Muelle Tres: A Perfect Afternoon at Ensenada's Fisherman's Wharf

Categories: Tijuana Sí!
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Bill Esparza
Muelle Tres, Ensenada


Muelle Tres was opened by Chef Benito Molina in early 2009 with a more-casual, but still-hip delivery of Molina's original brand of Ensenada cuisine, quietly tucked behind the fish taco hustler madness of the Mercado Negro on the sea walk. Molina sold the restaurant to current owner David Martinez a few years ago, who retained the original kitchen staff and menu. Although Molina no longer is affiliated with the restaurant, the dishes are essentially prepared the same.


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Bill Esparza


There have been many openings in the the past few years in and around Ensenada's growing restaurant scene, yet few have surpassed the quality, flavor, and vibe of Muelle Tres that still holds true to this day. Come here for local shellfish, seafood made with an international flair, and ceviches with bright Ensenada flavors that match the sunny, cheerful room that's spared a patch of calm a midst the cruise ship masses aimlessly roaming the pier. This is still a relaxing, tasty lunch spot when visiting Ensenada that's worthy of the reputation given to Mexico's top contemporary seafood hot spot.

You'll always find a solid white wine here from the nearby Valle de Guadalupe, and a craft beer or two like the tasty Aguamala, brewed in Ensenada proper. The wall above the small kitchen is still covered with the original menu, a culinary artifact and reminder of the former owner's influence in Ensenada, which is a bit confusing since that's not the menu in use--the clipboard with a wrinkled menu is the actual list of selections. 

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Bill Esparza
Ceviche de almeja chocolata


A glorious ceviche of chocolate clams is the way to begin an afternoon blessed by the perfect weather rewarded to those venturing south--that's given an Asian touch with soy sauce and ginger. A dash of Baja olive oil adds a buttery look and feel to a very representative dish in the Baja cuisine repertoire. 

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3 comments
kwelch29
kwelch29

Why is it that you never EVER see Chocalatas or Pata de Mula clams north of the Border?  Or if you know where they are i would love to hear it.  I can only get to Baja about once a year it seems.  Lazy on my part, but still.  Great article as always Bill. 

Bill_Esparza
Bill_Esparza

@kwelch29 Well, no one's bringing them over. I've only seen Kumiai and grano oysters from Baja north of the border. Even the pismo clam is rare. You'll find pata de mula in many places up  in L.A.--in the O.C. you'd have to ask Gustavo and Dave--and they are in S.D. Thanks.

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