both the marrow and the arrachera are a delight. Salsas are spicy (beware). They have more stuff, but this is my highlight and recommendation. Don’t forget to drink a beer at @barrica9 with your tacos (ample menu of crafts for 65-80 pesos).

 

That post gathered a lot of natural likes on Instagram… and I might give it a sponsor to see how far it can go…


THERE HAS BEEN A LOT WAY MORE POSTS…

But just no time to post on IG and then here. Afterall, I am not making money from all this crap, just doing it for the love of the city.

At some point… perhaps I will go back to doing tours.

Worth Revisiting: Pastas at Riochia 7 – Fancy Eats at Oryx Capital – Trying Out Army Food Truck –

Sorry. Sometimes I forget I have a blog and that I said I would be writing more about food. This doesn’t pay me… so that doesn’t inspire me to write much. However, maybe by next year, it will turn a profit?

Not sure how that will work, but I’ll try.


I, however, have posted on the ole’ IG. Not much. Just a handful of things after Tuetano Taquería.

This pasta by Bruno Lazcano in Riochia 7.

I wrote with the post:

I was out of town for a week, and when I came back the chaos of the city dissuaded me. Then I had amazing craft beer and ate this delicious pasta at @riochia7and remembered why I love this city so much…


Wow. Didn’t say much. I will later since Riochia 7 is worth revisiting to get more food, especially more pasta!


My other post was of La Cevicheria Nais, place that I go often. They have a new thing on their menu that I keep ordering every time I go.

I wrote: Arabian shrimp taco.
It’s pricey. It’s worth it. Only at @lacorrientenais

Short and simple. It worked. Got over 100 likes.


Also, posted some random street tacos. I had just bought a new lens and I wanted to play with it.

Another short and simple post, I wrote: 2 de adobada y 2 de suadero con todo in one of the countless downtown taquerias. Only $3 for all. Quality. Meh. But filling!

There are so many similar downtown taquerias it’s tough to choose the right one. For the most part, they are all decent and cheap.


Then… for the first time in more than a year, I went to Oryx Capital. It was delightful. I went with a girl who I started to date and quickly dissipated into nothing (but for my personal shit, I have my other blog).

I wrote: I haven’t gone to Oryx in a long long time (over a year). I am glad I visited them. The bone marrow is as good as Plascencia’s in Finca Altozano, Yellowtail aguachile with squid ink and serrano is superb, and the roasted cauliflower with cheese+bacon be a tasty tasty thing.

It was seriously really fucking good. Obviously on the pricey side. Worth it.


And finally… I visited Army Food Truck Sandwiches.

That’s what I ordered.

BOLD MOVE.

Ordering a Philly Cheesesteak in Tijuana. Or actually ordering any type of sandwich in Tijuana. I don’t think this city can do tortas very well and there are not that many sandwich options around.

I got two halves for 190 pesos, one Philly cheesesteak regular, the other had chipotle (and no cheese). The regular cheesesteak was better, but it was nowhere a true Philly. It’s not like I’m an expert on cheesesteaks, but it wasn’t as cheesy or beefy as I would like. Green peppers and onions were great. The other thing that was damn great was the bread. It was nice, soft, and warm, with some fluffiness to it, and well seasoned. Bread was fucking killer.

I couldn’t finish them in that sitting. Left them home and they retained the taste (or perhaps improved) while I wolfed it all down when I got back home from the bars.

And this place offers a HUGE VARIETY of sandwiches and others on their menu. Chicken sandwiches, cold cuts, vegan, wraps, salads, and massive carne asada fries. Usually, when a place has too much in a menu, not all of it’s good. The Philly cheesesteak was more than decent, but nothing something I will go back for.

I am curious about other sandwiches though.

Oh. But I will probably order it to go. They took a while to prepare the sandwich and while we waited they blasted horrible pop music that made it difficult for me to stay there.

I went with a friend and that’s what he ordered. Eww. Avocado.

I tried pieces of chicken and bacon. Bacon was better than your usual shitty supermarket bacon, so that was nice. The chicken was just your shitty pieces of chicken, grilled with little to no flavor.

My friend said he probably won’t go back or maybe in more than a year. He wasn’t disappointed but also not impressed.

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!