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By Susan A Mahalick

Photos by Sitara Monica Perez

March 19, 2014 (Baja)--You walk into a long space broken up by curves of white walls, stained glass windows and a large bar with lights behind the stained glass at the base at night. Both bistro type seating and regular dining tables are available in the main dining room. There is a second room for events or private parties. A very large window at the rear overlooking the Pacific opens to the fresh salt air. Ceiling fans circulate in key locations. The ceiling is made from plastic, clear tiles which provide plenty of natural light.

To eat, drink, listen to music and mingle with friends and maybe make new ones, this is the place. Mule 61 is owned by four partners, Preston Butler who I met, Marco Gutierrez, Spencer Piquet and Alma Soto Prieto who is the owner. She has a restaurant also in Culiacan, Sinaloa.The name for Mule 61 comes from Preston.

American and Mexican selections are available such as Cajun wings, calamari strip appetizers, fettucine with shrimp. Caribbean fare is on the menu as well, since Preston’s family owned a restaurant in Martinique. His grandmother’s signature dessert is on the menu comprised of apples, walnuts, vanilla ice cream with chocolate sauce drizzled on top. Now there is a meal for someone with a sweet tooth. Prices are very reasonable. There are plans to add real down home barbeque in the near future.

I dined there to enjoy the music of Tony Montero, who plays a repertoire from his 300 page songbook on clarinet and sax along with his wit and fine singing voice. To start, bread is brought out with a olive oil and a balsamic vinegar reduction for dipping. My friend had fish in papering which included spinach and thinly sliced fresh mushrooms. A take on fish en papillote, it came with seasoned white rice and roasted vegetables which included patty pan squash. I had the jerk chicken in a mango habanero sauce on a tenderized chicken breast in a pool of pureed potatoes lightly seasoned, which also came with the roasted vegetables. The dishes were light and tasty. Tony was in fine form with a good crowd for a Friday night.

Entertainment is provided on weekends. The familiar Ed Jones and Mary Flowers will be here the end of March. A folk singer from San Diego is playing this weekend named Holly Avila. Tony Montero. who is a master of jazz on clarinet and sax, will be playing twice a month.

Creative food and great music combined with excellent service-- what a winning formula.

Location:  In front of Santini’s Ranch in the glass and concrete strip mall at Km 40 on the Ensenada free road, or about 40 miles south of TJ between Rosarito and Ensenada.

Open 6 days a week. Closed Mondays. 10-10pm Tuesday through Thursday. Dinner Friday and Saturday until 11 pm. Sunday brunch 9-4.

Reservations: 661-613-2901 or

Find a blog about Baja by Susan Mahalick at:


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