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Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Rumble in the Rockadile

Shane Brown

With eight fights on the card and two exhibitions, this was an event to remember. The first exhibition featured two 8-year olds from San Felipe. It ended in a tie as spectators threw coins so they could buy more equipment.

There was a Jiu-Jitsu demonstration presented by Americans Shane Brown and Ken Pottie.

The first official fight featured fighters from Mexicali. It was stopped in the second round for “medical reasons” as one of the fighters didn’t appear to have worked very hard on physical conditioning.

Ensenada and San Luis were next. Just seconds into the second round, Ensenada won by TKO.

The third bout featured Mexicali against a Mexican fighter from New York. Over in 33 seconds by TKO. New York wins.

Bout four, Los Mochis Sinaloa vs. San Felipe won by San Felipe after two knockdowns and finally a knockout.

Bout five had San Felipe losing to Tijuana in 2 minutes by TKO.

In the sixth bout, another pairing of Los Mochis Sinaloa and San Felipe with San Felipe winning again by TKO.

Bout seven, two fighters in their debut fights. Brazil beat Los Mochis Sinaloa by knockout.

The most anticipated fight of the night featured a champion from San Felipe. San Felipe’s faithful were disappointed as Sinaloa won 15 seconds into the 5th round. The win came with a little controversy. The San Felipe fighter had lost his mouth protector and was calling to the referee when the Sinaloa fighter delivered the punch that stopped the fight.

History of San Felipe pt. 1

By Ronald Saunders

Who discovered San Felipe? How did it get its name? Who recorded the first accounts of its existence? We’ll answer these and many other questions about the history of our beloved little piece of paradise. This is the first in a series of articles where you’ll learn about San Felipe’s past and present.

The first written accounts of San Felipe appeared almost three hundred years ago, but its human history goes back much further. The Spaniard named Francisco de Ulloa in 1539, sailed with three ships on a mission to explore the northern waters separating mainland Mexico and the Baja peninsula. He was the first European ever to sail into, what we now call, the Gulf of California. His journey took him north to the Colorado River Delta. This refuted the claims that Baja California was an island. It was he who named the gulf, 'Mar de Cortez' (Sea of Cortez) in honor of Hernando Cortez, the conquistador of Mexico. While exploring both interior coasts he passed San Felipe Bay, although his diary makes no mention of it or its environs. A year later, in 1540 Melchior Diaz, a captain under Francisco Coronado, travelled overland to the mouth of the treacherous Colorado River and promptly christened it "Rio de Tison" (The Firebrand River). In subsequent years, more ships would sail to the Colorado River but they too would make no note of San Felipe Bay.

The Spanish rulers of Mexico came to the conclusion that this finger of desert and mountains offered no riches to be plundered. Consequently, there was no urgency to take the land or the natives by force. Instead, they resorted to a protracted but very efficient method - the church. For nearly two hundred years, from the mid-1500's to the early 1700's Baja California (Norte) went unexplored and unsettled while the Jesuit-led church gained strong footholds in the south. For over 100 years northern exploration was nearly impossible since it took all the missionaries' energy just to secure their initial southern settlements. Consequently, investigation of the northern peninsula did not begin until the early 1700's. (continued in the February issue)

Baja Ranch & Sea

By Larry Arredondo

John Pilato has been in real estate for the better part of 40 years. During that time he has experienced the real estate business from several perspectives, first as an agent, then as a broker and part owner of 13 Red Carpet Real Estate offices, and as an important influence in timeshare sales for some of the world’s most beautiful resort destinations.

So why San Felipe? “From the first time my wife and I came to San Felipe on vacation, we felt very strongly that this would become another Cabo San Lucas-type of town. Because of our involvement with world-class resorts, we knew that San Felipe had all of the things that would propel it into a tourist destination that would rival some of the major resort communities in Mexico.”

They bought property here in 1987 and started visiting every other week due to Diane’s involvement with the Las Amigas Club. By 1991 they were living here full-time and were on the original Sales and Marketing team for San Felipe Marina Resort. In 2002 they became full-time, permanent residents as John was managing the Century21 office. A little over three years later he opened Baja Ranch & Sea Realty.

What makes his company different from the rest? “Our company stresses professional handling of every aspect of every transaction”, he says. “The process of buying and selling real estate in Mexico is quite different from the U.S. There is a lot to learn and you frequently have to educate everyone involved in the transaction-buyers and sellers?” He adds, “During my years of working in Mexico I’ve noticed a different attitude towards real estate transactions. Sometimes very important things are put on the back burner. Shortcuts don’t work.

We value our clients and work hard to protect them.” John is a member of the San Diego Multiple Listing Service, and his listings are available U.S. agents which should provide an advantage in marketing. Asked about the current and future state of real estate in Baja, John says, “Real estate sales have been slow. This is undoubtedly a reflection of the general market in the U.S., but real estate has always been cyclical, and we’re optimistic this small bump in the road blocking normal, robust sales will soon pass.”

With three agents besides himself, John sees a bright future for San Felipe and his company. “Mexico is a friendly place to live and it is more affordable than many other places in the world, and these two key factors will continue to attract investors and retirees from the U.S. and Canada.” He hopes to foster more broker-to-broker cooperation in marketing properties in Baja. He says, “When agents from many offices show the same property, the property will sell much quicker.”

When asked to advise those seeking careers in real estate, he responds, “There is a real thrill in helping people find something that is going to be life-changing, in a positive way. Being a good, professional real estate agent requires a commitment to excellence.”

Its Getting Cold at the Border

By Larry Arredondo

It’s becoming less and less a privilege to be an American citizen when we re-enter the United States. All will be treated with suspicion and must prove they belong in the U.S. when crossing the border headed north. The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and the U.S. Department of State (DOS) have issued a statement reminding the traveling public that as of Jan. 31, 2008, all adult travelers will be required to present proof of citizenship, such as a birth certificate, AND proof of identity, such as a driver's license, when entering the United States through land and sea ports of entry. It might take as much preparation and documentation to get back into the U.S. as it does to leave it.

Currently, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers may accept oral declarations of citizenship from U.S. and Canadian citizens entering the United States through a land or sea border. As of January 31, 2008, your word alone will be no good anymore. U.S. and Canadian citizens ages 19 and older will need to present a government-issued photo ID, such as a driver's license, along with proof of citizenship, such as a birth certificate or naturalization certificate. Children ages 18 and under will only be required to present proof of citizenship, such as a birth certificate. Passports and trusted traveler program cards - NEXUS, SENTRI and FAST - will continue to be accepted for cross-border travel. So if you’re already approved for the SENTRI lanes crossing the border, you’re in good shape. All existing nonimmigrant visa and passport requirements will remain in effect and will not be altered by this change.

DHS claims this change is a necessary step to prepare travelers and ease the transition to future requirements of the Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative (WHTI). I suppose this means the regulations are going to become even more fun. Part of the purpose of WHTI is to establish documentation requirements for travelers entering the United States who were previously exempt, including citizens of the U.S., Canada, and Bermuda. As recommended by the 9/11 Commission, Congress enacted WHTI in the Intelligence Reform and Terrorism Prevention Act of 2004, and it is hoped that WHTI will result in both enhanced security and increased facilitation across the border once implemented. During this transition, DHS and the Department of State say they are working diligently to minimize the impact on legitimate trade and travel.

DOS is stating that the current turnaround time for a passport is four to six weeks, so if you don’t have a passport already, now is the time to get it. It’s very important to have all our “docs in a row” with the climate changes at the border. These websites will help. For information about U.S. Passports visit www.travel.state.gov or call 1-877-487-2778. Specific documentation requirements for land, sea and air travel may be found at www.cbpgov/xp/cgov/travel/vacation/ready_set_go/. To learn about NEXUS, SENTRI and FAST, visit www.cbp.gov/xp/cgov/travel/trusted_traveler/. Happy border hopping.

Coffee Shop to Bistro in 30 Days or Less

By John Pack

The Coffee Shop in north San Felipe has moved. Owners Nate and Jackie Morace lost their lease on their coffee shop and in a week to the day, found a new home.

Lose a lease, gain a new building. That’s what happened to Nate and Jackie Morace. Owners of the coffee Shop in north San Felipe, they lost their lease and in a week to the day, found a new home. When venerable Sam Grubb of San Felipe Storage heard of their plight, he agreed to construct a new building that would allow them to expand.

The coffee shop is being transformed into a bistro format featuring Mark Dille, former owner and chef of Baja Bistro, a popular gringo takeout from over 3 years ago. The menu will include stuffed cabbage rolls, Cobb, Caesar and other fresh salads, plus a burger and fries basket. Saturday and Sunday brunches will feature Italian and Mexican fusion dishes. “The two foods cross paths well,” says Mark.

The bistro offers both covered and open air patios. Tables and chairs are from Baja Furnishings, Jackie’s interior design studio, where you can shop by catalog for a single piece of furniture, a whole room or a whole house.

The building will be on the northwest corner of highway 5, outside of San Felipe Storage. A new local construction company CanaMex is handling construction, and will take only 30 days from ground breaking to completion. In the meantime, Nate and Jackie have temporarily opened the coffee shop in the storage office. The plan is to be in the new building in mid-January. For those who’ve been asking, Iris is coming back to the new bistro. She’s currently on vacation in Honduras.

Jaunito in Ejido is a new addition to dining north of town

by John Pack

When something great comes to San Felipe, the buzz really gets around. Open only a few short weeks, Juanitos is the surprise winner of “Best Restaurant For Mexican Food” in The Best of San Felipe voting. This small restaurant on the north end of the Ejido, next to Moto 2000, is the latest entry into an already fabulous dining community.

Owner and Chef Juan Aguilar Rodriguez is a life long resident of San Felipe. His favorite dishes are fish and shrimp, like Shrimp Garlic Style or the large grilled shrimp Brochetas de Camaron, both $8.50. Or your choice of Breaded Shrimp, Ranch Style Shrimp, Spicy Style Shrimp, and Fish Garlic Style for just $6.00. There’s Fish Veracruzana Style, grilled and breaded or the combination of Filet with Shrimp for only $9.00.

Along with the wonderful selection of shrimp and fish, Juanitos whips up the most flavorful Mexican standards such as beef and chicken enchiladas, tacos and burritos dinners for $4.00, or combinations for $4.50.

If you’re in the mood for steak, they also have Filet Mignon for $9.00, a New York for $9.00 or a combination of Filet Mignon and Shrimp for only $12.00. For lunch you have a choice of Tortas for $2.50 or burgers and fries for $3.50.

A large breakfast selection rounds out the menu, everything from standard huevos and meat to omelets and hotcakes for $3.50, or Chilaquiles with eggs for $4.00. Juanitos’ menu is simple and affordable. Comfortable seating inside or outside for quintessential Mexican dining.

Best of San Felipe Q - Z

BEST REAL ESTATE BROKER
Amor Properties
Uria Amor has been selling real estate since 1993, and after falling in love with San Felipe and working as an agent for another real estate company, she opened Amor Property nearly four year ago. She not only matches qualified buyers with sellers, but also provides many additional services a new resident might need to live and work in Baja.

BEST REAL ESTATE AGENT
Glenda Rohner at Call Margaret
For a person who initially did not want to live here, Glenda now exemplifies the spirit of San Felipe. She’s a winner because, as one reader stated "she is the most dependable and upbeat real estate person in San Felipe. Her personality and charm add to the appeal of San Felipe!" See Glenda at Call Margaret Realty next to Yetmail on Mar de Cortez.

BEST REASON TO LIVE IN SAN FELIPE
The people and the weather
Imagine having a category as broad as "Best Reason to Live in San Felipe" and readers could vote anything their hearts desired; beach and golfing, relaxing and doing nothing, anything. But, almost unanimously, readers commented consistently, "people and the weather", "people and the weather", "people and the weather." Apparently we all love the weather and each other. Salud!

BEST RESTAURANT FOR ROMANCE
The Latin Garden
SEE BEST RESTAURANT FOR NON-MEXICAN

BEST RESTAURANT
Paco and Miguel
The one thing we all desire with excellent gourmet food is great personal service to the dinning table. At Paco & Miguel's restaurant you will find it. The seating is limited so reservations are needed. Be prepared to be served several courses of delightful gourmet dishes and be pampered with great service. You are allowed to bring your own wine or beverage.

BEST RESTAURANT FOR GLUTTONS
Cliff & Sue's Los Arcos Restaurant
Any good glutton knows that not only does the food have to taste good and have a modest price, its got to be served in glutton quantities. Cliff & Sue know how to put on a spread and in addition to their special holiday dinners, they do it nightly. Look for them at the Arches.

BEST RESTAURANT FOR MEXICAN FOOD
Juanitos
This is a surprising winner, not because of the food, but because the restaurant is so new. This win is must be a testimony to the food. The owner Juan offers great food at a good price. New in the ejido, next to Moto 2000. One reader said they would travel miles to eat there.

BEST RESTAURANT NON-MEXICAN FOOD
Latin Garden Restaurante
This new restaurant has taken San Felipe by storm and the readers have made it clear by giving Latin Garden a win in two categories; Best Non-Mexican Restaurant and Best Romantic Restaurant. There is no question this is the most romantic, non-Mexican dining experience in San Felipe. Wonderful ambiance, with lush garden setting, set with romantic lighting and of course incredible food, great drinks, and nice wine selection.

BEST RESTAURANT FOR SEAFOOD
La Vaquita
Whether its fish, shrimp, squid, clams or a fresh salad, you'll find a tasty selection of "right out of the sea” offerings, including (only for the adventurous palate) Caldo de Siete Mares (soup of the seven seas) which combines fish, shrimp, octopus, squid, clams, crab, and scallops into a delightful broth. La Vaquita is just off the Malecón on Mar de Cortez, right next to Licores San Felipe.

BEST SERVICE ORGANIZATION
Los Amigas
Club Las Amigas is a non-profit organization comprised of international women who live either part time or full time in San Felipe. Their primary objective is to further the education of local Mexican children who desire to achieve their fullest potential, but need financial help to do so. For more information about the club please contact President: Shirley Brodwolf 686-577-3075

BEST STEAK HOUSE
Baja Mar Steak house
Manuel, the owner, takes great pride in finding the best meat purveyors, making sure the mesquite fires are started early in the day so the coals are just right for sizzling steak perfection, and having charming servers that make elegant meal presentations. A dining experience that you will enjoy and long remember.

BEST SWEETS & DESSERT
Chocolate Lovers
Dedicated to helping those less fortunate around the world, in the hopes of saving the unfortunate from the depths of despair. There to serve your wanton, decadent, lustful needs. This is the chapel of chocolate and they will lift you out of the abyss and put back on the true path to enlightenment.

BEST TACO STAND
Tacos el Memo
The taco stand is as iconic to Mexico as the tequila. Many people see visions of taco stands when they think about Mexican food, and for many this winner is the very best San Felipe has to offer. Tacos have limited ingredients, so when someone wins big you gotta find out why - across from Video Agora on Chetumal.

BEST TATTOO SHOP
Baja Ink Spot
Probably not the toughest category in San Felipe being the only one. But that doesn't stop voters from being heard and when it comes to tattoos they rattled the roof! The cleanest tattoo parlor you will ever see in Mexico, and their artist are local, professional and friendly.

BEST WAITER
Juanito NEED LAST NAME waiter at El Nido
What people don't know about this #1 is that in addition to best the Best Waiter, Juanito works days gardening. When you're enjoying all those fresh vegetables with your dinner, they may have come from Juanito's garden. Always attentive and friendly, he makes everyone feel like a regular.

BEST WEBSITE
Blue Roadrunnner
Randy Kerr wins this category, not only for number of votes, but according to you voters, also for best local site for in-depth information on San Felipe and great writing.

BEST WiFi LOCATION
Fandangos
When it comes to getting online there are a few qualifications to quality Internet access, not necessarily in this order; first, its easy to connect with no login or hassles, second, its fast, high speed access, third, you have a place to sit and work. Oh yeah – must serve cold cervesa. This winner has them all! And soon they'll be serving food.

Best of San Felipe M - P

BEST MARGARITA
Barefoot Bar
There’s a rumor that its called the Barefoot Bar because these margaritas will blow your socks off. As one reader stated "They aren't afraid to put the booze in their Margarita's. Compared to these Margaritas, most others taste more like soda pop." At the El Cortez Hotel at the south end of Mar de Cortez.

BEST MARKET
Hipon Mercado
This #1 is a real treasure and nearly as hard to find. There’s a huge produce section, large meat department with full-time butchers and a terrific selection of canned goods and just about anything else you’d want in your pantry or refrigerator - and the prices are the lowest in town. Finding this treasure will definitely turn up gold!

BEST MEAT MARKET
Z market (Zamaniegos)
"Where's the beef – and all the other fresh and tasty meats?” For San Felipe there’s only one answer. According to readers this winner has got the beef. From the choicest cuts to skilled butchers to the high quality of their meats, people love this market. On Mar Caribe Norte.

BEST MONTH OF THE YEAR
October
October means the beginning of cooler weather, and the return of snow birds. It also marks the start of the new economic season. October is the tenth month of the year in the Gregorian Calendar and one of seven Gregorian months with a length of 31 days. In Latin, octo means "eight," reflecting the fact that October was the eighth month in the Roman calendar.

BEST MOTEL
Baja Palms Motel
When you first see the lights of San Felipe and you need a place to stay, you're almost there - this winner is the first hotel on the right: Right on the highway, Right on the price, Right on the customer service and Right on cleanliness.

BEST NIGHTCLUB
Bandidos
The stereotype of the Mexican Bandido comes to life here. Like a mustachioed thief in the night Bandidos steals this category as #1. One of the newest clubs on the San Felipe scene, it's the king of the night. On Mar de Cortez, across from the tourist office. If you don't see it, you'll hear it.

BEST NEW BIZ & COFFEEHOUSE
Tattoo Rose Cafe
In a Coup de Café, this winner take two categories in one swoop - The Best New Business and Best Coffeehouse. This business was here once before, then went away, only to rise from the coffee grounds, this time to stay. Great service and wonderful atmosphere. A San Felipe Starbucks at half the cost. Oh yeah, they have great food too!

BEST PIZZA
Sand Rail Pizza
This is a category with passion, so many choices and so many favorites. Eeking out a win over their in-town competitors is a clear favorite for north San Felipe residences. Great hand-tossed pizza delivered in the familiar San Rail VW bug. This just shows you where all the pizza munchers live.

BEST PLACE TO HIKE
The Shrine
The Virgin of Guadalupe shrine sits above the North end of San Felipe Bay. San Felipe offers many great places to hike, but our readers enjoy this one most. Whether you make the trek from the Malecón, or you park in the cul-de-sac next to the Lighthouse,; you'll love the shrine at sunrise, overlooking the sea and the Malecón. As one reader says, "The view is always familiar, but always different.”

BEST PLACE TO TAKE OUT OF TOWN GUESTS
Al's Backstreet Bar & Jimmy’s Backstreet Patio Grill
The location is picturesque, the patrons – well - colorful. Its a must for out of town guests. No tour of our village is complete without it. Whether its an amazing dinner at Jimmy's or Al's home made tequila he calls Cholla, this is an experience not to be missed. Al, his wife Amapola and Jimmy make this the place to be.

BEST PRODUCE
Cachanilla Swap meet
Where better to find the Best Fresh Produce (we know that non-fresh couldn't be best, but work with us) than the weekly farmers market at the weekly swap meet of course. This winner is #1 in fresh every Saturday morning at Cachanilla Swap meet.

BEST PUBLIC ART
San Felipe Arches
Majestic white arches extend 60 feet into the air to greet you when you enter San Felipe on the highway. Built in 1980, this monument is the result of an agreement by the four states enclosing the Sea of Cortez (Baja California Norte, Baja California Sur, Sinaloa, and Sonora) to encourage tourism to the Sea of Cortez, and has become the single-most recognizable symbol of San Felipe.

BEST PUBLIC RESTROOM
PEMEX - east of the circle
It is sometimes painfully obvious that public restroom standards are quite different here than they are in the States. Happily, there are exceptions. This business takes enough pride in itself and cares enough about it's customers to provide a clean facility. According the readers in the know, this is the place to go.

Best of San Felipe D - L

BEST DAY TRIP
Bahia Christina
Great little trip four miles past Puertecitos. Nice little cover with a restaurant and beach front rentals. Good food, great service and a breath-taking view. The last four miles are a bit bumpy, but a little kidney jarring is well worth the trip.

BEST DELI
Sundance Deli at Playa de Oro
Imagine sitting around the cracker barrel in an old time mercantile or walking into your favorite New York-style deli. At Sundance, you’ll find mouth watering bakery goods from Gilles’ oven wonderful salads, sliced meats and cheeses, handcrafted sandwiches made to order, along with hard to find items like sourdough bread, Parmesan cheese, Greek olives and more. A taste of home, to eat there or take out.

BEST DENTIST
California Dental Spa
A dentist who sings while giving you the perfect smile, that's Melina California Fierros. She's professional, gentle, and a perfectionist. Melina uses her excellent dental skills to work wonders on your teeth while keeping her fees very affordable. Visit her new office next to Sea Star on Mar del Caribe Sur.

BEST DEVELOPMENT
Playa de Oro
Playa de Oro is one of the cleanest and best properties for sale in Mexico” according to First American Title Insurance Corp. and our readers. This gated community offers 24/7 security, underground electricity, city water, mailbox center, convenience store, commercial center, bakery & deli, and bar & grill, along with some of the finest homes in San Felipe.

BEST FISH MARKET
Ruben's
One of the best kept secrets in San Felipe. Let’s say friends from out of town want to eat fish. “Well, go fish for some”, you might say, or just send them to Ruben's excellent fish market. Ruben Jr. can be seen working on a nice Corvina, rendering it completely boneless and as flat as a flour tortilla. Delicious.

BEST FISHING TOUR
Tony Reyes
From humble, auspicious beginning Tony has gone on to become one of the most well-known men in sport fishing. He came to San Felipe in 1951 after spending some time in the United States, in Tijuana and Ensenada where he learned sports fishing. He has parlayed that experience into the #1 sports fishing business in San Felipe.

BEST GAS STATION
7-11 Best gas station
As gas stations go, Pemex is always pretty consistent, but when attached to a 7-lleven it's a winning combination. The first station in town as you enter San Felipe is the #1 according readers votes. Self-serve, full-serve and largest selection on cervesa.

BEST GIFT STORE
Etcetera
Don't let size fool you, this winner is a small store with huge inventory of gifts, costume jewelry, shoes, toys and so much more. This little treasure offers a big selection at a small price. On Calle Ensenada across from the school.

BEST GROUP ACTIVITY
Name That Tune
Mischievous and cheeky, Denny Flannigan MC's the most fun allowed by law. Denny's version of Name That Tune is a musical game full of prizes and surprises. Bring the whole family to Juanitos Cantina at Ventana Del Mar, every Thursday evening at 6:30 PM. It's a blast! Check out the excitement at http://www.namethattunebaja.com/

BEST HAIRCUT
Hair by Nancy
Getting your hair done is such a personal thing for many people. You won’t find a more personable stylist than Nancy. She gives you big smile and a great style or cut. You won’t any better even in L.A. at twice the price. You can find Nancy in her hair salon upstairs in La Plazita, on Mar de Cortez.

BEST HAPPY HOUR & COCKTAILS
Jimmy's BB & G
The best part of any happy hour, is the happiness you receive and the price at which this happiness is obtained. When all that happiness is shared with a familiar face you've got a winner. In other words, getting hammered with your homies is the best! If you want to have a drink with a friend, you do it at Jimmy's.

BEST HARDWARE STORE
Maderas de San Felipe
Conveniently located on the right hand side of Chetumal as you enter San Felipe, a few meters from the Arches, Maderas de San Felipe offers most anything you need to build your home or business. With competitive prices, great service provided by knowledgeable and professional staff, you won’t find any better anywhere in Baja.

BEST HOME BUILDER
B J Sweitzer
Maybe the most competitive category, but BJ Sweitzer comes out on top. Voters' comments say it all. "brought my home in on time, on spec, and on budget!","She stood behind her product 100%", "Very, very, very good, honest and prompt.","The most honest, trustworthy and professional in the business. Absolutely beautiful homes.

BEST LANDSCAPING
Versoleil
They say the grass is always greener on the other side. Versoleil helps to make it that way. They are the landscaping artisans behind Las Caras de Mexico golf course, La Ventana del Mar, La Hacienda, and numerous residences. From design concept to plant life selection to completion of your project, they’ll bring your little piece of the desert to life.

BEST LAUNDROMAT
Wash Tub
One of the real joys of living here is having someone else do your laundry. Bill and Juanita will do it all for you! This is also San Felipe's only Dry Cleaning service. They take pride in their work and it shows in the clothes you wear. Open 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday-Saturday Call (686) 577-2001. They do it Right and Fast - and - they are bi-lingual!

BEST LIQUOR STORE
Riviera
Licores Riviera is not your average liquor store. Located in the center of town you will find they carry fresh produce, eggs, milk, bread, U.S. and Mexican newspapers, a good wine selection and novelty tequila bottles. This is why they have been voted the "Best in San Felipe".

Best of San Felipe A - C

,BEST ARCHITECT
Rosalina Ramos Lazcano
Born in Mexicali, she has spent most of her life in San Felipe. She started her architectural career here 20 years ago and continues to contribute and be an inspiration to the local community. Rosalina mixes a humanistic approach into her architectural technique to give her clients a fresh and unique design experience.

BEST ART GALLERY
Baja Nueva
Several years of design work with builders and homeowners in Arizona, made it easy for Sharon and Jerry Lankin to decide to continue that work in San Felipe. Baja Nueva is the result of that decision. Its a lovely shop with beautiful artwork, paintings, glass work, home accessories, candles, and gifts!

BEST ARTIST
Andrena Joyce
A resident of San Felipe since 2005 and a visitor with her family since the mid 1970's, Andrena has been painting for 8 years and describes her art as playful. She loves creating colorful art in various mediums, including acrylics, oils, watercolors, collage, and inks. "It's all about play for me - play therapy!

BEST AUTO MECHANIC
Juan Gallo
Years of keeping off-road racing vehicles from disintegrating in the harsh Baja terrain gives Juan Gallo the skill and temperament to fix just about anything on wheels. His legions of satisfied customers attest to his versatility, his great service and professionalism. And for those who still have difficulty with the local language, he speaks English.

BEST BAKERY
Panaderia Especial
When it comes to fresh baked goods, this winner takes the cake. The wonderful aromas that come only from freshly-baked Mexican and American breads captivate the senses and render you helpless to resist. Baked fresh daily, you’ll find a variety of breads, cakes, pastries and more. Their Apple Fritters are great! On Mar Caribe Norte.

BEST BAND
Agave Blues
This winner brings a solid blues and rock sound to San Felipe weekly as the house band at Jimmy's Beach Bar & Grill at Playa de Oro. This 5-piece ensemble is sharp and polished with both a soulful and rockin' edge. Each member is an accomplished musician and it shows in their tight sound.

BEST BAR
Fandango's Sports Bar
If you don't have a buddy whose house has a huge game room and a fully-stocked bar, Fandango's is the next best thing. If you don't have friends when you arrive, you’ll have a whole bunch when you leave. If you want games, pool, music and friends along with your favorite drink, this is the place.

BEST BARTENDER
Pedro
A cantinero is more than a bartender. He’s funny, sympathetic, a psychologist and – oh yeah – he can whip up just that special concoction to warm you up on the inside and cool your spirit on the outside. From Al's Bar to the Lighthouse and now Fandango's, Pedro has become San Felipe’s own world class cantinero indeed.

BEST BEACH
Cantu's Cove
Coronel Esteban Cantu Jimenez, governor of the District of Northern Baja from 1915 to 1920, was a brilliant man not only for his accomplishments, but also for having the most incredible beach in San Felipe named after him. We can't tell you where it is - certain people would have us permanently silenced - but if you can find it, it's truly a special place.

BEST BOUTIQUE
Lillyannas
Lillyannas Day Spa has set the bar in San Felipe for beauty care and cosmetics. This is a full service salon, newly expanded with additional manicure stations, permanent make-up and massage. Veronica and the rest of staff are always a pleasure and make every visit a memorable experience.

BEST BREAKFAST
Baja Java
As one voter said, "Best Bagel in the World! Karen is wonderful and so is her crew.” That pretty well covers it, good food with a sea view. Start your morning off right with coffee better than the famous Seattle brand, freshly-baked bagels and friendly service. The sign that says "reserved for a San Diego Charger fan” is where you will usually find owner Karen Bradley.

BEST BURGER
Chilis n beer
This is the latest entry onto the San Felipe burger scene. Not only do they offer traditional burger fair, but they will build you one of 10 other beefy beauties that will satisfy the most demanding burger connoisseur. Soothe your burger cravings at La Plazita on Mar de Cortez, upstairs across from Bancomer.

BEST CHARITY
San Felipe Animal Rescue
Founded in 2002 by Ronda Walpole, San Felipe Animal Rescue is a committed group of animal lovers from both Mexico and the USA. Their goal is to stop the needless suffering of the estimated 8,000 -10,000 stray and indigent animals, living on the streets and in the desert of San Felipe. Through spaying/neutering and education, SFAR is striving to achieve zero population growth.

BEST CHEAP EATS
Adrianna Fish Tacos
Hands down the Best Cheap Eats in San Felipe. Maria creates fantastic fish tacos every time. Only $2 gets you two incredible fish tacos with rice, beans, chips, salsa and guacamole. Adrianna's is the taco stand next to Bar Miramar on the Malecón.

BEST CHEF
Martin Coleman - El Dorado Ranch
Chef Martin Coleman brings award winning renown for his cutting edge culinary innovation to San Felipe, Baja. As Corporate Executive Chef for Pavilions, Juanitos, Estrella del Mar (Mazatlan) and Club Havana Hotel his influence is certainly visible. He was recently named one of the Top One Hundred International Chefs, and will receive the award in Paris this spring.

Rotary Club of San Felipe Information and Orientation Meeting Invitation

Rotary Club of San Felipe Information and Orientation Meeting Invitation

The Latin Garden Restaurant will play host to The Rotary Club of San Felipe information and orientation evening on Tuesday, January 15 at 5:00 PM. Members, friends of Rotary and non-members are all welcome to learn more about The Rotary Club of San Felipe, its community service activities, and Rotary International. The Latin Garden Restaurant is located at km 181 North San Felipe, next to Baja Nueva Design and Decoration studio. For more information call: Annika VanSpankeren at 686-186-8974.

San Felipe Christmas Light Parade

by Juan Tapia

For a small port town in the middle of the Baja desert, San Felipe packs an impressive little Xmas parade. El Desfile de Luces, goes on every year with a good number of trailer platforms and other vehicles decorated with lights, tinsel and a bunch of munchkins dressed as miniature Santas, elves, raindeers and other denizens of Yule time.

The streets are lined with happy faces, and kids scurrying about to catch candy from the floats.
This year, perhaps for reasons of the change of guard at the Delegación, there was little notice and the event was missed by some.

In past parades, barney cars (sand modified vehicles) from the snowbird ranks would participate and help in the general glee. We hope next year to have them back and join the fun.
FELIZ NAVIDAD a todos en San Felipe!!

The Taste of San Felipe – El Sabor de San Felipe

by Pim VanSisseren

Taste of San Felipe. The Rotary Club of San Felipe, takes place on January 22, 2008.

Still not full after all that gorging during the Holidays? “The Taste of San Felipe” comes to the rescue. Sponsored by The Rotary Club of San Felipe, this eating binge takes place on January 22, 2008. Over 20 of our most popular eating establishments, from taco stands to large restaurants, will prepare samples of their specialties to fill whatever space you have left in your gut. Proceeds fund the many community projects the Rotary Club undertakes in San Felipe and helps the club to obtain grants from the Rotary International Foundation. Tickets are only $ 15.00 or 160 pesos and are available at the People’s Gallery, at the Cachanilla Vendor’s Market on Saturday mornings, and from all Rotary Club members. The tasting runs from 1:00 PM to 3:00 PM. You are free to choose the order in which you wish to visit the food purveyors. Your taste buds will thank you.

Elegancia Muebles

His name is Jesus Sanchez and he’s an architect by trade. But his business is furniture. And if you haven’t noticed, there’s a new, large building on the road to the airport in the Playas de San Felipe section of town. Its the newest independent furniture business in San Felipe, Elegancia Muebles. According to Jesus, residents of San Felipe have been clamoring for an establishment that offers a variety of styles and choices, good quality, and affordable prices. That just hasn’t existed here until now.

Elegancia Muebles, which means Elegant Furniture, carries everything from classic styles to contemporary to Mexican Rustic. They specialize in nothing but furniture. You won’t find appliances, electronics or anything else that doesn’t belong in a fine furniture store. While there is a showroom floor with furniture on display, much of what they offer can be ordered from the many manufacturers’ and wholesalers’ catalogs they carry. You’ll find names like Aico, Fairmont Designs, Ashley, La-Z-Boy, Home Elegance, Primo International and Coaster, all makers and wholesalers of the finest furniture and accessories.

Primo International is also a world class mattress manufacturer. This means Jesus plans to be full-service, from living room to dining room to bedroom and everything in between. With over nine years in the home furnishings business, Jesus knows what it takes to please home builders and home owners. The store is open Monday thru Friday from 9 A.M. to 5 P.M., Saturdays 9 A.M. to 5 P.M., and Sundays 10 A.M. to 4 P.M.

Latin Garden Restaurant and Baja Nueva, a Design and Decorating

By Robin Waters

When love of what you do meets opportunity, often a creative new business emerges. Witness Baja Nueva Design and Decorating Studio. Born of the desire to transfer her career from Scottsdale, Arizona to San Felipe, Baja Nueva allows owner Sharon Lankin to continue the career she started in Scottsdale. She and husband Jerry, came to San Felipe three and a half years ago after living 30 years in Scottsdale, to explore potential investments. They bought some land and built a house to sell. Throughout the process, they asked themselves, “Why are we going back?” They put their Arizona home on the market and it sold in one day. “Now what are we going to do, retire or ??” As they were completing construction on the house, Sharon discovered she still loved her Scottsdale career, and decided to continue her design work with builders and homeowners in San Felipe. When the Lankins met Stephanie and Jesus to discuss adding a wine and cheese bar to the design studio, Latin Garden was born.

Baja Nueva carries items from small California artisans, hand painted handbags from Tucson, glass from Poland, as well as pieces from Africa and Ecuador and elsewhere around the globe. Sharon offers color and design services, complete furniture packages and accessories for your home. There is a lot of excitement about this new dining and art experience, and Sharon is not letting the excitement wane. Her first Artists’ Reception is planned for January 24th from 2pm -5pm.

Sharon met artist and chef, Michael Cunningham and mentioned she needed something special for a large wall in her home. Three months later a collage mysteriously representing the Lankins’ life story (which Michael didn’t know) was unveiled at a poolside brunch. Sharon says the symbolism to their life was so amazing she was in tears.

Michael is an award winning Executive Chef and graduate of the California Culinary Academy. In 2000 he followed his other love, and became a full time artist and gallery owner. His list of exhibitions, commissions and collectors is dazzling. You can see his art and list of credits at: www.cunninghamgallery.com. Baja Nueva also carries many of his art works.

January 25, 2008 at 2:00 pm, you are invited to Baja Nueva where Michael will create a 20x20 painting and discuss the process while he works. The painting will be auctioned off to benefit the Rotary Foundation. The following night he will don his Chefs hat once again and prepare Gumbo and Rice with all the accoutrements at Latin Garden. Reservations for this unique culinary event are highly recommended. Call U.S. (602) 803-5990 or 686-211-4676 locally. Find them at KM 183 north of San Felipe. E-mail them at: Bajanueva@aol.com

The 40th Annual Tecate Score Baja 1000

by Paco Clark

The 40th Annual Tecate Score Baja 1000 held November 11-16, 2007 may have been the ultimate test for all classes of off-road vehicles but perhaps the greatest challenge is that of being a spectator. Ensenada officials estimate that as many as 500,000 race fans crowded the starting line to cheer their favorite drivers on their way down the 1,296 mile course to Cabo San Lucas. There is no way to count all the fans, farmers, ranchers, screaming school children and curious on-lookers in the towns, villages, deserts, beaches and mountains of Baja.

Although the race did not come through San Felipe, it was well represented by die-hard race fans like Dave Dietrich who left early to see the leaders thunder into Cabo. El Dorado Resident Jere Hooper found his spot high in the San Pedro de Martir above Mike’s Sky Ranch. My son Hal Jr. and his friends Tom and Cullen flew in from Colorado to see their very first Baja Mil. We arrived in Ensenada on Sunday so we could be there for contingency the next day. That rainy evening in Ensenada, we ran into long time San Felipe resident Bob Ham, who was inducted into the Off-Road Hall of Fame in Reno Nevada in 2006.

Sorry, no bleachers, reserved seats or corporate sky boxes here. Just decide how far you are willing to drive, where you want to watch, pick a spot or try and hop along the course. Most of the course is not accessible by family sedan and few spots come close to a paved highway. This is pure, rugged “spectatoring”. Wanting to get as far south as possible and still see the leaders in daylight, we chose the tiny village of Guayaquil, southeast of El Rosario off Highway 1 at Race Mile 369. Once the leaders blasted through and darkness fell over the Viscaino Desert we headed south to Bahia de Los Angeles, arrived around midnight, and bathed in the glare of floodlights from the pits at Checkpoint #5 – Race Mile 519 – 777 miles to go.

The lead motorcycles beat us to the Bay of Los Angeles but we were there to see the lead Trophy Trucks roar into downtown like something out of a science fiction movie. With up to ten HID off-road lights blazing a white tunnel into the darkness, the thunder and vibrations of the Trophy Truck at full throttle shattered the serenity of the still desert air. We set up camp just a few feet off the pavement as it turns hard right out of town. Even spectators are called in to assist riders and drivers with mechanical or physical problems, provide nourishment, water or aid in communication by relaying information to other crewmembers or officials. You gladly do whatever you can. You are dusty, sweaty, gritty, greasy and sometimes bloody, but through it all you smile, yell and cheer with high-fives all around – then you find a shady quiet place to sleep.

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

BEST OF SAN FELIPE 2007


2007 "Best Of" winners are San Felipe Baja California only. 



1. BEST ARCHITECT
Rosalina Ramos Lazcano
Born in Mexicali, she has spent most of her life in San Felipe. She started her architectural career here 20 years ago and continues to contribute and be an inspiration to the local community. Rosalina mixes a humanistic approach into her architectural technique to give her clients a fresh and unique design experience.


2. BEST ART GALLERY
Baja Nueva
Several years of design work with builders and homeowners in Arizona, made it easy for Sharon and Jerry Lankin to decide to continue that work in San Felipe. Baja Nueva is the result of that decision. Its a lovely shop with beautiful artwork, paintings, glass work, home accessories, candles, and gifts!


3. BEST BAND
Agave Blues
This winner brings a solid blues and rock sound to San Felipe weekly as the house band at Jimmy’s Beach Bar & Grill at Playa de Oro. This 5-piece ensemble is sharp and polished with both a soulful and rockin’ edge. Each member is an accomplished musician and it shows in their tight sound.


4. BEST BEACH
Cantu’s Cove
Coronel Esteban Cantu Jimenez, governor of the District of Northern Baja from 1915 to 1920, was a brilliant man not only for his accomplishments, but also for having the most incredible beach in San Felipe named after him. We can’t tell you where it is - certain people would have us permanently silenced - but if you can find it, it’s truly a special place.


5. BEST BURGER
Chilis n beer
This is the latest entry onto the San Felipe burger scene. Not only do they offer traditional burger fair, but they will build you one of 10 other beefy beauties that will satisfy the most demanding burger connoisseur. Soothe your burger cravings at La Plazita on Mar de Cortez, upstairs across from Bancomer.

6. BEST CHEF
Martin Coleman - El Dorado Ranch
Chef Martin Coleman brings award winning renown for his cutting edge culinary innovation to San Felipe, Baja. As Corporate Executive Chef for Pavilions, Juanitos, Estrella del Mar (Mazatlan) and Club Havana Hotel his influence is certainly visible. He was recently named one of the Top One Hundred International Chefs, and will receive the award in Paris this spring.


7. BEST DAY TRIP
Bahia Christina
Great little trip four miles past Puertecitos. Nice little cover with a restaurant and beach front rentals. Good food, great service and a breath-taking view. The last four miles are a bit bumpy, but a little kidney jarring is well worth the trip.


8. BEST DENTIST
California Dental Spa
A dentist who sings while giving you the perfect smile, that’s Melina California Fierros. She’s professional, gentle, and a perfectionist. Melina uses her excellent dental skills to work wonders on your teeth while keeping her fees very affordable. Visit her new office next to Sea Star on Mar del Caribe Sur.


9. BEST GIFT STORE
Etcetera
Don’t let size fool you, this winner is a small store with huge inventory of gifts, costume jewelry, shoes, toys and so much more. This little treasure offers a big selection at a small price. On Calle Ensenada across from the school.


10. BEST LAUNDROMAT
Wash Tub
One of the real joys of living here is having someone else do your laundry. Bill and Juanita will do it all for you! This is also San Felipe’s only Dry Cleaning service. They take pride in their work and it shows in the clothes you wear. Open 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday-Saturday Call (686) 577-2001. They do it Right and Fast - and - they are bi-lingual!


11. BEST MARGARITA
Barefoot Bar
There’s a rumor that its called the Barefoot Bar because these margaritas will blow your socks off. As one reader stated “They aren’t afraid to put the booze in their Margarita’s. Compared to these Margaritas, most others taste more like soda pop.” At the El Cortez Hotel at the south end of Mar de Cortez.


12. BEST MARKET
Hipon Mercado
This #1 is a real treasure and nearly as hard to find. There’s a huge produce section, large meat department with full-time butchers and a terrific selection of canned goods and just about anything else you’d want in your pantry or refrigerator - and the prices are the lowest in town. Finding this treasure will definitely turn up gold!


13. BEST MONTH OF THE YEAR
October
October means the beginning of cooler weather, and the return of snow birds. It also marks the start of the new economic season. October is the tenth month of the year in the Gregorian Calendar and one of seven Gregorian months with a length of 31 days. In Latin, octo means “eight,” reflecting the fact that October was the eighth month in the Roman calendar.


14. BEST MOTEL
Baja Palms Motel
When you first see the lights of San Felipe and you need a place to stay, you’re almost there - this winner is the first hotel on the right: Right on the highway, Right on the price, Right on the customer service and Right on cleanliness.


15. BEST NEW BIZ & COFFEEHOUSE
Tattoo Rose Cafe
In a Coup de Café, this winner take two categories in one swoop - The Best New Business and Best Coffeehouse. This business was here once before, then went away, only to rise from the coffee grounds, this time to stay. Great service and wonderful atmosphere. A San Felipe Starbucks at half the cost. Oh yeah, they have great food too!


16. BEST NIGHTCLUB
Bandidos
The stereotype of the Mexican Bandido comes to life here. Like a mustachioed thief in the night Bandidos steals this category as #1. One of the newest clubs on the San Felipe scene, it’s the king of the night. On Mar de Cortez, across from the tourist office. If you don’t see it, you’ll hear it.


17. BEST PLACE TO HIKE
The Shrine
The Virgin of Guadalupe shrine sits above the North end of San Felipe Bay. San Felipe offers many great places to hike, but our readers enjoy this one most. Whether you make the trek from the Malecón, or you park in the cul-de-sac next to the Lighthouse,; you’ll love the shrine at sunrise, overlooking the sea and the Malecón. As one reader says, “The view is always familiar, but always different.”


18. BEST RESTAURANT
Paco and Miguel
The one thing we all desire with excellent gourmet food is great personal service to the dinning table. At Paco & Miguel’s restaurant you will find it. The seating is limited so reservations are needed. Be prepared to be served several courses of delightful gourmet dishes and be pampered with great service. You are allowed to bring your own wine or beverage.


19. BEST RESTAURANT NONMEXICAN FOOD & BEST
ROMANTIC RESTAURANT
Latin Garden Restaurante
This new restaurant has taken San Felipe by storm and the readers have made it clear by giving Latin Garden a win in two categories; Best Non-Mexican Restaurant and Best Romantic Restaurant. There is no question this is the most romantic, non-Mexican dining experience in San Felipe. Wonderful ambiance, with lush garden setting, set with romantic lighting and of course incredible food, great drinks, and nice wine selection.


20. BEST SALON
Lillyannas
Lillyannas Day Spa has set the bar in San Felipe for beauty care and cosmetics. This is a full service salon, newly expanded with additional manicure stations, permanent make-up and massage. Veronica and the rest of staff are always a pleasure and make every visit a memorable experience.


21. BEST SERVICE ORGANIZATION
Los Amigas
Club Las Amigas is a non-profit organization comprised of international women who live either part time or full time in San Felipe. Their primary objective is to further the education of local Mexican children who desire to achieve their fullest potential, but need financial help to do so. For more information about the club please contact President: Shirley Brodwolf 686-577-3075


22. BEST TATTOO SHOP
Baja Ink Spot
Probably not the toughest category in San Felipe being the only one. But that doesn’t stop voters from being heard and when it comes to tattoos they rattled the roof! The cleanest tattoo parlor you will ever see in Mexico, and their artist are local, professional and friendly.


23. BEST ARTIST
Andrena Joyce
A resident of San Felipe since 2005 and a visitor with her family since the mid 1970’s, Andrena has been painting for 8 years and describes her art as playful. She loves creating colorful art in various mediums, including acrylics, oils, watercolors, collage, and inks. “It’s all about play for me - play therapy!


24. BEST AUTO MECHANIC
Juan Gallo
Years of keeping off-road racing vehicles from disintegrating in the harsh Baja terrain gives Juan Gallo the skill and temperament to fix just about anything on wheels. His legions of satisfied customers attest to his versatility, his great service and professionalism. And for those who still have difficulty with the local language, he speaks English.


25. BEST BREAKFAST
Baja Java
As one voter said, “Best Bagel in the World! Karen is wonderful and so is her crew.” That pretty well covers it, good food with a sea view. Start your morning off right with coffee better than the famous Seattle brand, freshly-baked bagels and friendly service. The sign that says “reserved for a San Diego Charger fan” is where you will usually find owner Karen Bradley.


26. BEST CHARITY
San Felipe Animal Rescue
Founded in 2002 by Ronda Walpole, San Felipe Animal Rescue is a committed group of animal lovers from both Mexico and the USA. Their goal is to stop the needless suffering of the estimated 8,000 -10,000 stray and indigent animals, living on the streets and in the desert of San Felipe. Through spaying/neutering and education, SFAR is striving to achieve zero population growth.


27. BEST DELI
Sundance Deli at Playa de Oro
Imagine sitting around the cracker barrel in an old time mercantile or walking into your favorite New York-style deli. At Sundance, you’ll find mouth watering bakery goods from Gilles’ oven wonderful salads, sliced meats and cheeses, handcrafted sandwiches made to order, along with hard to find items like sourdough bread, Parmesan cheese, Greek olives and more. A taste of home, to eat there or take out.


28. BEST DEVELOPMENT
Playa de Oro
Playa de Oro is one of the “cleanest and best properties for sale in Mexico” according to First American Title Insurance Corp. and our readers. This gated community offers 24/7 security, underground electricity, city water, mailbox center, convenience store, commercial center, bakery & deli, and bar & grill, along with some of the finest homes in San Felipe.


29. BEST FISHING TOUR
Tony Reyes
From humble, auspicious beginning Tony has gone on to become one of the most well-known men in sport fishing. He came to San Felipe in 1951 after spending some time in the United States, in Tijuana and Ensenada where he learned sports fishing. He has parlayed that experience into the #1 sports fishing business in San Felipe.


30. BEST GAS STATION
7-11 Best gas station
As gas stations go, Pemex is always pretty consistent, but when attached to a 7-lleven it’s a winning combination. The first station in town as you enter San Felipe is the #1 according readers votes. Self-serve, full-serve and largest selection on cervesa.


31. BEST GROUP ACTIVITY
Name That Tune
Mischievous and cheeky, Denny Flannigan MC’s the most fun allowed by law. Denny’s version of
Name That Tune is a musical game full of prizes and surprises. Bring the whole family to Juanitos Cantina at Ventana Del Mar, every Thursday evening at 6:30 PM. It’s a blast! Check out the excitement at http://www.
namethattunebaja.com/


32. BEST HAPPY HOUR & COCKTAILS
Jimmy’s Beach Bar & Grill
The best part of any happy hour, is the happiness you receive and the price at which this happiness is obtained. When all that happiness is shared with a familiar face you’ve got a winner. In other words, getting hammered with your homies is the best! If you want to have a drink with a friend, you do it at Jimmy’s.


33. BEST HARDWARE STORE
Maderas de San Felipe
Conveniently located on the right hand side of Chetumal as you enter San Felipe, a few meters from the Arches, Maderas de San Felipe offers most anything you need to build your home or business. With competitive prices, great service provided by knowledgeable and professional staff, you won’t find any better anywhere
in Baja.


34. BEST HOME BUILDER
B J Sweitzer
Maybe the most competitive category, but BJ Sweitzer comes out on top. Voters’ comments say
it all. “brought my home in on time, on spec, and on budget!”,”She stood behind her product 100%”, “Very, very, very good, honest and prompt.”,”The most honest, trustworthy and professional in the business. Absolutely beautiful homes.


35. BEST PIZZA
Sand Rail Pizza
This is a category with passion, so many choices and so many favorites. Eeking out a win over their in-town competitors is a clear favorite for north San Felipe residences. Great hand-tossed pizza delivered in the familiar San Rail VW bug. This just shows you where all the pizza munchers live.


36. BEST PLACE TO TAKE OUT OF
TOWN GUESTS
Backstreet Patio Grill & Al’s Backstreet Bar The location is picturesque, the patrons – well -
colorful. Its a must for out of town guests. No tour of our village is complete without it. Whether its an amazing dinner at Jimmy’s Patio Grill or Al’s home made tequila he calls Cholla, this is an experience not to be missed. Al, his wife Amapola and Jimmy make this the place to be.


37. BEST PRODUCE
Cachanilla Swap meet
Where better to find the Best Fresh Produce (we know that non-fresh couldn’t be best, but work with us) than the weekly farmers market at the weekly swap meet of course. Fresh every Saturday morning at Cachanilla Swap meet.


38. BEST PUBLIC RESTROOM
PEMEX - east of the circle
It is sometimes painfully obvious that public restroom standards vary greatly. Happily, there are exceptions. This business cares enough about it’s customers to provide a clean facility. This is the place to go.


39. BEST REAL ESTATE BROKER
Amor Properties
From the birth of Amor Property nearly four year ago. The winning broker not only matches qualified buyers with sellers, but also provides many additional services a new resident might need to live and work in Baja.


40. BEST REASON TO LIVE IN SAN FELIPE
The people and the weather
Imagine having readers that could vote anything their hearts desired; beach and golfing, relaxing and doing nothing, anything. But, almost unanimously, readers commented consistently, “people and the weather”. Apparently we all love the weather and each other. Salud!

41. . BEST RESTAURANT FOR SEAFOOD

La Vaquita
For the best selection of “right out of the sea” offerings, including (only for the adventurous palate) Caldo de Siete Mares (soup of the seven seas) which combines fish, shrimp, octopus, squid, clams, crab, and scallops into a delightful broth. La Vaquita is just off the Malecón on Mar de Cortez, right next to Licores San Felipe.


42. BEST STEAK HOUSE
Baja Mar Steak house
Mesquite fires are started early in the day so the coals are just right for sizzling steak perfection, and they having charming servers that make elegant meal presentations. A dining experience that you will enjoy and long remember.


43. BEST TACO STAND
Tacos el Memo
The taco stand is as iconic to Mexico as the tequila. For many this winner is the very best San Felipe has to offer. Tacos have limited ingredients, so when someone wins big you gotta find out why - across from Video Agora on Chetumal.


44. BEST WAITER
Juanito at El Nido
What people don’t know about this #1 is that in addition to best the Best Waiter, Juanito grows all those fresh vegetables you enjoy with your dinner. Always attentive and friendly, he makes everyone feel like a regular.


45. BEST BAKERY
Panaderia Especial
When it comes to fresh baked goods, this winner takes the cake. Mexican and American breads baked fresh daily, you’ll find a variety of breads, cakes, pastries and more. Their Apple Fritters are great! On Mar Caribe Norte.


46. BEST BAR
Fandango’s Sports Bar
If you don’t have a buddy whose house has a huge game room and a fully-stocked bar, Fandango’s is the next best thing. If you don’t have friends when you arrive, you’ll have a whole bunch when you leave. If you want games, pool, music and friends along with your favorite drink, this is the place.


47. BEST BARTENDER
Pedro
A cantinero is more than a bartender. He’s funny, sympathetic, a psychologist and – oh yeah – he can whip up just that special concoction to warm you up on the inside and cool your spirit on the outside. From Al’s Bar to the Lighthouse and now Fandango’s, Pedro has become San Felipe’s own world class cantinero indeed.


48. BEST CHEAP EATS
Adrianna Fish Tacos
Hands down the Best Cheap Eats in San Felipe. Maria creates fantastic fish tacos every time. Only $2 gets you two incredible fish tacos with rice, beans, chips, salsa and guacamole. Adrianna’s is the taco stand next to Bar Miramar on the Malecón.


49. BEST FISH MARKET
Ruben’s
One of the best kept secrets in San Felipe. Let’s say friends from out of town want to eat fish. “Well, go fish for some”, you might say, or just send them to Ruben’s excellent fish market. Ruben Jr. can be seen working on a nice Corvina, rendering it completely boneless and as flat as a flour tortilla. Delicious.


50. BEST HAIRCUT
Hair by Nancy
Getting your hair done is such a personal thing for many people. You won’t find a more personable stylist than Nancy. She gives you big smile and a great style or cut. You won’t any better even in L.A. at twice the price. You can find Nancy in her hair salon upstairs in La Plazita, on Mar de Cortez.


51. BEST LANDSCAPING
Versoleil
They say the grass is always greener on the other side. Versoleil helps to make it that way. They are the landscaping artisans behind Las Caras de Mexico golf course, La Ventana del Mar, La Hacienda, and numerous residences. From design concept to plant life selection to completion of your project, they’ll bring your little piece of the desert to life.


52. BEST LIQUOR STORE
Riviera
Licores Riviera is not your average liquor store. Located in the center of town you, they have groceries, U.S. and Mexican newspapers, a good wine selection and novelty tequila bottles. This is why they have been voted the “Best in San Felipe”.


53. BEST MEAT MARKET
Z market (Zamaniegos)
“Where’s the beef – and all the other fresh and tasty meats?” For San Felipe there’s only one answer. From the choicest cuts to skilled butchers to the high quality of their meats, people love this market. On Mar Caribe Norte.


54. BEST PUBLIC ART
San Felipe Arches
Majestic white arches extend 60 feet into the air to greet you when you enter San Felipe on the highway. Built in 1980, this monument is the result of an agreement by the four states enclosing the Sea of Cortez (Baja California Norte, Baja California Sur, Sinaloa, and Sonora) to encourage tourism to the Sea of Cortez, and has become the single-most recognizable symbol of San Felipe.


55. BEST REAL ESTATE AGENT
Glenda Rohner at Call Margaret
Glenda exemplifies the spirit of San Felipe. She’s a winner because, as one reader stated “she is the most dependable and upbeat real estate person in San Felipe. Her personality and charm add to the appeal of San Felipe!” See Glenda at Call Margaret Realty next to Yetmail on Mar de Cortez.


56. BEST RESTAURANT FOR GLUTTONS
Cliff & Sue’s Los Arcos Restaurant
Any good glutton knows that not only does the food have to taste good and have a modest price, its got to be served in good quantities. Cliff & Sue know how to put on a spread and in addition to their special holiday dinners, they do it nightly. Look for them at the Arches.


57. BEST RESTAURANT FOR MEXICAN FOOD
Juanitos
This is a surprising winner, not because of the food, but because the restaurant is so new. This win is must be a testimony to the food. The owner Juan offers great food at a good price. New in the ejido, next to Moto 2000. One reader said they would travel miles to eat there.


58. BEST SWEETS & DESSERT
Chocolate Lovers
Dedicated to helping those less fortunate around the world, in the hopes of saving the unfortunate from the depths of despair. There to serve your wanton, decadent, lustful needs. This is the chapel of chocolate and they will lift you out of the abyss and put back on the true path to enlightenment.


59. BEST WEBSITE
Blue Roadrunnner
Randy Kerr wins this category, not only for number of votes, but according to you voters, also for best local site for in-depth information on San Felipe and great writing.


60. BEST WiFi LOCATION
Fandangos
When it comes to getting online there are a few qualifications to quality Internet access, not necessarily in this order; first, its easy to connect with no login or hassles, second, its fast, high speed access, third, you have a place to sit and work. Oh yeah – must serve cold cervesa. This winner has them all! And soon they’ll be serving food.