Mexico, Beer, Lobster!
I’m sure we’ve all heard enough about the Coronavirus… so I going to share my latest experience about where CORONA originates from, Mexico. Corona the beer, not the virus.
About 3 weeks ago, before the world was shutting down, my family and I ventured across the Tijuana border and drove 45 minutes south along the west coast of Baja California. I haven’t driven in this area in over 10 years… but it all was EXACTLY the same. I’m sure I even hit the same pothole on this trip that I did back then. I KNOW my response was the same, “F#©K, what was that.” From the cheap seats in the back I hear my 6 year-old screech, “Daddy, you said a bad word!” Parent of the year, I am!!!
As we head west towards the ocean the first thing you see sitting next to the beach, is Plaza de Toros, commonly known as Bullring by the Sea. I’m not sure if they still do bullfighting there, but I know they hold concerts and rodeos. From here you take a sharp left and head south along the coast. We stayed on the toll road, opposed to the free road. You pay $2.40 at a couple tollbooths, but it’s better than getting stopped by Mexican Federal Police at check points. The check points are nothing to worry about, but on the one lane free road the traffic can back up quite easily.
Passing Rosarito, basically a party town for 18 and up (the drinking age is 18 in Mexico), we’re only 10 minutes from our destination. Puerto Nuevo!
Puerto Nuevo is a small cliffside community perched above the Pacific Ocean. When I say small, I mean it’s a tad larger than two football fields side by side. I don’t know what my 40-yard dash time is, but I can walk the town with a full belly and holding a cerveza in under 20 minutes.
The full belly is the main attraction of Puerto Nuevo, which is commonly know as LOBSTER TOWN. There are over 30 restaurants in this compacted area… all serving cheap, but delicious, lobster.
We pull off the freeway onto a street lined with locals already persuading you to park here, eat here, buy this. Very daunting if it’s your first time. We find a spot to park near our favorite restaurant, Villa Ortega’s. Perfect timing, as we’re ready for lunch.
We are lead to our table that sits on a deck surrounded by glass and hanging over the edge of the cliff. We enjoy a million dollar view of the Pacific Ocean. Margaritas are soon in hand and followed by freshly made chips, salsa, and guacamole. As you sip and eat the waiter brings over a huge silver platter with 3 live lobsters. Small, Medium, and Large. Those are your choices, that is how you order your meal. We went with Medium. Personally, the large ones are a bit tougher and the small ones you have to work hard for the meat.
The lobster is prepared the same way at all the restaurants in Puerto Nuevo. The lobster is cut in half, long ways, and deep-fried. The quick frying keeps the meat juicy and a little crunchy on the outside. Served with liquid butter, lime halves, beans, rice and large fresh made tortillas, you have all the fixings to make your own lobster burrito.
I love margaritas… but Mexican beer goes best with lobster. As a family we polish off three medium lobsters, all the beans, guacamole, four dishes of salsa, and a couple baskets of chips. The only movement I’ve done in the last hour was moving arms to and from my mouth. After my third Bohemia I need the bańo. I push my chair back and the belly is full. Well done, Ortega’s, well done.
Settling up the tab of four beers, three lobsters, two margaritas, two shots of tequila and one sprite, the total came to $60. A million dollar view… for 60 bucks.
We pushed ourselves up from the table, took our beer to go, and wandered the street checking out shops, the ocean views, and fending off locals trying to get you in their restaurant to eat more.
I love Mexico, and I cannot wait for this to be all over so I can stuff myself with beer and lobster once again.