The last installation of my trip to Rosarito includes a wrap-up of everything else we experienced on this whirlwind weekend. One of our stops was at Claudius Winery, in an obscure location you will never find if you don’t know where it is (click on the link and there are google map directions). There are no signs either, so I suggest you hire a local guide or a local to tag along.
The winery may be small but sufficient. The array of wines are rather impressive, once you see for yourself how compact of a space it is. Our hosts Julio Benito Martin and Ernesto Diaz, led us on a tour of the processing area, as well as the barrel room and walked us through the entire procedure. When the tour was over, we moved into the tasting room, where we were treated to all five wines (chardonnay, tempranillo, grenache, rosado de grenache and merlot). I enjoyed the grenache and merlot best.
While sipping on the wines, we had the opportunity to sample some of the best Rosarito has to offer in terms of organic and local products. Fernanda Sanchez, owner of Baja Produce, was on hand to answer any questions we may have regarding all the delicious fare she had spread out for us. Included were cheeses, olives, fruit spreads, as well as the freshest and most flavorful tomatoes we’ve ever tasted.
Baja Produce is definitely a breath of fresh air. We paid them a visit later and found a really cute shop connected to a small cafe. I picked up a bunch of goodies including some nut brittle, local olive oil and natural hand creams. It is a gem in the middle of a neighborhood which, I’m told, is going through gentrification.
One of my favorites on this trip was stopping at Tacos el Yaqui for beef tacos. The sign says “best tacos in Baja” and they’re not far from the truth. Although it was the only taco I ate while on this trip, I’ll have to admit, it was ridiculously good. The tacos are simple filled with carne asada cooked on a small grill right outside the stand. The line is long but it moves quickly.
On top of the grilled beef are beans, crema, guacamole and cilantro, so simple yet so packed with flavor.
Grilled jalapenos and the sweetest radishes are provided as accompaniments. I wish I had more room to eat another. These are definitely worth stopping for.
Our final food stop is at Picuditas just before heading to the border to return home. This is a mobile stand located at Food Garden in Tijuana owned by Raul Cardenas and it completely won us over. In fact, this past weekend, while on another Mexico trip, everyone wanted to stop at Picuditas but we ran out of time.
The story behind Picuditas is that Raul wanted to create something to provide nutrients that were lacking in the contemporary Mexican diet. He came up with a bread which contained grains such as amaranth seed, corn, epazote, almond and a bunch of other organic ingredients. The result? A delicious “bread” was born.
However, Raul takes everything to a whole new level by stuffing these breads with the most delicious fillings including carne (meat), pollo (chicken), pulpo (octopus) and even a vegetarian option.
But that’s not it. There are five sauces which Raul has created and you can add any of them to the mix. My favorites are the super spicy ones.
The bread alone is delicious, but add to that the incredibly flavorful fillings and this becomes one of the best sandwiches you’ll ever eat. Definitely worth a stop when you get through the border, and again before you leave!
If you are looking for a guide, we have had Fernando with us on two trips while in Mexico. He is very knowledgeable about the history and the terrain of Mexico. Check out his Facebook page or his website (website is only in Spanish).
This concludes my trip to Rosarito. In a few weeks, you’ll read about wine tasting in Valle de Guadalupe!
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