May 11, 2012 at 9:52am
Imagine you just traversed the 50 mile road from Rosarito to Ensenada, with coastal views, mountain landscapes and small beach side communities… on your bike!
That’s where we start off this week’s TijuanaFoodBlog! The Rosarito-Ensenada bike ride is a bi-annual event started in 1979. Catered for both the serious bike rider and the not-so serious bike rider (with a penchant for dressing up as TV characters), the hilly winding road is a fun experience, no matter what your fitness level is. The ride starts in front of the iconic Rosarito Beach Hotel and ends in the always-cheery tourist section of Ensenada.
So what do you do after you’ve been on your bike for 3+ hours?? Well, you have a beer of course! but then afterwards…. you look for food! Now obviously you can hit up the buffet tables set up by the organizers, but why waste such a wonderful opportunity to explore the local cuisine of this port-city?
And that’s how we ended up at Mahi-Mahi. A local favorite, this restaurant’s menu lies somewhere in the middle of authentic street-side mariscos and high end restaurant. In one word? Superb. Our table started off with a delicious tostada de ceviche, with every ingredient fresh it started things off right!
Next up? A crunchy shrimp quesadilla. Crunchy? I’m glad you asked. It’s pan-fried with butter… wowzers! Buttery, the shrimp cooked to perfection and cheese just oozing out, this quesadilla was a delicious appetizer I’m glad we didn’t skip.
What else came with the platters? How about a bisque! A warm, delicious and creamy rendition, this plate wasn’t overwhelming in its fish taste and hit just the right notes.
One of my absolute favorite parts of this whole meal was the following piece… a sope made with abalone chorizo. Yes, chorizo made with abalone, put on top of a perfectly pan fried sope, topped with fresh-crispy lettuce, cheese, cream and a little bit of red onion. The texture of fresh, crispy, hot, crunchy and creamy all meshed together perfectly… and the flavor? Out of this world! The chorizo wasn’t too salty, with a great abalone taste, it blended perfectly with the maize flavor of the sope, the cream and the onion. I would’ve been perfectly content with just having this over and over and over and over… seriously!
but as usual, just when I think something can’t be topped, the cooks south of the border bring something else out that just take your taste buds on a wild ride. Imagine pan roasted chiles gueros (a.k.a. Santa Fe grande chiles in the U.S.) stuffed with warm-delicious marlin & veggies, dipped in soy sauce. Your taste buds won’t know what to make of it… but don’t worry. Overthinking it won’t help, just enjoy J
Hey, how ‘bout some coconut shrimp? Yeah that seems pretty standard, right? Not when it comes with tamarind sauce. (Tamarind, for those not familiar with it, is a fleshy fruit that grows in pods. The best way to describe the flavor would be sweet and sour at the same time. If you’ve never had it…you should!... anyways, back to the blog) This sweet and tangy sauce blended perfectly with the taste of coconut and obviously even better with the shrimp.
What can I say, maybe it was because I was so hungry after that 50 mile ride… or maybe it just was THAT good. I prefer to think it was that good. This place has too much good stuff going on. A super wide variety of dishes ranging from the simple basic ceviches to some more cutting edge stuff like octopus cooked with olives and olive oil. A very friendly and knowledgeable wait staff. Indoor and patio sitting… but above all, pretty good prices! All in all, dinner, beers, tip and tax included came out to $20 (U.S Dollars) per person. Mahi-Mahi should definitely be on your to-do list next time you go to Ensenada.