Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Spring Break, Girls Gone Wild and Fish Tacos--Go Figure

On The Range
Spring Break, Girls Gone Wild and Fish Tacos--Go Figure
By Chris Meesey, Wednesday, Mar. 3 2010 @ 2:48PM
Comments (11)
Categories: On The Range
Via Rubio's Glorious, Famous Menu
​How appropriate that fish tacos, the perfect beachside snack, were first introduced to the States by an American college student who became obsessed with them while on Spring Break at a Mexican beach. So says Barry Popik, eminent etymologist and Austin guru of word origins.

Although most historians trace the innovation of fish tacos to Baja California, there is some debate as to whether the town of Ensanada or San Felipe is the true source of their birth. Popik points to the latter, citing the tale of college student Ralph Rubio, who traveled every spring to San Felipe to surf, soak up rays, and camp for free on the beach.

One night, a hungry Ralph spotted a tiny taco stand advertising the fishy treat, ordered one, and promptly became obsessed. Popik adds: "Over time, Ralph became pals with Carlos, the man behind the counter."

Carlos showed Ralph how his fish tacos were made. Ralph went back to San Diego and perfected a recipe of his own. Several years later, with his father Ray as partner, he opened his first restaurant - a walk-up stand in Mission Beach. Since that day back in 1983, Ralph, with the help of a lot of great people, has sold more than 50 million fish tacos."

Today, Rubio's Fresh Mexican Grill sells his "Beach-Mex" at over 100 locations in five Western states. Gee, most guys try to pick up girls on Spring Break, not entire business empires.
Surfing The Rubio's, man.
​While San Felipe is a tiny village on the Gulf of California, the much larger Pacific port of Ensanada also claims to have spawned the fish taco. In an article entitled "History of Tortilla, History of Taco," What's Cooking America Web site writer Linda Stradley notes that while fish tacos have been popular there since the 1958 opening of the Mercado Negro, Ensenada's incredible fish market, they doubtless have been around for much longer:

"People in the coastal areas of Mexico have been eating fish tacos for a long time.The history of fish tacos could seemly go back thousands of years to when indigenous North American peoples first wrapped the plentiful offshore catch into stone-ground corn tortillas...(Today), the best place to sample them is at any of the small food stands that line the streets around the Mercado Negro. The fish tacos served are simply small pieces of batter-coated, fried fish in a hot corn or wheat tortilla."

What kind of fish is used in fish tacos? Anything that swims, apparently. The classic Rubio's fish taco recipe calls for whitefish, while Food Network gurus Bobby Flay and Rachel Ray offer versions featuring mahi mahi and halibut, respectively. In any case, New York Times writer Sam Sifton says, "For tacos, something fresh and white and firm. Emphasis on the fresh. Out in the cold waters off Montauk (Long Island), the cod bite is on and the flatties are coming soon: Big, doormat flounder, caught on hooks and line."

Unfortunately, our Addison neighbors and residents of The Colony can't just put on their waders and walk out into Long Island Sound for their daily catch. Instead, they must rely on places like Zen Bar, where the beer-battered white fish is combined with tomato, lettuce, fresh cilantro, and jack cheese, then drizzled with chipotle ranch for an almost creamy taste. More delicately textured than crunchy, Zen Bar's tacos are still good enough to keep you from making the long drive to Baja, either Ensanada or San Felipe. Plus, they will no doubt take you back to carefree days on the beach at Spring Break.
fish, restaurants, tacos
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san felipe,mx travel and info

San Felipe (Mexico)
From Wikitravel
North America : Mexico : Baja California : Baja California : San Felipe
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San Felipe is a city in Baja California, Mexico on the coast of the Gulf of California.

San Felipe was orignally a sleepy fishing village, barely connected by road to Mexicali over a long, often flooded, mud, or washed-out road. Over the years it has developed into a resort destination for both Americans and Mexicans. However, its fishing roots are still evident in the large commercial harbor south of town frequented by shrimp boats.
[edit] Get in

One of the easiest routes to San Felipe is via automobile, although you can fly into the small Aeropuerto International De San Felipe.
By Car

If you are coming from California, into Baja Mexico, there are two simple routes.

1. San Diego/Tijuana Border Crossing: Drive South on the Mexican 1-D to Ensenada. Then, take the Mexican 3 South to the Mexican 5. Head south on the Mexican 5. The 5 ends directly in San Felipe. This route takes you directly across the Baja Peninsula. You will pass two or sometimes three Mexican Army checkpoints, where you will be greeted and searched by soldiers. Leaving/entering San Felipe you will be searched thoroughly. Also leaving Ensenada, heading towards San Felipe there is another military thorough inspection, and not only cars are searhced. You will need to tell them your final destination. The Mexican 3 is notorious for major potholes and sometimes banditos. The drive will feel like it goes on forever.

2. Mexicali: The drive to San Felipe from the Mexicali border crossing is relatively more direct. Just hold South on the Mexican 5 all the way to San Felipe. The majority of this path will take you through desert terrain. Make sure to have extra water.

General driving advice:

Be very wary of Mexican big rigs. If a car or truck in front of you turns on its blinkers, this usually denotes that it is safe to pass on a two lane highway. Make sure your car is in good shape. Make sure to be able to speak even a little bit of Spanish! Also, few gas stations live along the road to San Felipe so make sure you have full tank of gas. It is best to fill up before you leave Mexicali or San Felipe. Another warning: Be careful with parking your car on the beach, regardless of it being 2 or 4-wheel drive. The tide is very quick, and will turn over your car/truck before you know
By plane

San Felipe has a small general aviation airport a few miles south of town.
Get around

The malecon (waterfront) is the center of San Felipe. Most of the bars and restaurants are situated here and are within walking distance of each other. Free, ample parking is usually available.

Many of the beach-front camps and vacation villages are a couple miles away from town. You will need a car to get into town.

Driving on the beach is an excellent way to get stuck shovelling sand for a few hours. While four-wheel drive vehicles are better at driving on the beach, they too will get stuck at particularly soft spots.

The tide. The Sea of Cortez has incredible tide changes. Walk out and see the ocean bed. Be wary of the tide though. The tide can take you and your car quickly if you park on the beach.
[edit][add listing] Do

* Whale-whatching. Many local fishermen will take you out on their boat for a fee. Take note that while a permit is not needed to fish from shore, a permit is needed to fish from a boat. Collecting clams and other shellfish is legal only for locals.

* The Baja 500 and Baja 1000 races often pass near or through San Felipe.

* California Motorsport Adventours Off road adventure tours for people of all riding abilities. Everyone welcome: families, couples, friends, single riders, bachelor and corporate groups. Our trips to San Felipe can be done in 4 or 5 days. Begin in San Diego, end in San Felipe. We can also customize tours around the Baja 500 and 1000. Contact the office for reservations and inquiries.
* Blues Festival. An annual event that normally takes place in April. Many local bands and a great way to enjoy the outdoors during the spring in Mexico edit

Most stores in San Felipe sell the same souvenirs: rings, necklaces, T-shirts, and so on. Typically, shopping will happen on a need basis -- "oh, I forgot to bring sunglasses; I'd better buy some", or else on a whim -- "That's a nice-looking ring". In addition to the actual stores, there are often peddlers walking around on the streets or beaches selling wares of some kind, usually personal accessories. Often, these people are associated with a store. Almost without exception, vendors in San Felipe accept the U.S. dollar.

Fish Tacos!! San Felipe is known as the birthplace of the fish taco and every restaurant on the malecon serves them. It is said to be the taste that launched Rubio's chain of Mexican restaurants. A trip to San Felipe would be incomplete without trying the local delicacy. Most places also serve tacos with other types of seafood as well. As with most eateries in Mexico, look for ones frequented by locals.

It is possible to buy seafood, especially shrimp (camerones) and clams (almejas), from local fish markets, or occasionally directly from the fishing vessels in the large commercial harbor.

* Brian's Beach Bar, Playa De Oro (North of San Felipe). Brian, orignally from Iowa, makes great Mexican and American food. You must try the tenderloin sandwich and the MaidRites.
* The Taco Factory, Downtown (At the melecon). Great tacos, quasedillas and cervezas

There's a couple of bars/clubs along the malecon. Some of the more popular ones are Rockodile and Beachcomber. Most restaurants serve beer and wine, and many have a full bar. Most of the campgrounds have a bar, making the stumble back to your tent relatively quick and painless.

Buy some Cuban rum, Coke, and limes at one of the local markets and drink Cuba Libres at your campsite on the beach.

Many beach campgrounds ("campos" or "playas") are located a few miles north of town. Most offer a parking place, palapas, and bathrooms; some have showers.

Pete's Camp, outside of town is a friendly place with a great beach and a great bar. You get an interesting mix of college students and retirees here. *[1]

There are a number of adequate motels in town. There is a larger hotel south of town, near the commercial harbor.
Get out

Valley of the Giants is a natural Reserve of the thousand year old Cardon Cactus. This area has become a major visitors attraction due to the selection of one of these giant specimens that was transported to Seville, Spain during World Expo '92.

South of San Felipe, the paved road continues to Puertocitos, then by rough dirt road through Gonzaga Bay and back to Highway 1 between Catavina and Bay of Los Angeles

san felipe,mexico real estate,homes,and land

San Felipe Mexico
One stop for real estate and information

Summer BeachThe dream of millions of Americans is to own a home at the beach. The only obstacle for most folks is money. A postage size lot in Southern California, with an ocean view, costs in excess of one million dollars. In San Felipe, a beachfront home and land can be had for less $450,000.00.

If the beach is not your cup of tea, you can buy a three bedroom two bath home in a middle class San Felipe neighborhood for $65,000.00 or less. We have never seen a better market in Baja. With zero unemployment and proximity to the border, we are attracting workers from all over Mexico and Latin

SAN FELIPE MEXICO Where the Sea of Cortez, the Baja desert and 10,000 foot mountains come together to create a wonderland for tourists and great opportunities for investors.
Just two hours from the Calexico California border crossing; it is an easy five hour drive from Phoenix or San Diego airports. Private aviation can land at the San Felipe airport where clearing customs and immigration is a breeze

Baby Boomer retirees and young investors alike fall in love with San Felipe

* 360 days of sunshine
* The warm, azure blue sea of Cortez
* A tranquil fishing village with great shopping, restaurants, and night life
* Sea and Desert Sports: snorkeling, diving, great fishing, jet skiing, windsurfing, cycling, horseback riding, and the entire off road exploring and adventure anyone could ask for.
* The freedom to take your dog, your horse, your vehicle or create a campsite on the beach. Anything you want to do or take to the beach is OK in San Felipe. The myriad of rules and regulations in El Norte don’t apply in “live and let live” San Felipe.
* San Felipe residents and police are friendly and helpful people who respect the economic contribution made by tourists and foreign born retirees.
* A fine bicultural - bilingual “state of the art” hospital if you need it. Founded by a retired U.S. physician and his nurse practitioner wife it meets all the criteria of a top quality U.S. facility.

for more information on san felipe,mx real estate check out:

about san felipe mexico

Bahia San Felipe as seen from the top of 955-foot Cerro El Machorro at the bay's north end.
About San Felipe

SAN FELIPE ... a remote desert community enjoying the benefits of a warm, dry, winter climate, and a hot, humid (Florida-like) summer. The Sea of Cortez is one of the world's most prolific salt-water habitats with sport fishing tours being available for avid anglers (see, for example, Tony Reyes Fishing Tours on this site).

Located 125 miles south of the International border between Calexico, California and Mexicali, Baja California, the primary route to San Felipe is via Mexico's Federal Highway 5. A secondary route exists via Tijuana following Highway 1 south to Ensenada, Highway 3 east to Highway 5 and south from there to San Felipe.
The largest major metropolitan area with good airline and
transportation connections is San Diego, about 5 hours
drive by car north-west of San Felipe.

Geopolitically a part of the Mexicali municipality, San Felipe depends upon tax-based funding for all its public services. It is governed locally by a "Delegado" (Mayor), representing Mexicali's Presidente, who is responsible for all municipal matters.

San Felipe was founded in 1916 as a commercial fishing port. Still operating a sizeable shrimp-fishing fleet of small pangas, the pueblos' principal income has changed over the past five years, from fishing to tourism to retirement living and real estate, with as many as 250,000 American and Canadian visitors annually. November through March is the prime "snowbird" season with mobile homes arriving from all regions of the US and Canada. Increasingly we now also see tourism and investment in retirement homes from places as far away as Australia. Easter week and the surrounding "spring break" weeks in March and April, when college students from schools around the southwest USA invade San Felipe, is the busiest time in town. Hotel rooms are at a premium and traffic jams are routine on the road to and from the border crossing in Mexicali. During the summer months, May through September, the weather is ideal for a relaxed lifestyle on the beaches. Fishing is good and the pace of life slows considerably. There are dozens of accommodation options in Baja. You can find timeshares for sale and rent, hotels or motels, all overlooking the Sea of Cortez. If you're planning on basking in the warmth of San Felipe again and again, consider purchasing a timeshare.

With a population topping 25,000 (including foreign residents), this seaside community is a delightful retirement area. Over the past several years there has been a major influx of retirees who are building homes here and cashing out on their property investments in the USA. Local businesses provide the requisite services including, but not limited to, House Design Services, Architectural Services, Construction Services, Lumber Yards and Hardware Stores.

Because San Felipe is a "cash" society, do not expect to use credit cards or personal checks at most stores and markets. ATM machines will accept your creditcard and allow you to withdraw up to 3000 pesos (about $300 per day) with an additional nominal charge to your bank account of about $5 (dollars). Machines are located at:

* 7-LEVEN (Pemex Station) entering town just south of the Arches
* El Marino/OXO liquor-grocery store on the corner of Calle Chetumal and Mar de Cortez
* Bancomer on Mar de Cortez and also on Calz. Chetumal
* Banamex on Calzada Chetumal
* the AM/PM store at the Rodriguez Pemex station on the road to the airport
* The El Dorado Ranch office area (by the swimming pool)

The city water supply comes from wells about 30 miles south of town. While it is considered safe to drink, it has a high mineral content. Bottled water and mineral water is available at all liquor and grocery stores and excellent, purified,reverse osmosis, water is available at KonsAgua and other producers for around $.80 for 5 gallons. Purified water is used in all restaurants and homes and for making ice for the bars.

The city sewage system is unusual for a coastal town in that most of it does not discharge into the sea; it is piped to a plant in the desert for treatment. Septic systems are used for all properties away from the town's main collector system. This includes all developments to the north and south of San Felipe along the beaches. In some cases these septic systems are barely able to cope with the major influx of visitors on weekends.

The sea water is maintained as clean as possible because of the great dependence of the town on the fish and shrimp industries. Tests of the bay water in past years have revealed minimal detectable e-coli contamination. However, the further away you are from beachfront development, the cleaner the water will be. Because of the high salinity of the sea water, swimming and floating are almost effortless. Twice a month, around the time of the new and the full moon, very large tides develop and you will see the spectacular rise and fall of the water - see our tide tables.

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