It’s been called the most famous street cart in the world. Anthony Bourdain called it Michelin quality. Andrew Zimmern was rendered speechless when he tried the famous seafood. La Guerrerense, an unassuming little seafood street cart in Ensenada, has been featured by the likes of Rick Bayless, NatGeo, Travel+Leisure, the New York Times and the LA Times. One taste and it’s not hard to see why – the ingredients are local and the flavors are sophisticated and refined.
In 1960, Mariscos La Guerrerense was established by the late Alberto Oviedo and his wife Mrs. Celia Carranza. They handed their family secrets and recipes down to their son, Eduardo Oviedo. He and his wife, Sabina Bandera, are the ones who have made the cart what it is today. Sabina’s innovation and hard work created a globally-recognized sensation. To top it all off, Sabina makes salsas made from organic ingredients from her own garden. There are 13 salsa flavors in total, all of which you can try on your food and are available for purchase as well.
Today, Sabina, Eduardo and their three sons work the cart every day of the week except Tuesday. They’re helpful and friendly giving personalized attention to customers even though there’s always a crowd. Sabina greets all visitors with a friendly smile and happily poses for photographs with patrons. On a recent Wednesday afternoon, we chatted with Sabina and she recommended dishes for us to try. We ended up ordering the Cebiche Guerrerense and the famous erizo (sea urchin) and almeja (clams) tostada, which won “The Showmanship Prize” at the LA Street Food Fest in 2011. Both were delicious. Sea snail, octopus, sea cucumber, mussels, shrimp and crab salad round out the menu.
With a full and happy belly and a photo of myself and Sabina safely secured on my iphone, I couldn’t help but feel elated that the woman, the cart and the legend had far exceeded all hype and my wildest expectations.
If you go:
Open Wednesday-Monday 10:30-5pm or until they run out of food (which can be very early in the afternoon on a busy Saturday or Sunday – so go early!)
1st Street and Alvarado (in front of perfumeria on corner)
GPS coordinates: 31.861434, -116.623204