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.

 

 

 

 

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

Burgers explained.


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

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

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

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


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

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

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


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

So I started my investigation.

And…

The first burger got me really sick.

LIKE REALLY SICK.

Warning. You might wanna skip between the next lines.


SKIP.


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


CONTINUE.


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

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

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

GREAT!

Nightmare: A food blogger with absolutely no appetite.


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

Pictures are GREAT!

Some of my favorites.

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


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

Highlights: The mother fucking cheese is DELICIOUS!

Here’s the owner handing me the burger:

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

I mentioned the spicy to the chef. Oh yeah.

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

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

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


No need to skip.

It wasn’t horrible as the last time.


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


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

Also, I can take tons of pics.

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

Marta was one of them.

So she joined me for my burger quest.


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

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

Told you it looked good.

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

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


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

My old roommate, the Chadmaster joined us.


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

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

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

Look at that beauty.


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

Seriously.

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

I know I’ll have to try it.

Again. My appetite was non-existent.


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


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

 

 

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.


 

Valle Adventure – Wineless Guadalupe but Amazing (and Cheap) Food at Península – Secret Airbnb

One of my brother’s best friend’s from college came to visit him. He is the godfather of my nephew so he comes once or twice a year. He usually brings his boyfriend with, a Russian artist living in NYC. This time, the other best friend of my brother in college also came with.

And it was a Valle adventure party.

Marc (the Filipino godfather) rented an amazing Airbnb for the family in the middle of Valle. That airbnb… well… I don’t want to share details because for the first time I feel like keeping a secret to myself so that fucker doesn’t get outrageously expensive quick.

The place has three bedrooms (sans doors), one large bathroom, one big living room/kitchen and no sink (weird). The inside is not the best, but it’s okay for what it is worth. The outside… well… the outside… is fucking fantastic!

A pool, grassy area, mini golf, BBQ area, nice hammock, and a volleyball sand court in a large property. Perfect for a family or for a nice party. The property fits 8 people and it’s only $120 a night…

So I’m not linking you fuckers to the Airbnb and you have to do the research yourself (it’s not that hard).

Here’s me jumping in the pool with my nephew on top of me.

Yes. I jumped in the pool with my iPhone X. Nothing happened except it acted flimsy while charging the first 12 hours or so. It has behaved like normal since then.

I jumped in the pool with it around 10 times. Risky move. Still good.


I didn’t have as much food in Valle as I wanted too.

In fact… I DIDNT HAVE ANY WINE.

Except for a sip of a white wine that was not memorable.

The whole trip was more about just relaxing in the Airbnb with family and friends and the pool.


But this is about food. So let’s talk about food.


We went to Península in Valle from a recommendation of a friend of my sister in law whose nephew is the main chef at the place.

You catch that?

Basically, we went to a place called Península.

Fairly common name. Several restaurants and bars have already used a similar name. So yep, you know I didn’t really like the name.

I also didn’t really like the wine or beer selection. It was basically non-existent. Two types of wines, one type of beer that was supposed to be an ordinary bitter beer, but tasted more like a wheaty lager. It was drinkable and good easy beer to go with the meal, but nothing impressive and I would have liked more options.

Wine options were Chardonnay and uhh I forgot the other one, but both were on the sweet side and not for me. Beer it was.

AND NOW FOR THE GOOD.

The good?!

THE GREAT!


I don’t like repeating places in Valle. I want to try something new every time I go. There are way too many places to try out… but Península… OH BOY!

Península is both the cheapest, one of the tastiest, and the plates are actually filling!

This is what I got:

I’m stupid. I forgot to take pictures of the menu to remember the name of the plate and prices. All I remember I was like HOLY SHIT THIS IS GREAT for the price.

I’m going to say it was around 230 pesos which is already a fair price in Valle to get a tiny ass plate. Nope. Not this. This plate was easily good for 2 to 4 people to share (and obviously get more food). I shared a lot of it (at least 1/4) and I still was happily full with all the sashimi.

Sashimi?

Ceviche?

Both really. With ponzu sauce. Octopus, tuna, (fish?), and scallops, plenty of all! Them little habaneros gave it a nice and surprising kick. No seeds you assume they won’t be very spicy, but you assume wrong (or at least I did). Cucumber, radishes, and pretty flowers are more than just decor (and it does give it a nice color scheme).

That was my plate. Incredibly surprised and happy with it.


Oh. And it had a dab of sea urchin in the middle. I’ve come to find out that I fucking love sea urchin. It’s like all the seafood in existence in one little salty bite. Taste the ocean in an orange buttery gross looking little thing.


Right across the table from me, Stu got the grilled tuna. It was so much food for the price. And not only was it plentiful it was quite astonishingly delicious. Two big tuna medallions mounted on a bed of grilled veggies with mashed up cauliflower paste and a pretty side salad.

The plates look different because they were different. The tuna was so good that Marc also got one. He got a bigger tuna slice instead of two chunky ones.

I picked some veggies and big bites of the tuna dipped in the mashed cauliflower. Again, delicious, and surprisingly great for the price. Other places in Valle would have cost double and the plate would have been 1/2 of that.

Península is a win.


I tried a bite of this green thing.

My sister-in-law got that. She was happy with it. I have no recollection of it but I remember approving of it.


Two other things I didn’t get to try. Marc didn’t share any of his three tacos but approved all three. There were “two big marlin burritos” floating around the table. It was hard to believe that the menu had “big burrito” and actually meant. It wasn’t huge, but it was again, sizeable for the price.

Pictures of food I didn’t eat it but also looked like great choices.

Big marlin burrito:

Three tacos that Marc didn’t give me a single BITE! Octopus, fish, and marlin. I wanted to try that octopus…

After that, we toured the facilities for a while. Península is situated in a place that does olive oil for different brands. It is also has a tower with great views, but if only the windows were clean to take a proper picture… It is also producing wine and they promised that soon they will have more beer options.


Península is the cheapest and most quality food place I have visited in Valle so far. I am missing another 100+ restaurants to cover… so yeah…

If they had a nice drink selection, then it would be my favorite place in Valle (I still don’t have one).


The factory has some art installation by students in Ensenada. The best one looked like this.

That’s me holding my nephew so he can see the art while my niece looks at us looking at art.

Another cool piece. Difficult to photograph.

Descending the tower.

And the happy foodie group with the chef of Península.


We ate out twice in Valle though we stayed for 4 nights. Two of those nights we grilled meatsies and drank Tecates. So yeah, not my ideal Valle, but HEY POOL!

Tecate, meatsies, and a nice pool = still the best of times.


Next post will feature the other two places we visited.


Special thanks to our host in Península, chef David Ojeda, for giving us an unexpected seafood feast in Valle!

 

 

Tijuana Adventures Featured in TravelMag.com – Sorry, This Has Been Sort Of Abandoned – Tours are Still Active

Ahoy! To all of those who stumbled into this page of Tijuana tours and adventures.

The blog has pretty much been abandoned for more than a couple of months. Things that I said I would fill in later, I never did. And ideas that I have never materialized.

Despite the page being virtually abandoned, a writer from TravelMag.com found me. And he had something wonderful to say about the tours.

Here’s the link to the article, or click the screencap.


Thanks to writer Paul Joseph for the mention.


So… why so abandoned?

Your tour guide has been busy with photography and writing. I’ve been writing every day the whole year in my own personal blog that I dubbed word vomit because I pretty much write about everything and anything. I also started a new gig as a freelance photographer for the magazine that usually runs my articles. So I’ve been pretty busy with other things that aren’t my tours.


Despite this, I have had several tours since the latest post.


And also, paid for the yearly subscription of this webpage. It was done automatically. I’m not sure if I actually wanted to do it.


Shit.

My latest post was from February…


I had around eight tours since then. Very sporadic and random tours. The latest was a repeat customer with new friends. A guy from Vancouver (with Moroccan family) brought two friends from Kosovo (but that grew up in Vancouver).

It was really fun times since the last time the repeat customer visited was a couple of years ago and a lot of things changed.

And a lot of things have changed with Tijuana Adventure as well.


Though I had the fantasy to make this into a food and beer blog, I’ve been too busy to keep that going.

However, I did start becoming very active on Instagram posting a lot of food porn.

If there was a way to post everything on my Instagram directly to WordPress, this page wouldn’t be totally abandoned.


So if you enjoy pictures of the Tijuana/San Diego reader, better follow me! It’s been a steady climb of followers. Easier than my actual profile @Matingas_

Repsonse has been good with the food pics. And it’s given me an outlet to write about food.


I also did business cards for myself and for this business.

They look like this.

Yes.

Exclusive tours.

I don’t do private groups and most people that know me have heard of me somehow, so they know what to expect.

So I’m more exclusive now. You get a tour with a photographer, writer, and musician with SHIT TONS of stories to tell. And that’s really what makes the tours special. They are small. I get to talk to everyone. I get to tell stories. We get to know each other.

So again.

My tours aren’t like other tours.

Go to the other tours if you want a basic (yet very fun) tour.


And finally.

I’m still working with Haydee if I ever need a replacement, or if I’m not available, or if people want to go to Valle de Guadalupe. She’s more knowledgeable about the wine valley than me. And she could also drive people there.

Basically, Haydee is still IN doing tours as needed.

I wish I had more tours for her. I wished I had more tours for myself. But life gets busy with other things and then time flies.


 

Tours! TOURS! Tours! – Tijuana Adventure Activate! – Julie’s Bday Tour a Month Ago…

This webpage and blog has been somewhat abandoned.

That doesn’t mean I haven’t been given tours.

Quite the contrary. I was busy with tours all of January. February is going slow, but March will already start with a tour.

The tour above was super fun and probably one where I walked the most. We walked and walked and walked. I offered Ubers or taxis. But they wanted to walk.

nsudmux

This is what a Tijuana Adventure usually looks like. A lot of food and beer and fun times.

And I’m sorry I rarely update the blog. I write in my life blog daily. Which is completely different.

Besides Julie’s bday tour, I also had a tour with a couple of crazy South Africans.

I have never partied in my life as much as I did with those South Africans. They showed me that I truly have no limits when it comes to my Tijuana tours. We spend so much money drinking, eating, … and more.


It is time to make my tours a bit more official. There needs to be an online payment method. There needs to be a public tour at least once a month. I have been doing my tours mostly as a side gig for fun. Not as a real business. But Tijuana Adventure has grown and it is time to take it a bit more seriously.

Even the US consul in Tijuana emailed me asking me about how to improve tourism.

More tours are coming.

More public events.

The page will get better.

The Tijuana Adventure Instagram will also be active…. if I remember the password.


A very good friend of mine named Brenda, aka Shappu, has also been doing tours. She is going her own way about it. Truly puts effort in giving people tours. Unlike me where I just wait for people to email me and tell me they want to book me. If I pushed my services. Get business cards. Do some posters… etc etc etc. Then it would truly be a tour service.


For now, I’m busy with writing stories, my new girlfriend, daily blog, and my cat. Tours are still available. Tours are still highly improvised. Tours are still hella fun.


I forgot where I was going with this. Point is. Tijuana Adventure will activate! More tours! Better tours! Online payments! Other tour guides! More beer! More food! MORE MORE MORE!

Want to visit Tijuana. Hit me up!

Beers, Tours, and More Beers – Mamut Redemption

I am typing this at Fauna in Plaza Fiesta waiting for an anniversary burger, drinking a Lycan Lupus. There is a lot in my mind. It is all work related.

My birthday was chill. I am now 30. My brother and his wife gave me a beer guide of Mexican craft beer. There is a lot to read and learn. I also got tons of fancy spices from my cousin in Seattle who works at World Spice. More to try. Excited to try all.


Like every week, I drank a lot of beer. The surprise of the week happened on Sunday.

I had a mini Tj Adventure with friend/co-worker Andy. He came down with his girlfriend and his girlfriend’s boss and husband. We started at Cevicheria Nais, then Nelson and finally Plaza Fiesta. We drank IPAs at Paralelo 28 and then Andy wanted pizza from Mamut.

I wasn’t excited about Mamut and suggested against it, but we ended up there. Surprise surprise! Mamut was pretty damn good.

I got an American pale ale, it was decent. Definitely better than many Mamuts I’ve been having. I also tried their hoppy wheat. It had more of an IPA taste than a wheat. Also surprisingly good.

Pizzas were also way better. We got the Oaxaqueña and the Tijuaneada.

xuLNHtf
(Pic by Andy Boyd)

Oh shit! My burger arrived. Time to take pics.
fauna
(cellphone potato pic)
Burger was a meaty tasty disaster, but way too salty. I ate 82% of it and gave the rest to Lex, the beertender in Tigre that recommended it.


Fries were alright. Nothing special. Ketchup vessels.

I am now drinking my second American IPA from Ludica called Pinball.

It’s funny that it’s an American Indian Pale Ale. IPAs deserve a better name, but I guess it works.

I’ll finish this later, Chad and Bobby just got here.

——————————- I wrote that on May 17th. I should have published it the very next day. Instead I waited and now I want to type more.

Andy is an amazing photographer and every time he comes to Tijuana he works magic. Here’s the full album of his Sunday. I joined halfway through this:

The Pinball IPA at Ludica is great and my favorite in Tigre right now. I loved their Seven Seas brew, but they are not doing it anymore. I asked about the hops in the Pinball and I believe Cascade and Mosaic (and another). But I might be wrong. Bare with me while I venture to learn more about hops and try to recognize them by blind taste.

Like I mentioned before, I also had a lot of other beers after my last post. I went to Madueño and Silenus and took pics of the beers. My mistake is I didn’t take notes.
madue
I had this, which I think was a pale ale. I remember it was good but on the sweet side. I went with my friend Justin and he got a Porter on Nitro (I believe). It seemed like the nitro wasn’t connected. Had no foam or bubbles or anything. Taste was there, the nitro… wasn’t.

Oh… and I put the Indio in there as a joke. I made fun of people who go to craft beer tap rooms and ask for what they can get in a normal dive bar. I mean.. it’s cool. I was at Chips yesterday (my favorite dive bar) drinking Indios. I like Indios… but WHY would you go to a tap room and not get their beer?! I don’t understand this logic. Is like going to a restaurant and asked them if they can bring you some Sabritas. silenus
Silenus as always did not fail. Both beers were delicious. If I remember correclty, Black IPA and Xanthos IPA. Strong brews, with a bit of syrupy taste, but excellent nonetheless.

I kicked Justin’s ass in MarioKart. He cried. He stopped playing. I want to play more. It’s Tap Tuesday today, might as well go to Silenus and play SNES. Street Fighter challengers, step right up.

I also went to BCB with some friends on a Friday. The place was PACKED. I didn’t even know they expanded. And WHOA the prices. Seriously?! No pictures here because I didn’t think I would be writing about it. Got Lupulosas. Took the stereotypical selfie everyone gets in this place.
selfie
(Lol)
The girls I was with ordered seasoned fries (they were bleh fries). We had to keep asking for more ketchup because they give you a tiny container with a buttload of fries. They also got some mushrooms that were ok. Nothing special.

We were sharing one of those large tables with strangers. There were lesbians on a date (one with a very distracting cleavage). They were getting all sorts of food. THEY DIDNT EVEN FINISH IT. They got the whole meat and cheese plate and some chicken wings. None of them looked extraordinary special, but there’s no way you can fuck up a plate of cold cuts and cheese. THE GIRLS LEFT MORE THAN 25% UNTOUCHED!

I also went to In-Ko-Pah 3 on Saturday. Justin grabbed a shit load of Ballast Points. I didn’t know this, his brother works there. So… SCORE! We also stopped by an Albertson’s before camping.. and holy selection!!! I ended up grabbing a 6-pack of randoms for $10. Justin still has like 4 of them.. which reminds me… I should go to his place soon.

Here’s the full In-Ko-Pah album:

For more info on that… I posted on my personal blog what went down.

Finally.. I went to MAMUT again yesterday. And I feel like talking about Mamut.

Yes. Last time I talked a bit of shit about the place because sometimes their brews are horrible. But Mamut has done A LOT for the beer scene in this city. I remember when it first appeared, beers were going for free, then 10 pesos, then 20… So yeah.. it kinda feels like I’m getting robbed paying 60 pesos for it in Plaza or the actual place, yet I can pay 40 for the original location. Which I guess it’s cool.

I know Juan José since he started. I always believed in Mamut and craft beer in Tijuana. He has always been an awesome guy with me. Many times offering his newest batches for free. I have seen Mamut grow from a baby to what it is now. It has expanded insanely quick to include mezcal, wine and food. For a time, Mamut hosted other restaurants and brewers.

Kitchens, cooks, brewers, beertenders, waiters, everyone has come and gone. Staff doesn’t recognize me anymore because they are all new. They only one that stays there is Chapo, the loyal sidekick with a great attitude and a passion for beer. So yes… Mamut can be shit sometimes, but it can also be great. And overall, it’s a fantastic place and I know that Juan Jose has Mamut because he loves beer (yes, more than money).

Like I said. Mamut is a rollercoaster. It has its ups and downs. Sunday, the new pizza convinced me that the kitchen is doing quality now (it was never bad, it was basic and cheap). Their beers were also damn good. So I went again yesterday to the one upstairs.

I wanted Lupulosa, but they ran out. I got the hoppy instead, with the 50/50 burger. I also wanted to try the hot dogs, probably soon. Hoppy Wheat is their best beer right now (not pictured). It tastes like a nice and light pale ale, with not much wheatiness to it, probably single hop. 2016-05-23 19.08.37
AHH you can’t even see the meat in the picture WTF?! The burger is small for it’s price and when I took my first bite, the meat was pinkish and seemed raw. I’m not going to lie… IT WAS GREAT! Not the best burger in town, but damn good. I guess the pinkish comes because the bacon is mixed into the beef. It had baby spinach and I believe arugula as well. But my favorite part is… YOU CAN TASTE THE CHEESE. So many burgers make it so meaty that they forget the cheese is a very important add-on. I forgot to read the description, but I’m guessing it was Mozzarella…

Fries were also good. Chipotle mayo nice and unexpectedly spicy.

After that, I went to the downstairs original Mamut for cheaper beers. Fuck damn… they didn’t have the hoppy wheat 😦

ok… I’ll try the the barley wine. Yep.. yep.. drinkable. Not bad at all.

Ok… Let me try the Doble Red and the Amber Ale.

UNDRINKABLE. Or at least for me. They tasted like cough syrup mixed with tonic water (in a horrible fashion). Both of them tasted bad, with a slight difference of bad. I mean… I usually don’t make assumptions based on a little tiny sampler. I like to drink the whole pint, make sure I get to know the whole beer (not only how it tastes, but how it makes me feel). But yeah… There was no way I was going to waste my money with those beers.

I got the Barley Wine. It wasn’t great, but it wasn’t bad. It was straight up decent. Friend got the Imperial Stout. It was good, not much to say about it.

Funny story: while drinking them beers in Pasaje Rodriguez, a cholillo walked by and said “Hey man! Do you play Magic!?!”

HAH! Holy fuck! I do! I mean… I haven’t in forever. But I used too. So he takes out two packages from his bag-pack and says he will sell them to me for 100 pesos. Yes. The cards are most likely stolen from Plaza de la Tecnologia. Fuck it. I’ll buy the three booster packs for kicks. Here they are:
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If you have a store in that Plaza, you have some merchandise stolen, and you happen to read this. You can have them cards back. I know … I know. I already opened them. But hey. It’s better than never seeing them again (there’s two that are valued over a dollar).

After that, Norte Brewing Company for some of that delicious Penthouse. Bumped into more friends and some people visiting from Mexico City. And … we continued the night to Chips.

And now here I am. Typing all this crap. I said I would do it more often and then waited a long ass time to do it. Now this post is ridiculously long. No one reads this much. But fuck it. I wanted to start writing more and more.

ITS TAP TUESDAY! So I’ll go drink beer and write some place else that is not my apartment.

— Matingas