Jul 2009

Cheripan – Tijuana

2:20 p.m. While Berkeley has the Gourmet Ghetto, Tijuana has the Zona Gastronomica—a collection of the city’s finest eateries located within steps of one another. Our culinary blitz through Tijuana included several meals in and around the zona, the first of which was at Cheripan.

Opened in 2002, Cheripan serves some of the best Argentinian food in Tijuana. Think: Juicy steaks, flaky empanadas, and gooey dulce de leche. The restaurant is housed in a thoroughly modern space with an abundance of natural light, modern furniture, and clean lines. Cheripan achieves a classy ambiance without a bit of stuffiness, which makes it an ideal place for a power lunch or a hot date.

Cheripan is famous around these here parts for their martini de tamarindo (tamarind martini). This seemingly innocent sweet and sour concoction was chock full of smooth booze. To say it was potent would be a vast understatement.

Most likely unaware that our party was whoring out our gullets at a dozen or so places, Cheripan prepared an extensive feast. The appetizer spread included (clockwise from top, left) sausages, ensalada de palmitos (hearts of palm salad), empanadas, and fried sweet breads.

Although I knew I would regret it later, I ate two whole empanadas—one filled with meat and another with spinach and cheese. The puffy golden parcels were just too appealing to resist.

Our main course was Mexican entrana (skirt steak) with pickled onions. The steak was roaringly rare and tender to the tooth.

To cap off our stellar Argentinian meal, we were served a luscious flan topped with milk candy and accented with Chantilly cream…

And adorable bite-sized Napoleons layered with dulce de leche and slivered almonds. I love being spoiled.

Escuadron 201, No. 3151 Colonia Aviacion
Zona Gastronomica, Tijuana
Phone: 619-308-7656 (U.S.)

BAJA BITES: 2 Days, 3 Cities, 18 Meals
Introduction > 1 > 2 > 3 > 4 > 5 > 6 > 7 > 8 > 9 > 10 > 11 > 12 > 13 > 14 > 15 > 16 > 17 > 18

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9 thoughts on “Cheripan – Tijuana

  1. Two empanadas? That’s my girl!

    I think that is the best looking flan I’ve ever seen. I’d like to give it the once over and ask a la Joey Tribiani, “How you doin?”

  2. I wish we could’ve stayed and finished that flan, it looks good but we were getting ushered to the next place already *sigh* it’s hard being on a food marathon 😛

    I totally love the skirt steak!

  3. My ex & I found this place a couple of years ago. Loved it. I’m surprised you didn’t mention that all this goodness can be had for very modest prices.

  4. LOVE this place. It made me completely change my mind about going to Tijuana. The service provided, the ambiance, the amazing quality, the cheap prices AND the amazing drink selection (wine/liquor) Although, you said the entrana was “Mexican” I’m not too sure that is the case. I believe the “cut” is a popular choice but the style it is cooked in makes it Argentine. (no marinade, no spices, cooked with embers and not flame etc.) If you park your car in San Ysidro that is like 10 dollars, the cab ride from the boarder to the restaurant is like 7 more dollars. It is VERY worth it and a great alternative to going to downtown San Diego and spending 20 on valet 15 on gas and so on.


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