We all had such a great trip to Mexico for the Twin’s birthday. On the adventurous weekend get-a-way, we stayed at an amazing beach front house in Puerto Salina, and we visited Valle de Guadalupe & Ensenada for great wine, food, & fun! Follow us through our adventure!
Decantos Vinicola – Yelp – (646)688-1019
The first stop was Decantos Vinicola! It took a lot of driving effort & patience to get here, but it was well worth the trek. The reason why there was difficulty to get here is because there was a recent storm that washed out roads that lead to this winery. We took 3 different routes in to finally get to this winery. We went the long way around on the highway, and that was the only way to get to this hilltop treasure without driving through a sinkhole. Here is a map we found at a local pitstop that shows all the choices for your wine tasting experience in Valle de Guadalupe.
Here is a close-up shot of the Valle de Guadalupe, I circled the area where the roads were not drivable, especially for smaller cars. Click here for the full-size map with the location description. We all made it safely and we were so happy to grab a glass of wine & enjoy the beautiful view.
I never expected such a stressful drive could ever lead me to such a beautiful & classy winery. The view up here is so amazing! You really get an amazing view of the valley while you eat delicious food & great wine. They have both indoor and outdoor seating, but outdoor is a must if the weather is nice!
With great table service, we had several bottles of wine & tapas in no time to enjoy ourselves with. Now, time for the delicious dishes we had at Decantos!
We ordered several of dishes to make for a perfect brunch experience. The fresh salmon with lemon and capers were a taste of heaven! it inspired me to try & make this this myself. The grilled octopus & vegetables was so nicely prepared & seasoned, it was out of this world. We also ordered a white fish ceviche, but with the bottles, glasses and plates moving, I’m disappointed that I didn’t get a photo of it because it was flavorful & unlike anything I’ve ever had. The farm to table platter had fresh organic olives, meats, & cheeses, including goat cheese from the local farm! We definitely tasted the “local” flavors in these foods!
Decantos Vinicola was a great place for all of us to spend with Christina and her sister for their birthday. We could of stayed here all day but we had more places to explore. For several bottles of wine and all the food we ordered, the bill came out to be so affordable for all of us, but there was nothing cheap about this place at all. To see more of Decantos and the other places that we went to, check out our Instagram hashtag #m3x1co to get all the angles that I might have missed.
On our way to the next winery, we passed through a small town with a churro stand off to the side of the road. We pulled over and ordered freshly made churros! After having these, we will think twice about buying churros in the states! The churros we usually have at fairs and amusement parks are dry and hard. These authentic Mexican churros were made fresh to order and so soft and fresh! They melted in our mouths! Try any churro stand in Mexico, they’ll all be better than any you’ve had in the US.
Check back on the map above to find our next stop, Clos De Tres Cantos winery!
Clos De Tres Cantos – Yelp – (646)190-6956
This beautiful & cozy winery was a lot easier to get to! It’s by the side of the highway, and up one big hill, there you are! They have a large glass door & a large family table that was accommodating for our group of 13 and then some! The grounds have a modern courtyard with stone work to see keep entertain with the beautiful architect & especially their cute friendly dog! This winery is more of a family setting and the owners, which I think was a married couple, explained in detail about their wine and the process used to create the glass they poured into for us. It was incredible to hear and see about all the hard work that goes into each bottle of their wine. They are in the process of getting their import/export stickers for all of their delicious & refreshing white wine, so we could not buy that one home. It only means we have to come back again sometime soon to buy this for ourselves!
The view from the table into the courtyard at Clos De Tres Cantos through the giant glass walls/door. Adjacent from the glass doors, the stone wall were made with wine bottles instead of a traditional glass window. To the left of that building, the walkway was constructed out of empty wine bottles. This is a very artsy winery, it was lovely to have visited here!
After Clos de Tres Cantos, we headed over to Deckman’s En El Mogor where we had our reservations at 5:30pm for the girls birthday dinner! This was the perfect time to have dinner because we get to see the sunset over the winery! We had to call weeks in advance to make reservations here, if not, we would have to wait a while to get a table, especially for a group our size, 8. Michelin Starred chef Drew Deckman opened his own restaurant in Valle De Guadalupe, and we’re so lucky to have been able to dine here! What an amazing and unforgettable dining experience we all have ever had! Here’s a video clip of the walk into the restaurant to our table!
The Deckman's En El Mogor experience! 🔥🍽 After a day of adventures through the valle de guadalupe wine tasting, we had an amazing sunset dinner at @deckmansenelmogor!!🍷❤️🎉 #drewdeckman #michelinstarchef #finedining #wineanddine #M3X1CO🇲🇽 #aabb #thirtyone #threesix #cumpleaños #birthdayadventuresinmexico @catharina_chen @christinabchen @cathyyaya @the_brian_holt @caramel_sundaes @lrnprk
The best way to experience Deckman’s is to order the six course meal along with wine to pair with the deliciously prepared and perfectly arranged dishes. Once we were seated, the waiter explained all the dishes we’re getting & we couldn’t be more excited to try them. As you saw in the video above, we were sitting in close range to the master Chef and had a great view (and smell of all the delicious food) of his kitchen!
We continued our wine-ing with their white wine! It was refreshing, crisp, and smooth! It set the mood for a great start to our meal. Fresh bread was served with butter and olive oil. One thing I noticed quickly was that there were no salt or pepper on the table. It only means the food will be seasoned to perfection by the Chef!
Deckman’s En El Mogor – Yelp – (646)188-3960
While having a great time before the first dish comes, this little dish lighted up our eyes, and appetite! Pork belly with cauliflower puree. This little cube of delightfulness was so full of flavor, it melted in our mouths.
Fresh oysters were the second dish out! I never had oysters like this before! Instead of the normal cocktail sauce, the oysters were prepared with pickled onions and lemon juice, the flavors altogether blew my mind! I am a huge fan of oysters! My favorite oyster spot in LA is Fish on Tap in Pasadena, check them out!
Here is a close-up shot of the fresh oysters served at Deckman’s! This definitely paired well with the white wine. With the lemon juice and pickled onions, it gave the oyster just the right amount of flavor, not over powered as horseradish normally would.
Next was beef tongue! It was soft and tender, I would not have guessed it was tongue. I’ve never had it before, this was a great first to have here! It was a forkful of beef with perfectly seasoned & grille vegetables! The flavors & texture reminded me of beef brisket at a BBQ spot but then accompanied with crispy fresh vegetables to give that great flavor explosion on my own tongue!
Our waiter was very so cute, cuddle-ly, & friendly! Just kidding! But this adorable big fluffy dog greeting us at dinner, the birthday girl is giving him a nice & warm welcome to our table! This definitely took the farm to table meaning to another level! He wasnt looking for food, he was just looking to make friends. Before we left, I was able to pet the big fluffy dog! He seemed so satisfied with all the attention everyone was giving him.
What are you thinking about with this view as you have a world class dinner? The dining area seats about fifty people and this is the view overlooking the vineyard. I cannot imagine the wonderful smell during spring time with the grapes vines in bloom and the chefs hard at work. Very romantic & rustic setting, this is just an amazing place to visit!
For the 1st main dish, this is roasted quail with squash puree paired with spicy garlic and pepper salad. The quail was slow roasted and very juicy. It was balanced well with the soft creamy squash puree. The spicy salad reminded me of a ‘crunchy garlic spicy” topping that is found in some Asian markets. Combining all these different flavors into each bite was over the top and I would never have thought of doing that. I was more than impressed, I was speechless. Every plate that came out has been more and impressive than the last.
Food porn, that was what it was on this plate! I can make a pretty good steak myself, I like mine juicy and pink, but this made me cry a little inside because it was that good! This steak was served with grilled vegetables. There was no knife needed. The steak just melted in my mouth, it was so tender and juicy! Just in case you needed a knife to cut the steak into smaller pieces, the table was set with a Laguiole knife to make the place a little more classy.
Dessert was small and full of flavor, just like the first dish. Home made chocolate brownie and ice cream topped with a raspberry and (something like a) kiwi berry & chocolate sauce & powdered cocoa. It wasn’t too sweet but it was still rich in flavor. It was the best way to end our meal.
After we finished dinner by 7:30-8:00pm, so we decided to go to downtown Ensenada do get some drinks and celebrate the girls birthdays!
Papas and Beer is equivalent to a Yardhouse, BJ’s, & Hooters all in one. It played the loudest music and their free shots attracted us in! Since we were here celebrating birthdays, they had to do what they call a “shot, shake, & flip”! The girls were in for a surprise… what a great time we had! After spending a couple of hours there, we decided to take the party back to our Airbnb in Puerto Salina!
“A&B BDAY Adventures in Mexico” was spelled out in donuts instead of a birthday cake. Local bakery in K-Town calledCalifornia Donuts made this amazing work of art!
Our last day in Mexico! Before we headed back, we needed to get some fresh authentic Mexican tacos in our belly! We packed up and headed to Ensenada for a snack at Taqueria El Trailero, which was right off to the side of the main road down the coast of Mexico!
Taqueria El Trailero – Yelp
A couple of our friends have been here before so they suggested that we must stop by for fresh tacos! This place seems like a favorite for the locals! It was very busy when we drove up, and now I know why. There were 3-4 stations to order from, each station consist of different kind of tacos like fish & shrimp, carne asada & pulled pork, and something you don’t always get a taco place in LA, pork neck! You order from each station and pay at the end. The counter top is filled with fresh vegetables and homemade salsas for us to pick and choose from to top off our tacos! I ordered the camaron (fried shrimp) and carne asada!
It’s taco time! 5 of us ordered 10 tacos and & 3 bottled cokes (hecho en Mexico) for only $18USD! This was just a snack and it was yummy! Now we see why this place is like a pit stop for tacos along this main road.
The shrimp was perfectly fried, the fresh shrimp flavor opened up when we bit into the taco and the beef in the carne aside was very soft and tender! When we were done, we wished we ordered more.
This can sort of count as breakfast, right? 😛 Now that we got our quick snack in, we’re headed to a famous tostado stand in downtown Ensenada!
“Many say it’s the best street cart in the world.” -Anthony Bourdain
The most famous street cart in the world? Then of course, we have to check it out and taste for ourselves!
No tables or reservations even needed at this place because this is a tostada stand in downtown Ensenada! Just show up hungry, order, and stand to the side with your plate of yummy goodness. This place was very busy but they prepare the food quickly and everyone was able to eat in a timely manner! The menu was simple, but it has the best seafood option on their menus!
So what did we get? Let me show you!
First up, sea urchin served on a crunchy tostada! The sea urchin is super soft & buttery. It’s not too salty, it just melts in your mouth, and before you know it, it’s gone! It’s so good, don’t eat your fingers on accident! 😜
This mussels ceviche on tostada was amazing!! It was so fresh, it tasted as they caught and prepared this that morning! The flavors were definitely out of this world!! This is a must try!!
This was my favorite, fresh scallops and fish, topped with avocado! The scallops were raw but splashed with lime and served with Mexican avocado & chili sauce. The flavors made me a happy little boy inside, it was hard to think about anything else in the world! The fresh scallops with a little saltiness from the ocean & a hint of lime juice was a big flavorful bite in my mouth! The buttery avocado & fish paste held it all together and completed each bite with full of flavor!
This street cart is well known &n know I know why! We all agreed that this place was amazing so if you’re ever in the area, you must stop by this place and check it out for yourself!
For the rest of our day, we wondered around & window shopped for handmade/authentic Mexican knickknacks, then headed back to LA! It was a fun weekend of non-stop adventures. It was a truly memorable time for all of us! We can’t wait for the next trip!!