Rubio’s started in San Diego about 30 years ago. I first ate fish tacos in Ensanada, Mexico, which is about an hour and a half drive south of San Diego. Most of the stands serve exactly the same thing, only varying the salsa. I learned the recipe from a street vender there, which turned out not gourmet ingredients. The batter for the fish is just pancake batter. On a tortilla, with the fish is merely chopped cabbage. The white sauce is just mayonaise mixed with a little milk. Now that it sounds borderline disgusting, you’ll have to try them to believe there’re any good. People drive from San Diego for those little fishy delights. Being down by the docks, ads a romantic air, and the fact they used to be 25 cents each, didn’t hurt!
Well, Rubio saw the opportunity and opened one, then another and another. While his recipe is all heavenly,
Stuff. The only one here is in the mall on Market street, near Powell. Don’t judge by the fact that it’s in a mall, it’s good. Order the Pesky Combo.
Click on this link for more info about Rubio’s.
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Tropisueño is not hard to find, but it’s a little hidden gem of Mexican paradise near the Jewish Museum and Bear Papa. They serve honest Mexican food, which is generally easy to find here in San Francisco, but usually it’s either in a lack luster joynt in the Mission District (which can be fun), or chain, which can be tired. Tropisueño falls right in between the two. It’s not expensive, and it’s a really great place.
Happy hour (4pm – 6pm) makes it cheaper than cheap, but even though it’s cheap it’s all good. The margaritas are inventive and traditional, with real ingredients. Each special margarita has a differnt rim – Aji pepper and salt is the house margarita. No mixes or “crank-em-out” stuff here. Just watch Manuel Castillo mixing drinks for the entire restaurant … taking time to make sure each one is just right. I was amazed at how well he pulled this off. Most bartenders (except the ones on my blog) just “sling ‘em out” without really taking the time to make sure they’re anything special. Manuel is a true artist and has an amazing repertoire of amazing mixology talents that will knock your sox off. He’s a good guy and he’s anxious to please your pallet. Ask him about things like cucumber margaritas, his Canton (ginger liquor) and mint specialty, the Dart and others. Just give him the idea and he’ll take it from there. Just trust him. He knows what he’s doing. Then sit back, relax and be prepared to just bask in the luxury of trying something new.
When you go, tell him RandySFO, from Quirky San Francisco sent you.
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Have fun!!!! I did!!!
Click on this link for more info about Tropisueño.
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Guaymas Mexican Restaurant is a great reason to go to Tiburon. There are a few other restaurants, but Guaymas is unique in that it’s authentic Mexican food with home made tortillas, great fresh made salsas, unique and tasty foods you might find at a nice restaurant in Mexico. I’d make a reservation, as most of the people getting off the ferry at your stop will also be going to the restaurant and may have to wait … you’ll have a reservation and be seated right away. If the weather is nice and you’re not prone to sunburning or melanoma, ask to sit outside. If it’s cold, sit near the fireplace. Both are fun and be sure to have a shot of tequilla with the special blended shot of spicy tomato something. It’s really good. For something really unique, try the Pablano Chiles or cactus salad.
Another note about making sure you plan ahead for the last ferry to leave. While there is a way back not over the water, the cab fare could be $100 or so (unverified … didn’t want to risk that one). Just check the Blue and Gold Ferry Schedule
Click on this link for more info about Guaymas.
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