Chapter 23: CPT Canadian Progressive Tour – Digital Book is LIVE! – Print Version Soon

This is a REPOST from my original blog over at Matingas.com


It’s Monday after a crazy week and weekend that absorbed me and spat me out destroyed and more of an alcoholic than when I started…

It’s Monday. I’m doing laundry and setting up my week. I only have one photo job this Wednesday. I have a writing gig that I need to deliver in a couple of weeks. I have time to work on other things and other things are what I intend to do. Starting with the word vomit that I have no idea where it’s going anymore, like my life…


Chapter 23. Not really a chapter of the book.

The book?

The book is live on Amazon!

Here’s a link.

This is what the cover looks like for digital. Click on it for the same link as above if you prefer clicking on pictures.

This is what it will look like for print.

People have been asking for it in print. And by people, I mean like five people.

I haven’t sold as many as I want or as I expected. Reviews have been really good so far. I’m afraid that those who haven’t said anything is because they disliked it. Amazon doesn’t let it review yet, not sure if it needs to meet a certain threshold for it to be reviewed.

Only 40 copies sold so far.

Less.

1 of those was me. That doesn’t count. Another one was Chad who edited it. That doesn’t count either. And two were bought in Mexico, I get less commission, so it doesn’t feel like it counts either.

36 digital copies sold so far. Enough to pay the cover model.


I don’t have much money. An accounting error from the office made them realized I got overpaid the previous week, which meant that all the work I did was for free since I already got paid. I was expecting double pay. I didn’t get it.


And my Tijuana Adventures continue. This city is killing me and I’m letting it kill me.


My fantasies don’t play out the way I want them too, except my Football Fantasy team that won (I’m still gloating about it). The fantasy of winning a parlay bet never came to fruition. The fantasy I had with this girl that I saw on Monday and then Friday didn’t happen. She is mentioned in the book, I haven’t seen her in forever. She is as pretty as ever. But she still just says we are just friends.

The fantasy of this book selling a lot hasn’t come to fruition. A lot of people congratulating me, no one is buying it. I’m still happy it’s done and I can move on. But I wanted money. I want money…

It’s only been a week. A bit over a week.

The day it got published, I had a Tijuana Adventure.


Chapter 23:

The day I hit “publish” on my book, I went out with a girl that I met at HK Club. I thought she was not working there anymore. She still is. Out of nowhere she just hit me up about having craft beers because she said she was into beer. YAY! My favorite.

I realized almost immediately she was more into coke than beer… I noticed it since the first brewery. No one takes that long in the bathroom.

At some point, she told me to kiss her.

I didn’t.

We went from beer place to beer place and she took forever in the bathroom in each one. And suddenly, she wanted to go to her friend’s place to party. Her friend’s place was near my own apartment, so I didn’t mind. If it was in another part of town, I was going to call it a night.

I don’t regret going. I regret doing cocaine. Fuck is it a dumb drug.

And at some point, she just left me with her friend. Her friend is cool though, and basically my neighbor, and INSANELY hugely ripped. As she has won awards for being insanely muscular. She wants pictures. I told her I would trade her photo sessions for gym training sessions. Let’s see if that happens.


Chapter 23:

CPT.

Canadian Progressive Tours.

This was this Saturday.

James hit me up since the beginning of the year, he wanted a bachelor party and he himself is the bachelor. Twist. Women were coming to the bachelor party. Another twist, one of those was his sister. And yet another, his sister is the best man.

From his email address and name I knew he was Canadian and most likely Asian. James and his sister were the only Asians, the rest were white people, all from Canada except one Zonie (from Arizona, living in SD).

I liked them all, even the guy wearing a Patriots hat. I don’t remember everyone’s names like always (except James, his sister, and a chick that is named after a US State… oh and Bradley for some reason). Then there was a chubby guy who looked like a baby who was my favorite and the most Canadian. The guy with the Patriots hat was the quietest the whole time but took the whole bachelor party like a champ. US State girl was the wildest of them all (BY FAR). Bradley was ripped (not sure why his name stuck). One girl had a really weird name that I didn’t even try. She was cool. And Zonie, I called her Zonie. And there was Keanu because he was 1/4 Japanese, never learned his name either.

James was quiet, and from his emails, he said: “I just want my friends to have fun.” And I hope that’s what we did.

What an adventure.

It started as a messy adventure… By me running late to the border because they were actually responsible and were on the meeting spot at 1:00 pm precisely. Except they were on the other side of the border. I usually meet them on that side, but I thought we agreed on the Mexican side.

It took a good 30 minutes to finally see each other. My original plan of hitting Nelson first didn’t materialize. We hit up Estación Federal and Cereus Bar first. They were barely opening and though they have pretty cocktails, it takes them like 15 minutes to make one…

It wasn’t the best first stop.

Nelson would have been better.

The second stop was La Cevicheria Nais and things picked up immediately here.


I forgot to mention that Friday also had a Tijuana Adventure. Nico, the bass player from King Llama, came to town. I haven’t seen him in years.

He doesn’t play with them anymore. I thought he was in town to fly to Argentina (he Argentinean). NOPE! Turns out that when we brought King Llama to Tijuana he met a friend. That friend… I haven’t talked to her in years either. I briefly dated her roommate and I briefly fell in love. I would still fall in love with that girl.

I fall in love too easily sometimes.

Nico fell in love… with that girl… in that show!

I’m a matchmaker as well… Mattchmaker.

And now they are getting married!

INSANE!

So I drank with Nico and then he went to see his fiancé. I stayed back drinking despite not eating much. The girl that I liked hit me up even though she made it clear we are just friends. I drank with her for a while and I’m glad she rejected me. I still want her. But I’m glad she knows it’s not a good thing.

Also… apparently my mouth stank. She just told me that.


Back to Chapter 23.

I didn’t sleep well that Friday. I had the tour to worry about. I woke up at dawn and went to bed when my alarm started to ring at 11:00 a.m.

My sleep schedule is all sorts of fucked up.

I don’t feel depressed, but I know I am. It’s like a subconscious depression.

That’s why I was late to meet them. My sleep is all fucky and my Friday disappeared into weird oblivion. February is disappearing into weird oblivion. Sunday disappeared into weird oblivion.

After La Cevicheria Nais, which like always, was on spot excellent, we went to Norte Brewing Co. Here we enjoyed views and brews. Perfect timing for sunset though it wasn’t a great one. The full moon looked spectacular though. The party was getting better. I talked about politics with James’ sister. And we talked about some Reddit. And you know… typical TJ Adventures where I tell a lot of stories of things that have happened in my tours and stories about Tijuana in general. The stories that are in my book.

The best stories are in there, but some are missing.

Andy asked me if he was in my book. He is not. But Dirk’s bachelor party could have been a chapter or part of one. Or in general, some of the adventures I’ve had with Andy and the gang, looking for Kenya, and going to shit strip clubs.

Zona Norte be Zona Norte.

And I haven’t been in a long time. Until this Chapter 23.

From emailing with James, it seemed like he didn’t really want the strip clubs, but being a bachelor party, we still did. We had too.

After Norte, we went to Dandy’s del Sur because I mentioned Bourdain and we had to go there. Then La Mezcalera for crickets. They all ate some like champs, no one made an eww face like on many tours. And after that… it was time for Zona Norte.

Adelita’s was great… but goddamn there are so many beautiful women that I just want to go back right now.

I grabbed the most Canadian of them all and asked him what type of woman James likes. He said: “he is getting married to one, that type!”

THAT DIDN’T HELP EH!

So I just walked around and found who I thought was the prettiest. And oh my she was. I still think she is the prettiest I saw all night.

Her name was Melanie, she was tall, slender, cinnamon skin, only wearing white lingerie, and she smelled like Lucky Charms (my favorite cereal). She also had one kid (according to her).

That’s who I brought to James. And he enjoyed it for a slight moment before just have her sit next to him. And this is when I talked to her…

Because she was gorgeous.

But unlike some chapters of the book, I accomplished nothing but fall in love once again. And once again.

I almost fought with the waiter of Adelita’s because he was bringing more drinks that we didn’t request. I asserted my leadership. That was… uhh… well… it felt like it was going to get complicated but it didn’t.

And after just a couple drinks in Adelitas… it was Hong Kong time. A waiter hooked up with a table for the party near the show de espuma. I gave him $5 tip for the table and he got mad: “for all of you you give me this?”

Fuck him.

Fuck that place in general… but when in Tijuana…

So many beautiful women everywhere. And the show de espuma was… well your classic show de espuma. US State being the party girl… she was loving all of it. She wanted to order so many drinks. Pats hat was watching UFC and ignoring all the action. I hit up the girl I went out the previous week… she was sleeping and not in the club.

James insisted on getting Bradley some action and got him a perfect girl. The whole time we were there, he was with her. She looked Asian. She was super hot.

I was just trying to keep the party together and ignoring all the naked women surrounding me.

Like always, I saw old men with very young girls and their lust wolf faces.

And this is where the “Canadian Progressive Tour” term came to mind. Talking to James. And though, as progressives, we still had to check out this wormhole because after all, it is a bachelor party.

We left after almost an hour of HKing. US State still wanted to party hard. Took them to the gay strip club, Hawaii (yes… this strip club is also in my book).

MUSIC IS SO FUCKING LOUD IN THERE.

If they turned it down a few decibels it would be a better place.

I saw a Whitney Houston drag. I’ve never seen a black drag or a Whitney. I got excited and gave him a dollar.

US State loved it since we got there. She got a bottle of Jagger and some red bulls. A ripped male stripper was dancing when we got there. She immediately went to give him money. She was happy in HK. She seemed happier here.

We finished that bottle FAST and left Hawaii.

It was time to go back to the border… or so I thought.

One more stop. One more club.

Mezcalera again.

Club club club club club.

And Uber back to the border.

Hugged everyone.

Everyone was awesome.

And thanks for Tijuana Adventuring chapter #23 that it isn’t my book but it is a blog that I am using to promote my book or something like that.


I put posters up about my book in town. I hope they have awakened curiosities, but I am sure it has translated to 0 sales.

I had two sales today.

I wonder who they were.


While on the tour, from La Mezcalera to the strip clubs, a tiny girl with blonde hair walked right past me. I recognized her as a girl that follows me on Instagram.

I sent her a message that she walked by me… she was at Tropics, I was with the tour. When the tour ended I messaged her to see where she was at.

She was at that new stupid secret bar.

That new stupid secret bar?

It’s a new stupid secret bar. Not even secret because they have giant signs outside announcing it. It just has a “secret” door. Inside opens to a huge space that… you guessed it right… USED TO BE A STRIP CLUB.

Paradise Club to be precise.

That place has fragmented into several different options. One of them is that dumb secret bar.

I met that girl that follows me on Instagram there. She was with a gay friend (I presume). I needed the last beer to calm down and go back home. Also, she’s pretty and I wanted to meet her. Also, I wanted to check out that stupid secret bar.

That stupid secret bar is no bueno.

It won’t last.

They had almost more staff than people in it. And the place is too big. And doing a secret bar that is not secret doesn’t work… it’s just… dumb.


I sort of wanted to go back to Zona Norte… People have been telling me about Chicago and Tropicoso getting better.

Instead, I peeked into Dandy del Sur. It was too packed. I bought street burritos and took an Uber home.


I slept until almost 3 pm on Sunday.

I wanted breakfast at that time. I felt like shit. And I still wanted to go to Zona Norte.

Fuck… I still want to go to Zona Norte.

I have the money I have from the tour. But no. that’s to pay the model on my book and to pay my rent.

Sunday disappeared. I grabbed a breakfast torta from tortas Cubanas 24/7 and took it to Nelson Bar to have a breakfast caguama with my breakfast torta at 5:12 pm while watching Gallos Blancos lose against America.

I got the shakes. I realized how much alcohol I consumed the previous night. Mezcal, tequila, jagger, beers, beers, beers… And there I was. At Nelson bar. Tijuana still consuming me slowly. Killing me slowly one caguama at a time. Killing me rapidly, when I have a tour and I get destroyed. Or when I decide to go out with a girl and cocaine is involved.

Tijuana will be Tijuana.

Like Heidegger says, the world worlds.

Tijuana Tijuanas.

And I Tijuana way too much. Canadians Tijuanad for a while.

Yes.

To Tijuana is a verb now.

I Tijuana.

You Tijuana.

Nosotros Tijuaneamos.

Ustedes Tijuanean.

Todos Tijuaneamos.


Monday.

My laundry is in the washer.

It’s rainy outside.

Time to keep doing errands. Set up a dentist appointment, not only because this hot girl told me my mouth stinks and I need a cleaning, but also because I’ve been meaning too!

Same as I’ve been meaning to go to the gym. And live a healthier life and what not…

But Tijuana.


I should do more work, but I’ll probably just play BotW all day.

I want to go bowling.

And I need to do more writing work.

I was going to write about Cervecería Insurgente and their constant fight with the government. Some other writer already sent it to my office. It was published today. My article was going to be way better… but I don’t write it, I eat shit.


My cat was in the Magazine though! Well… my mom’s cat. La Princess Chimba Brokentail.

I did write for the special issue!

And took pictures!

Ahí esta la preciosisisima Chimba. I love her so much.

And my fat cat Bisho.

They sleep with me forever.

 

 

 

 

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.
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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. .
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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. .
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.


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.


 

 

 

 

 

 

Valle Part 2 – Las Hijas de la Tiznada and La Cocina de Doña Esthela

Valle Part 2:

First of all, I forgot to give special thanks to Joe Moon for taking me to Valle in the first place. Otherwise, I would have never gone.


You see, my brother forgot to tell me that his friends had arrived and that they were going to Valle already… he told me when they were already on the way and said “but join us later.”

Luckily, Joe was going to Ensenada the following morning. After having some bomb ass enchilados from Los Compadres, we made our way to Ensenada. Except, I didn’t know where I was going.

Joe was cool enough to drop me off at the actual awesome Airbnb.

Truly appreciate that.


For those who don’t know the ultimate enchilado, it has been my favorite spicy shrimp taco for a long time. Here’s a gallery:

https://imgur.com/gallery/NswFV


On the last post I talked about Península en el Valle on a Saturday afternoon. Really great food in a very lovely day.

Sunday morning wasn’t as pretty.


At around noon time, the gang headed to La Cocina de Doña Esthela, widely popular and known as the very cheap for amazing quality.

Before even getting there, I noticed it was PACKED as fuck. One large bus for at least 40 people was parked outside. At least 4 vans for 12-18 people each were parked inside. Another 30+ cars were parked in and outside the place. We parked outside and walked in… to see hundreds of people packed waiting to be served.

At least one or two hours… TO FUCKING REGISTER to wait.

Yeah. Fuck that.

Before even entering I told my brother “fuck this, if we are waiting, somehow I’m going somewhere else.” He got mad for not sticking to the plan… but after figuring out that the wait was going to be massive, we left.

Where?!

WHERE?!?!

That was the question.


I messaged our trusty chef from our previous night to suggest something.

He recommended Tizne, two friends of him opened the place and he said it was great.


It was a bit difficult to find. It’s also called Hijas de la Tiznada not only Tizne. Google Maps wasn’t accurate, it also said they opened at noon… they weren’t.


It’s inside Viña Emiliana, which was open but not really… it was weird and we were lost.

When we finally found a spot that seemed to be the place, they were unprepared and having a staff meeting. I asked if it was the right place, they said it was. I asked if they were open, and though they said they weren’t they promptly said but we will soon if you guys wait for a second.

So we did.


The scenery of Viña Emiliana was lovely, but it was also closed, so there was no wine to taste or anything to do but just sit for a while and enjoy the breeze in the hot day. After a while, they received us in the outside restaurant.

Tizne means smoke or charred (fire spots). I didn’t know that until now. Interesting.

I usually don’t like burnt food but I do enjoy smokey flavors.


For the menu, just like Península en el Valle, no drinks, but worse. They had no beer, no wine, just Pellegrino sodas and some stuff that got ignored.

And for the food menu, only a handful of options. I asked the chef… and from those handful of options, only 2 were actually available, and the other were meat cuts at a hefty price (regular price for Valle).

BUT IT WAS BREAKFAST or Brunch time. There were no really options for that. We all got the same thing that was on the special menu.

From the actual menu, there were no options except a ceviche. They didn’t have octopus (which is what I wanted) and they didn’t have much else…

So we all got the risottos, a couple of sopes (which were tiny), and a ceviche in the middle.

Table!

The black little spots is the Tizne. You can never go wrong with ceviche and add the tizne touch to make it extra good.

That was the risotto with braised beef ribs topped with tomatillos.

Marc’s risotto looked prettier than mine.

It was good, but not exactly what I desired for breakfast. I felt like I was forced to eat something I didn’t really want just because of the lack of options. It would have been a nice appetizer in a small plate and continue to something bigger.

The tiny tiny sopes with shrimp. Again, really good, but not exactly what I would want or order. The black sauce was delicious.

The best thing they brought us was the bread at the beginning with some tizne sauce they had. I didn’t take a picture of that because I didn’t know it was going to be the best thing… And they only brought us one bread and one sauce (despite officially being two tables). If we wanted more, it was going to cost us. I would have just eaten a bunch of that bread and sauce, get some cheeses, and sip on some wine…

BUT, those weren’t the choices.


Conclusion: We weren’t prepared for Tizne, Tizne was not at all prepared for us.

With so many restaurants to try, I probably won’t go back, but who knows! I really want to go to Valle more and I am confident that Tizne can be way better.

If Tizne is your thing, then by all means, hunt this place down and try it. If you are not fan of Tizne, then there are many more restaurants to try.


After that, we went to a local tiendita and bought everything to not leave the Airbnb. Beers, meatsies, frutsis, spices, snacks, tortillas, salsas, and more beers!


We didn’t leave the Airbnb that night or the day after.

That was my attempt at Astrophotography while chugging a beer. Problem is, the Airbnb had bright lights on either side of the house that ruined my attempts.

A winery nearby has an awesome statue that would make it DOPE as fuck to get some astro there. I want to get the same Airbnb and hit up the winery to let me in at midnight to take pictures (and then sell them the pictures!) Something like that…


Monday in Valle was all pool and beer drinking while grilling meatsies.


We left Tuesday morning and this time we did go to La Cocina de Doña Esthela.

It wasn’t packed anymore, but it was 3/4s full. The waiter acted as if it was packed though. He kept getting the orders wrong (after asking it several times) and kept rushing between tables looking nervous…

But anyway, there we all basically got the machaca de borrego.

The order comes with tortillas and beans, the waiter forgot them, then brought the tortillas and forgot the beans.

We asked for 5 coffees (2 regular, 3 de olla), a round of waters, and two diet cokes. He brought 4 coffees (all de olla), two waters, and an orange juice we didn’t ask for…

It took him almost until we were leaving to bring the beans and the regular coffee I had ask for. He also only brought one diet coke eventually, but oh well. The bill was all over the place….


As for the food, I wasn’t feeling very hungry, and again, not what I wanted for breakfast. The menu had a lot of breakfast items, but they all seem fair standard and the machaca de borrego seemed to be the strong plate. It was ok for me.

I got it in a box to go, threw in a tortilla, mixed all the machaca with the broth and some beans, and left it on my counter at home for a few hours.

I came back to it when I was hungry, AND IT WAS WAY BETTER!

The broth marinating the meat with a bunch of beans truly brought out the flavor… Or maybe I was feeling hungrier. I am not sure, I just know that it was WAY better that way than when I was having it at the restaurant.


 

The End of a Fucking Era – No More Fried Chicken – Bye to Voodoo Stu and Magic Mael’s Gumbo Shack

That was it.

That was the end…

That was the last fried chicken Friday.

And that was the last Sunday special (fried chicken again).


There was a line out the door for his last day. I told Stu to save me a chicken breast and I went back two hours later when it was relatively quieter.

I brought the fried chicken nazi a bottle of bourbon because it fits the theme of the Southerness, because I know he likes bourbon, because I fucking love bourbon, and because bourbon is fucking good.

Especially Buffalo Trace, which I’ve had plenty before but never bought a bottle.

I drank half the bottle…

So you can imagine the type of Sunday I had.


All that was after a crazy Saturday with four white amigos. So even after retiring from tours, I’m still doing tours.

We went to Teléfonica because that’s what they love, then fuimos al BEIS (though the original plan was Hong Kong), and then, street tacos. When they were dropping me off at home, the cops pulled us over.

Yadda yadda yadda.

Mordida.

And we were let go.

The full story maybe later.


Toros lost the match. But it was a fun game and my friends had fun. That’s what matters.


And oh boy is it hot out!


Oh hi.

If you are new, welcome to my rambling, I go in every direction. I call it word vomit. Some people don’t like it. They don’t like that I swear either…

But fuck that.

And because I swear here and there I’ve been called “Bukowskish.” I have never read him. Just his Wikipedia and snippets about him. He seems like a fun dude.

So make of this what you will. Just, please… PLEASE don’t fucking take me seriously.


Alright, back to it.

Fried chicken fried is no more. Stu retired the Voodoo Stu and Magic Mael Gumbo Shack. That’s the official name. It had a lot of funny little quirks. And if you weren’t a regular, you would probably be confused by the lack of menu (or the phony menu) or how the restaurant works. Or how it used to work…

And how it used to work… You bark your order towards Stu like Batman (that’s the restaurant’s old dog). Or be courteous and nice to Mael and asked her for food.

Just ask for food and drinks.

Enjoy. Not only the delicious fried chicken but the atmosphere. A pocket of Tijuana taken you far towards a swamp in Louisiana. Or more like a hipster place in Atlanta. Whatever you want it to be. It just didn’t feel like Tijuana. Though Tijuana never feels like anything but everything and not Tijuana.


Three years of that gumbo shack. I remember when it started. I was living with Chad. And him and Stu bonded immediately like brothers from another mother (both tracing their lineage to the south). And thus began the days of eating at Stu’s pretty much weekly.

Stu started mainly with gumbo. But that didn’t fly well with Tijuanenses who have never heard of the dish.

He used to also give it to you on paper plates to make it cheaper and not to deal with the hassle of cleaning.

Then came the fried chicken Fridays… and that became a staple.

So much, that Stu didn’t bother to open Wednesday through Sundays (like it was at first). But simply Friday chicken, Saturday blackened fish, and Sunday some sort of special. Pretty much whatever he felt like.

It was all more than good.

But some plates were beyond great that it was a joy to eat in Tijuana for so cheap.

And again. That is no longer a thing.

No more fried chicken Friday.


But fear not dear friends, Stu will be back in some sort of kitchen or food projects. In some sort of evolution, just like the Tijuana Adventure, he will get more exclusive and MORE EXPENSIVE!


I missed Saturday’s blackened fish. I was never a huge fan though a lot of people loved it. Peppery fish with a lemon twist. The veggies are what brought me on Saturdays. Stu prepared vegetables in ways that I’ve never had before, so I truly appreciated that shit.

#EatYourVeggies

You fucking hipster.


Nah. Saturday was Teléfonica like I said before. Got my usual tuna tostada and the boys got the Tomahawk steak and some flank steaks on the side.

This.

Looks great doesn’t it?

The Tomahawk is delicious, but not worth the price. The flank steaks are way better. Not sure what they do, but I feel like the meat gets a salt rub/massage and that’s why it’s so damn delicious and tender.

#MassageYourMeat

Ok. No. That hashtag probably means something else.


And Sunday was the bottle of Buffalo Trace. My buddy Bryan joined in. We drank… .we drank a lot. Until 2:00 a.m.

Keep in mind the bottle was drunk around 6 pm at Stu’s.

I forgot to pay him when we left. I messaged him on Instagram and his reply was “Fuck off. You’re good.”

And that’s how you say bye to one of Tijuana’s restaurants.

It will be terribly missed. My Fridays will not be the same anymore. Or my weekends in general. It was a must go to spot…


Oh. And the veggies for the last fried chicken was some sort of minty bean salad (that was my favorite), cold pasta, some chopped chile poblanos with grilled elotes, and a deviled egg!

Great Reception to the Change – Ok. Here We Go I Guess? – Tacos and Drinks at Cine Tonalá

Cool.

A lot of support right away after saying no more tours and now writing about food.

And… now it seems people are excited that I said I would be blogging more.


Crap.

What did I get myself into… again?


“You have a lot of enemies,” remarked someone yesterday while having beers.

I do and don’t. Or who knows.

Some people don’t like what I have to say. That’s for sure.

But in here I intend to be good. I’m not planning on shitting on restaurants or drinks. If I don’t have anything good to say, I simply won’t say it.

If you wanted brutal destruction of places, this is not about that.

Or perhaps some… just a tad.


With that in mind, I went to Cine Tonalá yesterday. This place has mixed reviews from everyone. Americans tend to love all of it. Mexicans tend to think it’s a great place but overpriced and bad.

So what is it?


Well… It has good things and bad things. The good can be very good and the bads can be like, oh shit, I can’t believe I paid that much for that.

Mistakes are made. Mistakes are hopefully corrected. If not by the place, then by oneself. And some things are not worth it.

Things that are worth it.

Santo Tlali. Ok. It’s 105 pesos for a small mezcal drink, but maracuya + piña, habanero bitters, and tajin rimmed glass is delicious and refreshing. Gin Saavedra is also good. I avoid the Old Fashioned until they have a proper ice cube (or ice ball) at proper temperatures and replace the idea of Wild Turkey for something nice like Angel’s Envy, Buffalo Trace, or Makers (at the very least).

But you are not just paying for a drink, you are paying for the atmosphere, the rooftop views, the music is generally good, there are constant events, and new people visiting. So yeah. You are paying for all that and the drink. So the drink better be as good as the views. Some are, some aren’t. There’s one made with Baileys that… well… don’t get it. And usually, you shouldn’t do that.


Look at me. Pretending to know what I’m talking about.

Don’t buy into my bullshit.


Food.

I like the burger a lot. It’s one of my favorites in town. But that’s because I’m a sucker for Persian cucumbers and garlic aioli. My exgf loved the salads (especially the beet with goat cheese) and the portobello burger. Vegetarians usually really like the salads and the portobello burger.

Now the TAY-KOHS.

It is tough to compete in taco town. There tacos. They are good. They would be even better if they were half the price (or at least 1/3 of the price) or if they were doubled in size. If you ignore that, don’t care, earn dollars so it doesn’t matter much, then they are great tacos… but… but…. taco town.

Tacos go for roughly $3 each which should get you a fine taco in many places in San Diego (sans the view and space). And it basically achieves the same thing (plus a view and space). I’ve learned that my favorite is the braised rib with black beans. Handmade tiny tortilla, somewhat greasy and slippery. It earns points for the use of Persian cucumbers, pickled radishes, and red onions.

Told you I was a sucker for Persian cucumbers.

The other two I had was the pesto octopus and the pork jowl. For both, I demand a bigger tortilla. The octopus was good, but slippery that it all fell out. Similar thing on the pork jowl, the tortilla was too small for the amount of meat. Double tortilla? Or perhaps they want me to use a knife and fork on my tacos? Who knows…

Pork jowl tasted similar to carnitas, so if you are craving that and other carnitas spots are closed, then go for it.

For me, if I get tacos there, it’s just going to be the braised rib.


I accompanied the tacos with a Juan Cordero by Insurgente at 85 pesos, that’s a fair deal. Most craft places are hovering between 60-100 pesos a beer. The addition of Insurgente was greatly needed.


All in all, I love Cine Tonalá and that they are in town and will continue to go. You just gotta learn what to avoid and what to go for. Bread and Dip as an appetizer and a couple of drinks if it’s early. Go heavy if it’s night.

It is a great place to easily wow visitors with the view and the creative space.


And this is what I wanted to avoid. To actually pretend to know how to review food…


Today and this weekend is Stu’s final week. I forgot to go buy a bottle of whisky. He deserves it.

I’m going to miss that place so much…


Oh.

And I spoke to Haydee and Bryan yesterday. They are both willing to be tour guides. Haydee will be your family-friendly day tour guide while Bryan will take responsibilities of crazy nights and bachelor parties.

Details, prices, and other things are still to discuss. But if you are looking for tours, there will be some through them.

It’s not all dead. It’s just not Tijuana Adventure with me.


 

 

 

No More Tours!!! – New Focus on the Website = Food+ and Beer+ Reviews

Why?!

Why would you stop the dream job?!

You get to go around and take people to restaurants, eat tasty food, drink tons of beer and other liquor, and at the end, you make a couple hundred bucks!!!

Sounds like the dream, right?

Well… to tell the truth, I’m just goddamn tired.

There’s been countless groups, bachelor parties, brewery heavy tours, a few all-nighters, crazy fucking stories with people from all over the world, copious amounts of delicious food and late night street tacos, appeared in a couple of TV shows, and other broadcasts (and a disastrous one), and a lot of other crazy things happened in my tours.

The stories I tell.

The crazy South Africans.

How incredibly cheap Tijuana can be for some people.

Vegas on steroids.

And a tour guide in Vegas is going to get tired… in Tijuana… I’m surprised I lasted this long.


Other tour guides hire other people to handle some tours… but without me… Tijuana Adventure wouldn’t be the same. Or so it feels like that.

My friend Haydee helped for a while and I am forever grateful. She did a couple of art tours and a wine valley tour.

My friend Bryan wants to be the new tour guide, and for people asking for a tour, besides recommending all the other tour guides, I’ll mention my friend Bryan.

He is a good kid. But he is a kid.


Another reason for quitting.

I got somewhat of a real job. It still not completely real, but good enough to not seek out the extra cash on tours.

Well… when I think about it… yeah… that extra cash is super nice still.


I’m just a bit tired man.

I said I was quitting on my last few tours and still kept going.

Give me a year or so. Perhaps less. Who knows. But give me some time and I’ll be back with something better. More exclusive.

AND MORE EXPENSIVE!

Sorry.

It’s just… trust me. It will be awesome.


No more strip clubs.

Can’t do those anymore.


Instead of tours, the website will be dedicated for me to write stupid shit about food and beer!

You see… I used to write my opinions a lot but suddenly stopped because of creative differences with the editor. That editor is now gone. But I still don’t want to jump through hoops of an editor to say whatever the fuck I want.

YAY!

I get to say the word fuck.

How edgy and cool of me.


So what can you expect?

Quality pictures and my stupid opinions!

Here’s an example of the latest.


Haven’t been to the enchilado gods in a while, I forgot what I was missing…
.
My friend Danger Dave took me to Los Compadres for the first time a few years ago. He guaranteed that they had the best camarón enchilado taco (spicy shrimp), better than Tijuana favorite El Mazateño.
.
I have since gone to Los Compadres almost every week for the past couple of years for that very same taco. If I upload a picture to social media, I get flooded with questions as to where to find this taco (and many jealous comments). Here’s the answer:
.
You find Los Compadres next to Parque Teniente Guerrero at the corner of 4th street and Cinco de Mayo. Open 7 a.m. and 3 p.m. daily, except Sundays. They start running out of shrimp around 1 p.m., so you need to get there early. They also serve fish and shrimp tacos (with or without batter), caldo de cahuamanta (stingray broth), marlin tacos, and more.
.
All of their tacos are big. The battered fish and shrimp tacos are nothing to rave about and sell for around $1 each. They deep fry longer than usual, making the batter dark and crunchy. I prefer that type of taco light and crisp, so for battered fish and shrimp tacos I go to a nearby food truck.

Their caldo de cahuamanta they recommend for hangovers, especially if you add a spoonful of their very spicy salsa. It will sweat your hangover away, and Los Compadres will turn a blind eye if want to drink a Tecate at their taco stand. Their marlin taco is decent and similar to what you would find at any other taco stand that sells marlin.

Definitely the MVP and the main reason to go is the camarón enchilado. I could write a love song about this taco. It’s gigantic, greasy, has lots of melted cheese that gets burnt around the crust of the tortilla, and is loaded with a lot of flash-fried shrimp that was dunked in buttery chili sauce. It is topped (all optional) with cream, cabbage, tomato, cilantro, and chipotle sauce. It’s a complex and messy item to pick up and eat.

It’s not just me that has been addicted to these shrimp tacos. My friend Erik Trejo, who worked at Blind Lady Ale House, would regularly cross the border early morning just to eat the taco and head back north to work. The painful wait of crossing the border wasn’t enough to dissuade him.

Another friend who teaches English in Saudi Arabia stayed in my apartment for a month last summer. He ate two tacos de camarón enchilado every morning for his entire stay. He still randomly messages me that he misses the taco.

And it’s not just my friends. I have also bumped into owner of Baja-Med restaurant La Justina, Javier Cair, at Los Compadres. A former neighbor of mine, a white guy that partied too much, would take hordes of Americans and Europeans for that taco and kept the party going while drinking Tecate on the street.

None of the ingredients are gourmet or fancy. It’s a dirty fish taco truck just like the Tijuana Gods intended, and they happen to serve the best camarón enchilado taco I have ever tasted. They have a tip jar in form of a Tecate bottle. Drop some coins in when you are done with your meal and shout “por la causa!” Which means “for the cause,” the cause being to buy more Tecate.


That was actually an old article I wrote here. But they will follow a similar pattern and around that many words.

Just a bit more word vomity.


Most pictures will be taken with the iPhone X which is superb and posts will be posted in the Tijuana Adventure Instagram and Facebook pages. Pick whatever social media poison suits you best.

Then the posts will be later posted here. If there was a way for WordPress to simply post directly, that would be great. Alas, there is not.


Other pictures will be taken with my actual camera (Canon 7D for now). That’s the other job I’ve been also doing a lot.

I never really wanted to be a tour guide. This city needed one. I fulfilled my duty.

I can go back to photography work. Writing work. And now more work.


Tijuana Adventure will remain a hobby of food and beer reviewing.

I’ll try to be as honest as one can be without much hyperbole. Re-reading what I wrote about the sushi place sounds a tad exaggerated, but I meant every word. That place is fantastic and can’t wait till I’ll be back.


Both, Instagram and Facebook, pages grow by themselves without my need to sponsor them. And it’s stupid, now that I don’t do tours, I feel like throwing a couple dollars over to Zuckerberg and the social media void. At the same time, the real challenge is to grow those fuckers organically.


Oh.

And Reddit karma.


I basically promote and defend the fuck out of this city for free. They should pay me for it.

And somehow they do. Tijuana rewards me.

Tijuana has been good to me.


I might also get back into booking math rock shows. Hopefully, playing music again.


You see, it’s always been in this order:

I am a musician, writer, photographer, videogamer, and tour guide.

That last one was an additional one. It’s fun to be one and I’m very good at it. But it’s not my passion. It was paying me.

Video games I fucking adore and they had paid me for it in a few occasions (game tester for a couple of Guitar Heroes as well as the Transformers game and other little shitty things here and there). That doesn’t pay me now, but I still love it more than being a tour guide.


Writer and photographer right now are competing for which one makes more money.

They are sort of equal.

Some weeks I make more money writing. Some weeks I make more money doing photography.


Music is what I’ve always loved but has been a forgotten lover lately. I’ve been playing more guitar and a bit more inspired. So I need more time for this.


It’s the end of an era!

Thanks to everyone that came on an adventure with me. It’s been real. I seriously loved every single one of them except two.


And you all know this…

If you ever back in Tijuana, and I’m available. Just buy me a beer and let’s hang out. I like talking about all the new shit that the city has been going through and new places where to eat and drink!

I made friends with most of you. And I’m sorry if I don’t remember all of you clearly… it’s been a lot of tours. And they all blur into one crazy huge mega tour.


Oh. And one more reason to do this silliness. Last year I wrote more than 1,000 words a day but it was all about my personal life. Well, now it will be just about this. Keep my personal life out of this for a while (though I give 0 fucks).

And also. Because there are a lot of shitty people that do this and are no good. I feel like I’m better. So what?

I’m doing it for fun. Not for you. More for like myself and Tijuana. If you don’t agree with me, that’s okay. I probably don’t agree with you!


Thanks for reading and hope y’all enjoy a silly blog of food and drinks in this marvelous city. Let’s see how long this project will last…

 

Next Tour Event – Mezcal and Tacos – December 26th

The last Saturday of every month I will be organizing public tours open to everyone. Saturday, December 26th, the day after Christmas, it’s time for an all inclusive Posada Adventure!

For $60 you get 4 tacos, 4 mezcales in 4 different locations and more!
posada adv
Tour starts at 3:00 pm at the meeting spot/border pickup. From there to Kokopelli for tacos and mezcal. Mamut is next for mezcal and optional beers. Cevicheria Naiz for more tacos and mezcal and finish off at popular bar La Mezcalera for more mezcal and crickets!
All included, only $60!

You can’t make it that Saturday? Book me for a private tour! Or wait until the last Saturday of every month for a different event!

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