Fish Tacos La Manzanilla Style
I've had a love affair with fish tacos since I was a kid and we camped on the beach at Ensenada, Baja California. My grandma would hit the streets with us kids and we would stuff our faces with all the local foods! Imagine my surprise when we arrived in La Manzanilla four years ago and no one was selling fish tacos from a stand!
We this year we have a real fish taco stand, Mitchu Tacos. It's a large truck parked by the crocodile viewing platform at the entrance to town.
You walk up, order and wait for your fresh fish tacos! They are lightly seasoned, fried to perfection and topped with red cabbage. All you have to do is add your choice of salsas or sauces. I personally really like the mango ginger sauce! But if you are a traditionalist, he also has pico de gallo and other variations of salsa.
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| Nature's Gift Persia & Middle East|
The use of cannabis seed as a source of food and oil can be traced back to the very beginnings of civilization. In sixth-century Persia a preparation of cannabis seed was named Sahdanag, meaning Royal Grain. This demonstrates the high regard the ancient Persians held for the nutritious seeds, which came from the same plant which provided them with their spiritual drink, banga.
The Jews adopted this Persian preparation of cannabis seed and retained its name of Sahadanag. Like their Persian benefactors, the Hebrews already had a long and beneficial relationship with the useful plant, known to them as qaneh-bosm, (the root name for our cannabis).
Porridges, soups and gruel
In medieval Europe, many porridges, soups and gruels contained cannabis seed and some monks were required to eat hemp seed dishes three times a day.
A soup made from hemp seeds called semientiatka is eaten ritually on Christmas Eve in Poland and Lithuania. In Latvia and Ukraine a similar meal is eaten in the celebration of Three King's Day, possibly a cultural remembrance of the Persian King's Grain.
The ancient physician Claudius Galen (130-200 AD) wrote of a cannabis seed dessert that was popular with the Romans. In this case the preparation likely included the whole flowering tops, as it was reported to leave the guests feeling warm and elated.
IndiaIn modern India, cannabis seed is still eaten by many of India's poor people. Along with other seeds, it is said to make all vegetables more palatable and complete foods.
In South Africa, Suto women not only burn cannabis flowers as an aid in childbirth, after the baby is born they also grind up the seeds with bread or mealie pap and give it to children when they are being weaned.
In this last aspect, the Suto women may have instinctively tapped into the fact that hemp seed contains rare gamma linoleic acid, a substance found in human mother's milk and few other sources.
Nature's Perfect Food
With the hemp seed's long-standing relationship with humanity, it is interesting to learn that modern science has revealed that they contain all the essential amino acids and essential fatty acids necessary for human life, as well as a rare protein known as globule edestins, which are very similar to the globulin found in human blood plasma. Because of this, cannabis seed has been touted by some as "Nature's perfect food for humanity".
"Hemp seed is used in all the Oriental nations and also in a part of Russia as food. It is grown in their fields and used as oatmeal. Millions of people every day are using hemp in the orient as food. They have been doing that for many generations, especially in periods of famine.
Hemp seeds contain the most balanced and richest natural single source of essential oils for human consumption. The EFA's not only help to restore wasting bodies, but also improve damaged immune systems, so it is not so surprising that modern researchers have studied them in relationship to the modern immune attacking AIDS.9
(Read Full Story) History of the Royal Grain
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How To Hire a Mariachi Group - A Guide to Hiring Entertainment for Company and Private Parties
How To Hire Entertainers - A Guide to Hiring Entertainment for Company and Private
By Al Lampkin
A Word About Agents
In the article 'How to Plan a Banquet,' we included a limited discussion about entertainment,
and our basic advice was to hire a competent talent agent who specializes in "casuals," which
means one-day or one-night events, such as parties, weddings, Bar and Bat Mitzvahs and
Some agents represent actors and actresses, and unless they have a department that handles
variety acts and bands, they would be of no help to you.
Some other agents handle only major attractions and celebrities, and unless you're working
with a serious budget, they won't be able to help you get a band for Aunt Sarah's 50th
A variety agent is able to help you get that close-up magician, band, and sometimes even
name entertainers like Reba McEntire or The Temptations. Those that specialize in variety
entertainment are sometimes called "full-service" agencies.
How do you tell who is a competent agent? That's a good question, because if you asked an
agent if he's competent he'd be a fool to say anything but "Of course!"
Having been in the entertainment business for over forty years, I've seen a lot of people set up
shop as agents. Some last, some don't.
A huge percentage of my business comes from people who either have used my services
before or were referred by someone who has used my services.
Finding your own entertainment can be fun. I have spent years watching other acts, bands and
attractions, and I never fail to enjoy it.
The internet is a good starting place. Try using a search engine to find what you're looking
for. You'll find listings to hire mariachi groups under mariachi-Plaza.com.
Try a search for something like "mariachi in los angeles" or "juggler orange county" or
whatever is appropriate. See what you come up with.
Beware that a beautiful website may not mean the best entertainer. Many website are not built
by the entertainer and even it is, a nice-looking website does not translate to great
Referrals from friends might be useful to you if you follow the reviewing procedures
Watch your local newspaper for entertainers that are scheduled to appear for other groups in
your area, and make it a point to catch their acts if possible. Of course, if you start going to
other events, you'll see some poor entertainment, too. (I guess it holds true that you have to
kiss a lot of frogs to find a prince!) But even that can be helpful, if you are observant and
make a note of what made the act good or bad.
Reviewing An Act/Band
If you're not working with an agent, you will need to review the act yourself. There are three
methods of reviewing an act: You can (1) go see the act perform live, (2) watch a video of
the act, or (3) have the act come audition for you.
By far the best way is to see the act perform under roughly the same set of circumstances as
your event. Seeing people perform in Las Vegas to a night-club crowd does not mean they'll
be able to perform for little Gloria's 10th birthday party (or vice versa).
The problem with going to see live performances is that it is certainly very time consuming,
and you will only be able to see a limited number of contenders before it's time to make a
decision. But on the other hand, think of the fun you'll have!
Watching DVDs is an excellent method, as you can cover a lot of ground in an evening.
Unfortunately, not all acts have DVDs or videos, and it would be a shame to eliminate a
topnotch act just because they could not supply one.
Another BIG problem with video is that many acts supply a short, edited version of their act.
This can be very deceptive. When reviewing an act by video, I always insist on (but don't
always get) an unedited version of the show. I never hire an act based on an edited video. I've
heard of instances where an act was hired because they had a very powerful video, only to
find that in their entire show, the only part that was any good was those few minutes on the
Don't be overly impressed by a DVD or video of a movie appearance, guest spot on a TV
show, or commercial. That still does not mean they can do the job you want them for.
Unless you're an agent, you can just about forget about having the act audition for you.
Maybe an act will drop off literature. In the case of a magician, mime, or similar variety act,
you may receive a short demonstration. However, this small segment along with its glib pitch
can be very deceiving.
Don't take chances; be sure of what you're buying!
When you talk to an entertainer on the phone, ask him to send his "press kit" or literature and
a DVD or video tape.
Most variety acts will have printed literature or a complete press kit (which includes a photo,
biographical information, letters of recommendation and references or list of past
Please don't be taken in by good printed material. Usually, but not always, you can get a pretty
good idea of their level of professionalism by the materials they send you.
I do know some really great acts that work all the time and have virtually nothing in the way
of printed materials. Of course I've also seen some really outstanding printed materials but
was disappointed when I saw the act. I have a band that I send out to a lot of small weddings
and installation banquets, and it took me almost a year to get a photo from them. (I'm still
hoping to get a song list some day.) I've got another band that is absolutely tops in
promotional material and their band is absolutely tops, too!
Some performers no longer use paper press kits but instead prefer an electronic press kit
either contained on a DVD they send you or simply up on their website. That's fine. It's
certainly a more contemporary method of promoting one's self.
It's important, once you've decided what entertainers or band you're going to hire, that
arrangements be made clearly and in writing. I've enclosed a sample letter you may wish to
use. Some entertainers have their own contracts, but many do not, making it necessary for you
to put everything down on paper and send it to the entertainer. I'm not a lawyer so I don't
know how enforceable the letter is, but at least you have the information down on paper and
you both understand and agree to the terms.
If I'm serving as Agent, I fill out a contract based on our conversations, and then forward it to
my client for a signature. I try to collect as much information as I can about the event so that I
can prevent any surprises. The entertainers also receive a binding contract.
By the way, this might be a good place to mention that talent agents are like travel agents in
that they don't charge you for their services, but instead charge the entertainers. The agent is
really looking out for your interests and can draw from countless entertainers and bands,
being reasonably familiar with what each act does. There is an internet subscription service
that lists thousands of entertainers, who their personal manager is (if any), and/or how to
reach them. All entertainers are available to a full-service agent, rather than just a handful of
acts that the agent has been able to put together.
When making your arrangements with agents make sure that you discuss everything:
Contact info ( cell # and event location phone #
Location (complete address, major cross streets, near freeways, etc.
Date of performance.
Time and duration of performance. Bands usually work 2-4 hours, with a 10-15 minute break
each hour. Some bands supply recorded music during their breaks. Put the fee down in
writing. Most groups require a deposit before event date.
Method of payment. Acts always expect the balance to be paid in full following the
performance. If any other arrangements are to be made, please not only discuss it with them,
but give agent all arrangement details so he can help keep event organized.
An act will want to know your time schedule... what time is the cocktail hour, dinner, etc. and
this brings up an interesting subject: feeding the act. Usually, if you have only one individual
doing a show after dinner (e.g. a magician or a singer), you should invite him to join your
group for dinner. However, it would not be expected of you to feed the Mormon Tabernacle
Choir. Even bands are seldom fed. If you use the band for the cocktail hour, during dinner,
and then have them take a break while you give out awards or conduct other business, then
it would be appropriate to feed them during that hour. It's not mandatory, however. (Keep in
mind that a meal is a nice consolation for the act if they are giving you a special break on the
Who supplies the public address system? Some bands have their own equipment; other acts
may not. A guitar player who sings may require two microphones. Four singers might require
microphones and expect you to supply them. If you're at a hotel or other banquet facility, you
may be able to get everything you need from them. Extensive sound systems will have to
come from a professional sound company. Make sure you discuss this with your performer
and put it in writing.
Lighting. Again, your facility may have what you need. Spotlights with an operator can be
rented for around $350. Big concerts will require the services of a professional lighting
Stage? A banquet of fewer than 50 people may not even need risers, but when you start
getting up in the numbers, you'll need to get your entertainers up to where the audience can
see them. A catering facility or hotel will usually have 4' x 8' risers at various heights so that
you can build a platform or stage for your entertainment.
Is it outdoors? What if it rains? You should really specify what you will do. Will you then
hold it indoors? The act or entertainer has blocked out that day for you and perhaps turned
down other work. They are really entitled to their fee even if the program is rained out, unless
you've made other arrangements.
Seating. It's very difficult for an entertainer to have a dance floor between himself and the
audience. If you're having a dance after a comedian or other entertainer, talk with the act
about how close the seats or tables need to be. Maybe he/she can work on the dance floor.
Does the act need a place to change clothes or set up equipment?
Does the act sell albums or other merchandise at the performance? Some musical acts offer
albums after the show. Is this all right with you?
Parking and unloading. How nice it is for an entertainer to pull up in front of the YMCA and
find a sign "Reserved for Entertainer." You can't always do that, but remember that some acts
have a lot to carry in. If the only parking available costs money, you should reimburse the
entertainers. Talk about it and include your decision in your letter of agreement.
There are plenty of things to inquire about. Take time to picture in your mind exactly how
things will be. If there is a question in your mind about anything, ask. Ask the hotel, the band,
the act, the agent.
Well, really, that was easy. Just spend months looking at acts and days negotiating and a few
weeks wondering if you blew it. (Or give a call to a competent talent agent and let him worry
about the hard stuff!)
Perhaps a good rule to remember is "You get what you pay for." A friend called me and
wanted Mariachis for a Church Mexican Fiesta. I quoted him a price for five Mariachis for
two hours, but he went out and hired his own for less. He called me up later just sick about it.
He had called a group advertised somewhere and got a low price...and low quality. It's not a
Don't look for the lowest price; look for quality. If you can't afford top quality, it's probably
better not to have entertainment at all rather than to hire an act that makes you and everyone
else squirm in their seats.
Fish Tacos La Manzanilla Style
For $10 pesos each you can't beat it! They are very definitely in the Baja tradition of fish tacos. He has a variety of other offerings...but this post is about fish tacos.
Mitchu Tacos is open from 10:00 to 4:00 most days.
So while on my fish taco kick... there are a few other restaurants in town offering the seaside delight, to my chagrin, none of the traditional Mexican palapa restaurants are serving them up, but several of the long-time expat owned places are doing it... and very tastily I might add.
La Manzanilla's answer to a sports bar with a guitar playing bar keep -AKA- owner. Palapa Joe's serves up a fine plate of fish tacos. You'll fine them under Tacos de Baja at $100 pesos, each plate comes with 3 tacos and a side salad. I've never been able to finish the entire plate in one sitting! For me it's the best of both worlds- fish tacos and a salad with blue cheese dressing. The owner, Willy, tells me he can't, "stand the stuff" in reference to the blue cheese. But it's made in-house and is out of this world!
The fish tacos are lightly battered and fried, it's up to you to add the flavor, you can go with tarter sauce or opt for the smoky flavored in-house salsa.
Palapa Joe's is open - during the high season- 12:00-10:00 ish every day but Monday. Fridays feature live music and once a month you'll fine open mic night; where La Manzanilla's local talent shines.
Cafe de Flores
Oh, that chef Alex never delivers what you expect! And all the better for it. Her take on fish tacos is Dorado dressed in a cilantro dressing and grilled, then served with chopped red cabbage, salsa fresca and a to-die-for creamy cumin sauce all wrapped in a toasted tortilla. Every bite is the perfect taste combination. These are very unique tacos and defiantly worth a try! You'll find them on the appetizer menu for $75 pesos, but two makes a meal.
Open during the high season for dinners only Monday-Thursday. Reservation recommended and live music on Wednesdays.
These are served up a la carte at $10 pesos each. Breaded and fried and served with pico de gallo. You can sit outside watch the action in the jardin (main square) and have a cold draft beer as accompaniment (one of only 2 places in town with draft beer). Open every day but Wednesday from 9:00 to 10:00 ish.
Any visit to La Manzanilla, Mexico would not complete without sampling the local take on Fish Tacos!
June Nery is the owner and webmaster of an information website about La Manzanilla Mexico, find La Manzanilla rentals activities, restaurant information, news and events all online.
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