Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Tijuana, Baja, Mexico

Since we were just a hop, skip and a jump across the border to Mexico, Spencer and I decided to venture into Tijuana. Although, we had both been to Mexico, we had never been to the California border city. So we drove to the border crossing, parked our truck and walked across. Pretty simple. 

Once we arrived in Tijuana, we were lucky to find an English speaking taxi driver, especially considering our Spanish consists of hello, goodbye, and asking where to find the cuarto de baño.

Spencer and I were hungry for lunch and a friend recommended looking at Anthony Bourdain's guide to Baja on No Reservations. We found a restaurant in Tijuana's business district called Mision 19 that had rave reviews, so we told the cab driver to drop us there. 

We arrived at a modern LED office building that looked like it belonged in the Bay Area. Definitely not the Tijuana we expected. Unfortunately, we didn't realize that the restaurant didn't open until 1 p.m. and we had about 45 minutes to kill. After getting successfully kicked off the rooftop garden (no visitors allowed), it was time to eat. 

Only one person in the restaurant spoke English better than our mangled Spanglish, but luckily Rachel managed "Yo soy vegetariana" to order a vegetarian dish. They served us complimentary mini burgers, which were darling, much cuter than normal barbaric burgers. Other than the language barrier, the rest of meal was fantastic -- absolutely not what we expected at all, but fantastic nonetheless. 

After lunch, we visited the Centro Cultural Tijuana, a museum showcasing international exhibitions, which was crowded because of a conference. So we jumped in a taxi to check out Avenida Revolución, the infamous epicenter for tourists looking to dance, drink and have a good time. We had been warned that the area was relatively depressed since the U.S. discouraged tourists from visiting Tijuana due to increased drug-related violence.

Definitely rough around the edges, we did find a quiet cantina, where we quenched our thirst with a couple cervezas. Although, we didn't have enough time to make it to the beach towns down the coast, we would love to go back to Baja for another sampling. 

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