We’d been meaning to go down to Tijuana for a while, since Jenn has never really hung out in TJ (only passed through briefly on the way to Rosarito and/or Puerto Nuevo). We finally got around to booking a Marriott for a Saturday night using points when Frank came back to visit. After the cancellation deadline for the hotel had passed, Kyle came upon some unfortunate reports indicating crime, and in particular, murder rates in Tijuana have skyrocketed in the last year (very recently).
We made our way down to TJ anyway, but read up on places to avoid, such as drug trafficking areas (duh) and casinos (darn!). We parked our car at a lot by the border, then walked across. The heat was killer, and walking across was definitely slower than driving across. Shortly after checking into our hotel, we began our short walk over to our first taco destination. We passed some Trump caricature art on the way, which seemed particularly appropriate for our purposes in TJ:
Our first taco destination was Tacos El Jockey. We had birria, adobada, and asada tacos, washed down with agua frescas (jamaica for me and Frank, and Horchata for Kyle and Vale). The tacos were beautiful, delicious, and topped with a glorious amount of fresh avocado, cilantro, and onion. Vale enjoyed chewing on radishes and cucumbers, and trying some sips of Horchata for the first time.
Next, we made our way to Avenida Revolucion and hit up a local brewery called Mamut Brewing. The brewery was located upstairs, and the nondescript entrance on the first level was easy to miss. The interior was reminiscent of a colonial mission, and they had a few good selections on tap. They also had some pretty interesting art on the walls.
Jenn had the Mosaic Pale ale, Kyle had the Good Morning Coffee Porter, and Frank had the Poolside Pale Ale. The beers were pretty tasty (even if there was no IPA on tap), but unfortunately, the heat was such that the beers really did not stay cold for long. They also had what looked like some amazing pizza, but we were too full to eat again at this point. We hung out here for a little bit and chatted while a hipster played his guitar in the seat behind us.
Afterwards, we walked around Avenida Revolucion to briefly scan souvenir shops and our next potential food and/or beer stop. We randomly came upon Border Psycho, and decided to give it a try.
Jenn had tasters of the cream ale, Hoptimista IPA, and the Guera Prieta (a coffee cream ale). The cream ale was a little earthy tasting, and the coffee cream ale was subtle. The IPA was definitely refreshing in the afternoon heat. Vale crawled on the tables and bench seating, but started to get a little bored, so we took our leave.
After Border Psycho, we got sucked into El Torito with promises of $1 Coronas. After the two prior craft beer joints, Coronas are not very exciting, but $1 was a deal we couldn’t resist. We had some Coronas and guacamole, then went on our merry way. Next up was a birria place a couple of blocks off of the main stretch of Revolucion called La Mejor Birria. And indeed, it was very, very good. The birria soup with stewed meat was excellent. The tacos were juicy and came with a side of soup as well. The quesadillas were a little on the greasy side, but they weren’t meant to be the star of the show anyway.
After lunch number two, we were starting to get pretty worn out by the sun, so we headed back to the hotel to cool off in the pool. Vale had a great time splashing around, and in the early evening, we headed out again for dinner. Vale fell asleep on our way to food destination #3, Tacos El Poblano, Jr. Here, we enjoyed more tacos. The birria tacos here were the best of the day (in Jenn’s opinion), and the adobada was excellent also. The quesadillas were definitely better than the quesadillas at the birria shop from earlier in the day, though at this point, the stomach could only stomach so much more food…
Vale continued to sleep, and we hit up a bar called Shots Spot, where Frank and Kyle took shots of flaming mango liquor. We also shared a couple of Margaritas while listening to the worst (or best, depending on your preferences) of the 80’s. After this, we walked by a pretty happening bar area in Zona Rio, but the parents were getting too tired to hang, and the music was too loud for a sleeping baby, so we Ubered home and called it a night.