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Susanna’s: A Rosarito Restaurant for All Seasons and Reasons

Susanna’s: A Rosarito Restaurant for All Seasons and Reasons

By Jack E. George

When I was leaving Susanna’s Restaurant in downtown Rosarito Beach, I told owner Susanne that it was the best meal I have had during the seven years I have lived in the area.

Susanne Stehr

Susanne Stehr

When you leave the main street and enter the small plaza area, you are greeted by a huge waterfall. The walk down to Susanna’s is packed with an enjoyable mixture of artifacts, pictures, and other appealing items. Upon opening the door to Susanna’s Rosarito restaurant, you are greeted by a unique blending of furniture, architectural design, soft music, and a welcoming staff.

 

Patio at susanna

Most likely, you will be welcomed by owner herself, Susanne Stehr. She is as charming as the business she opened nine years ago.

She said, “Before I opened, I knew I wanted a restaurant that makes you feel comfortable, like you are in my home.”  This has been accomplished. The unique kitchen is open for everyone to observe. Across from the kitchen is a full-service bar. There, you can order anything from appetizers to a full meal. You will also see a staircase. If you wander down the stairs, You’ll find that they lead to a wine cellar with a collection of fine wines.

Entering the main dining area, guests discover how “homey” it is, separated in creative ways to offer privacy and space. In the back of this room is a platform. Susanne says, “I used to sit in there at night and daydream about how I wanted everything styled. I decided to style a place to mimic my home with kitchen and ambiance. I had plenty of experience in entertaining and wanted to create a California rustic feel with not too many tables lending to more of a dining experience than just to eat and leave.”

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There is no doubt that Susanne will stop by your table for a visit. Her genuine caring and dedication make you feel right at home. She explained that she learned a lot through her experiences, particularly the 12 years she worked in hotels, primary as a director of catering for resorts. She decided to open Susanna’s in Rosarito after having visited the area while being a partner in a furniture manufacturing shop.  (This came about when she hired a local carpenter to build furniture and structural pieces for her home in Ventura County. The business grew and grew and soon an upholstery section was added. This led to some of her local designer friends in Los Angeles ordering custom pieces.)

So, when the plaza in Rosarito was built — where she is presently located — she was so impressed with the architectural design and atmosphere that she decided to open a small furniture store. One night a couple approached her and asked if her business was a restaurant. The couple was told it was not; however, the idea of opening a restaurant appealed to Susanne and led to the eventual opening of her popular restaurant.

A sublime asparagus salad at Susanna's Rosarito restaurant.

A sublime asparagus salad at Susanna’s Rosarito restaurant.

Susanne explains that her satisfaction comes “from the way my clients feel during their time at Susanna’s and when they leave. We have been the chosen site for years for first dates, marriage proposals, anniversaries, birthdays, and so forth. My staff and I are so visible and in contact with our clients, we get rewarded every time when our clients leave with a more than satisfied experience.” These experiences have convinced her to launch a “Tour and Catered Events” business. She will be teaming with one of the premiere Tijuana food groups to focus on bringing back American tourists by offering unusual choices for different events. She is also in the process of manufacturing a line of her own tamales and specific pestos.

Everything about Susanna’s is appealing, but, when the food starts coming, it’s an unforgettable experience.  All of the food at the restaurant is made from scratch. The appetizers were elegant in appearance and every bite tasted as delicious as it appeared. The tamale with chipotle cream cheese and jalapeños was great. Susanne’s pizza tasted even better than its magnificent appearance. Following this was a delicious spinach salad with a variety of tasty ingredients.

 

Pesto reigns supreme.

Pesto reigns supreme.

The main course consisted of a grilled Sonora pork chop. The blend of Chipotle chutney added a delightful flavor. The poached sole was the best fish I have ever eaten. Completing the main course was Susanna’s Pesto dish. The pasta was cooked to perfection and added a wonderful blend to the fish and pork chop. Never should I have indulged with any more food; however, the chocolate fudge cake caught my eye when I first saw the menu – topped with vanilla ice cream it really completed the meal, making the entire experience a 10+.

 

Luscious chocolate fudge cake

Luscious chocolate fudge cake

 

Where is Susanna’s:  Pueblo Plaza on Benito Juarez, Rosarito.  It is  1/2 block north of Señor Frog’s and 1/2 block south of restaurant El Nido. That is 3 blocks north of the Rosarito Beach Hotel.

What to expect:  Susanna’s is a reasonably priced restaurant with an exceptional menu.

How to make a reservation:   Call (661) 613-1187, visit Susanna’s on Facebook or go to their website at www.susannasinrosarito.com.

Is Susanna’s Near Rosarito Hotels:  Yes!  There are several hotels in Rosarito, but Susanna’s is within walking distance of the Rosarito Beach Hotel.

 

Baja.com is a comprehensive online source of first-hand travel information for the Baja California Peninsula, supported by a full-service tour operator staffed by Baja locals (our “Baja Travel Savants”). We offer Baja travelers expert advice about local restaurants, hotels and vacation rentals, as well as guides, maps and articles about events, sports and activities. We provide bilingual customer support, information and sales seven days a week, 365 days a year. For more information, please call toll-free (US/CAN) 855-BAJA-411 or email us at info@baja.com.

 

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Wine Bar La Vid and the Plaza de los Artistas in Rosarito Beach

In Rosarito, there is a special place that houses wine bar La Vid and the Plaza de los Artistas …and a treasury of art.

By Jack E. George

Owner Jorge Rodriguez at wine bar La Vid and the Plaza de los Artistas in Rosarito

Nestled in amongst a collection of unique and innovative shops, in front of the Rosarito Beach Hotel, visitors will be greeted with a variety of unusual treats at the Plaza de los Artistas. One of the small businesses is known as La Vid. When I stepped inside this wine bar and specialty store, selling fine wines from the smaller producers in the Guadalupe Valley, I was overwhelmed with the homey feeling, the cleanliness, and the organized location of every bottle, glass, and accessory. It is truly a gem to seek.

 

At wine bar La Vid and the Plaza de los Artistas, work by David Silvah

Owners Jorge Rodriguez and Norma Villasenor offer wine tasting, an art gallery, and unique items that can be purchased for a great gift. La Vid offers jams, marmalades, olive oil, sauces, and so forth. Jorge explained that the name was chosen because La Vid means a vine in a vineyard. He said that all of their wines are from Baja California and most of them are from small wineries. The shop offers vintages from 20 to 25 different vintners.

Visitors at wine bar La Vid and the Plaza de los Artistos can enjoy a wine tasting without reservations. The cost is $5. You can also add cheese, crackers, or other choices to make your experience even more enjoyable. Jorge, a very sincere, friendly, genuine young man prides himself on customer service. He said that what he enjoys most about his business are the interesting people he has the opportunity to meet. La Vid opens at 11 a.m. daily.   During week nights,  they close at 8 p.m. However, you can make an evening of it on the weekends when they stay open until the last customer leaves. (Sometimes, even bouts of spontaneous dancing break out!)

The art pieces hanging on the walls, the arrangements of the bottles of wine, and the many interesting items to look at make La Vid a great place for a visit. Next, you might choose to leave by walking down the outside stairs and going next door to the Baja Gallery. When you enter, through the back, you will see David Silvah painting one of his unique pieces of art.

 

Wine Bar La Vid and the Plaza de los Artistas features original art by David Silvah

 

David Silvah, a self-taught artist is a frequent exhibitor in area shows. He also exhibits in San Diego, Los Angeles, and he will be leaving for an art show in Boston in December. He is not the only artist in his family. He has a section he devotes to his eight year-old daughter, Jasmine; and his 11 year old son, Miten. He proudly explains their different pictures. He said they are both interested in becoming artists but he will not push them in that direction. He wants them to choose the career in which they will be happy. He is a firm believer in people doing the work they love. He explained that he could make more money if he was a doctor or a dentist but he would not be happy. His entire career has been devoted to art and he says this has added to his happiness and quality of life.

David said his career started when he was 13 years of age. He always wanted to give girlfriends a unique gift, so he would paint them a special picture. Through the years people encouraged him and his artistic talent. Eventually people asked him to paint specific pictures to hang on the walls in their home.  This led to him becoming a professional artist at the age of 20.

There was one particular painting that was well wrapped and sitting behind a number of other paintings. When I asked him which was his favorite painting he started to remove all of the pictures in front. He then reached his special painting, leaned it against a chair, and removed all of the packaging. My eyes immediately focused on three people.

David Silvah's 'Re-evolution'

David named the picture “re-evolution.” The painting tells the story of an older man, standing to the left, who has had a difficult life in Mexico. To his left is a tattered Mexican flag. He eventually takes his wife and children and moves to the U.S. The young woman, standing in the center of the picture, has hopes and dreams and wants the best for her children. The young man to her right, her son, is serving in the military. His gun represents the war he is fighting, for the U.S., and the battles his people have fought through the years. Next to him the American flag waves in all its splendor.

Drop by La Vid for some wine and cheese and an artsy experience!

 

David is one of several artists working in the gallery. The gallery offers a variety of paintings, sculptures, ceramics, and many other creations. The Plaza de los Artistas is a fascinating, friendly, area to take a leisurely stroll. Chances are you will also have the opportunity to meet some of the finest artists representing Baja California, enjoy a glass of wine and chunk of cheese, and see artistic creations unlike any you have ever seen before.

 

Where to dine when in Rosarito?  Find out with Baja.com!

Baja.com is a comprehensive online source of first-hand travel information for the Baja California Peninsula, supported by a full-service tour operator staffed by Baja locals (our “Baja Travel Savants”). We offer Baja travelers expert advice about local restaurants, hotels and vacation rentals, as well as guides, maps and articles about events, sports and activities. We provide bilingual customer support, information and sales seven days a week, 365 days a year. For more information, please call toll-free (US/CAN) 855-BAJA-411 or email us atinfo@baja.com.

 

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