Things to do

March Madness At Smoking JO’s

March Madness
All day every day through the month of MARCH
Your choice
2 Ribs, Beans n Coleslaw

2 Pork Sliders, Beans n Coleslaw

$4.50 / 90 Pesos



Joe Alexander and Jody Michele. Photo by Centavo

Centavo’s Two Cents.

Rumors in San Felipe are always very interesting. Did you ever play that telephone game where the last person reveals what has been said around the circle? Yeah…I know …good luck with that. It is never remotely what was said in the beginning of the game.

I thought about the telephone game when I had heard a rumor that a new barbecue restaurant was coming to our seaside village… not just any barbeque joint but an “award winning one”. In fact, the proprietor Joe Alexander had won numerous awards for his finger lickin’ entries.

This is not the South… award winning barbeque? I think not. Someone pointed to the location where it would be…right on our Malecon!

Still I was not convinced.

True, it looked like the building was going through some renovation. I decided I should watch their progress.

Sure enough a Red SMOKIN JO’S AWARD WINNING BBQ sign appeared after several days of stalking the area.


Photo by Centavo

Somehow I missed what is called a “soft opening’’ of the restaurant. If you are not familiar with that term it means come and get free samples. I never miss an opportunity like this. I was told later that the opening was a success… lots of napkins needed…delicious.

A few days later my partner said… “I’m going into town. Shall I stop at that new barbeque place you have been obsessing about?”

I stayed by the window till she came home.

When she arrived she had a large brown paper bag emblazoned with the Smokin’ Jo moniker. That’s classy I thought.

She knew to bring me samples of everything. We sat and devoured the bags contents… except she forgot to add barbeque sauce of choice to the pulled pork sandwiches. “ Don’t eat those”, I said in a panic.” We’ll go tomorrow and get the sauce.”
And so we did.

Joe Alexander has lived in San Felipe for twelve years. He remembers the trips his father took here when he was a boy. He liked San Felipe so much he retired here.

Jody Michele is his business partner. She oversaw the renovations. She knew exactly what the interior needed. Jody is a tiny thing in stature but she was from New York, the city in fact. She had gone to culinary school and considers herself an able interior decorator. If I were still teaching she would have gotten an A Plus for both.

I am from New York and I was reduced with joy to mimic her accent.
You get the idea that Jody is no nonsense… but the twinkle in her eyes reveal she is kind.

I think it is wrong in someway to be cooking barbeque outside of your restaurant. People must pass its tempting fragrance daily. You find you can be in a trance about the smell and find yourself at their door before the place opens…a barbeque addiction…truly.

The restaurant business is a tough nut to crack. 90 % of these endeavors fail within a short amount of time…so this is risky.

Joe and Jody are convinced that they have a good product, location and service. I must agree.

Originally they had thought they would just serve take- out. But the ocean view called for people to sit and linger and ask for more napkins.


Photo by Centavo

Yes, Joe took first place in the challenging Best In The West Rib Fest in Sparks, Nevada. He has numerous awards for his barbeque. This festival has been going on for 28 years and is the largest Barbeque contest in America… so the judges have already applauded what you will be eating when you arrive. Just eat it and be grateful.

Joe tells me a quick story about his father emotionally adopting a young boy and raising him here in this town. Years passed and Joe was eager to find this person… a grown man. He found him and now he and his relatives run the restaurant in tandem with Joe and Jody. No one is beyond the hard work it takes to run a successful business. They are family.

I was thinking about future summers and stopping in for pulled pork sandwiches. But Joe and his barbeque family travel around the country during that time to the barbeque fairs that will bring more awards. I look sadly at their outdoor barbeque smoker.


Photo by Centavo

I asked Joe what it feels like to run a restaurant where you look straight at the ocean all day long. He replied,” It doesn’t get any better than this.”

Neither does his barbeque.

Stop by…Wednesday through Sunday 11 am to 7pm… Can’t miss the red sign on the east end of the Malecon! Bring friends!

You can probably talk them into catering your next celebration.

His award winning barbeque sauces are on sale too.

Centavo’s Wise Words: Food is love…but don’t talk with your mouth full.



December is a Hectic Time for Fundraisers and Events in San Felipe

December is a hectic time for fundraisers and events. You would be surprised at the list that San Felipe offers. There is more traffic in our city so be careful driving to support your favorite charity.


Here are some highlights:

Las Amigas presents a Christmas Fashion Show and Death by Chocolate
December 2nd, 2016 from 12:00pm to 3:00pm at El Dorado Pavilion
Cost is $20.00 or 360 pesos. There will be a 50/50 drawing, and door prizes. Specialty Drinks will be offered.

Santa Maria de Guadalupe Catholic Church will be having their annual Christmas Concert December 2nd 2016. There will be special performances by the Franciscan Sisters, the Children’s Choir, Socorro Gomez, Debra Carson, and Padre Oscar. All are welcome. If you feel inclined please bring an unwrapped toy or gift for a child. We have many families in need of this type of Christmas spirit. This is an opportunity to hear the sweet and powerful voices of our community… and yes…your voice will help with the singing of Christmas Carols! The show starts at 3:30pm…come early to obtain a seat.

Once again the Rotary Club will be sponsoring the 6th Annual Tamale Festival Saturday December 3rd, 2016. This event is from 1:00pm to 4:00pm at Haward Park next to the Fire Station. Entrance fee is $4.00 or $80.00 pesos. You will receive four taste tickets to sample some of San Felipe’s finest tamales. You can also make arrangements to purchase your favorite Christmas Tamales from the vendors participating. All the profits from this event will be donated to the San Felipe Cancer Society. Chef Ana Holquin will judge for the best tamale. You can get tickets at the event, Fat Boys, SunRunner mail service, salt store or the swap meet. This is a great way to spend the day with friends and delicious food.

A Spay-ghetti Western Event will be held at the Jolly Mon Bar on December 8th, 2016. The cost is $20.00 per person with a cash bar. Spaghetti, salad and barbeque will be served. Proceeds will benefit the Spay and Neuter Clinics in San Felipe. Might be a good idea to wear your western duds for there will be movies, music, dancin’ and prizes. Make every cowboy proud! If you want tickets on line go to or call 619-203-1471.

On Saturday December 10th from 1:00pm to 4:00 pm spend a little money to attend a fundraiser for San Felipe’s Rowing Team. El Padrino’s Restaurant will have live music by Los Pedos Viejos and the Isaac Diaz Band. You can get tickets at Sun Runner mail service, Fat Boy’s or El Padrino’s.

From October 10th thru December 15th the Holiday Toy Drive will be in full swing. Your unwrapped toy donations will be accepted at these following drop off points: Sunny Beaches, Parrot’s Cracker, the Pavilion at El Dorado, San Felipe Storage, SunRunner North and South and Baja Sunrise Insurance. They will also be collecting individually wrapped candy for treat bags and small-unused toiletries. The gift of giving is essential in our town…no child should be without a Christmas gift. Your donations are greatly appreciated and needed…if you have questions call 686-240-0074.

These organizations rely on your good will and energy to provide needed services in our town by the sea.


All these events sound like fun to me!

Centavo’s Wise Words: Save the scotch tape for your own presents.

Flying to Baja Mexico

In a recent publication, author Bryan from wrote an article about flying into the Baja California peninsula in northern Mexico. Here is a brief highlight of this most interesting article and the video that comes along with it. Follow the link below to read the full article and learn more about the Disciples of Flight project.


“I’ll have another shot at Mexico, and in a way I go through the entire gambit of identifying obstacles from opportunities every time I drive onto that airport and open the hangar.  It’s part of what i love about aviation, part of what I find addictive, a constant battle with yourself, a fight to become something better than we were before.”

Enjoy the video and I would encourage all of us to try to get down to Mexico. Read full article at HERE >>

Introduction to Belly Dance Classes

Introduction to Belly Dance classes in San Felipe

“Kaneez” formerly of the Raks Hilwa Middle Eastern Dance Troupe will be giving one hour introductory belly dance classes each week during the month of November in San Felipe.


Raks Hilwa toured the Pacific Northwest states in the U.S. for many years. Dancing in Seattle, Portland, Reno, Boise, Salt Lake City and many other venues Kaneez (Vickie T.) enjoys sharing her experience with women who are interested in learning the basics of this centuries old art form.

No previous experience is necessary and you don’t need any special clothing or costume. The classes will be very casual and are intended for everyone to have fun.

The exact location and times are yet to be determined but there will be a one hour class each week in November. A nominal cost of $5 US per person per class will be charged. All ages are welcome.

Those of you who know Vicki understand how much fun this will be! Please contact her via email for more information:

Thanks and looking forward to seeing you there!

Reasons Not to Visit San Felipe

If you’re thinking about paying a visit to this beautiful town by the sea, make sure you count in all the factors before you pack your bags. There are a few risks you need to consider before heading south.

Too many beaches!
If you’re coming down to enjoy a beach vacation, just be prepared for the overwhelming over-abundance of beaches to pick from. Should you camp to the south and enjoy virtually private beaches? Head to the main beach so you can have fun on banana boats and pick up paleta treats from local vendors? Set up on the picturesque beach between Machorro and the lighthouse? Try to find a secret beach over by Cantu Cove? Too many options to choose from! How are you supposed to make a decision??

1-photo 3 copy

This beach? The other beautiful beach? Why are you making me choose??

Delicious tacos will make you fat?
With the combination of ridiculously fresh seafood, handmade soft tortillas and fresh salsas, authentic San Felipe flavor (bring on the lime, cabbage and mayo), and awesome prices, make no mistake. You won’t be able to stop eating the tacos. And you will get fat.

Too many Dos Equis.
Well you had to accompany the tacos with something, right? In all likelihood, you’re going to consume enough Dos Equis to start thinking that you are the most interesting man (or woman) in the world.


Pack the sunblock and hats. Sunshine comes complimentary with San Felo vacations.

Exposure to another culture and expansion of your worldview.
Brush off that Spanish phrase book and get ready to be exposed to a friendly, laid-back, welcoming way of life that can feel totally different from your usual stressful routine. If you don’t want to miss out on deadlines, pressure and uptight people, Baja may not be for you.

You won’t want to leave.
Leaving the beaches, tacos, friendly people, and Dos Equis behind to head back to crowded freeways, jobs and bland food? Do I have to? A visit to San Felipe may leave you with a severe case of wanting to run away from your life and become a beach bum in Baja.

So before you head on down, make sure you know the consequences of a visit to the San Felipe Region!

"I'm not going home" - visitors to San Felipe.

“I’m not going home” – visitors to San Felipe.

Poker Run Fiesta in Bahia Gonzaga

Alfonsina’s  Resort 5th Annual Poker Run & Fiesta
Bahia San Luis Gonzaga
May 23rd 2015 @ 11am

For Hotel & Cantina Information Contact:
For Poker Run Information Contact:
gonzagajay29 or

The Gonzaga Bay Off-Road Poker Run is on again!!! This Poker Run is part of the World Famous Alfonsina’s Resort Annual Memorial Day Weekend Fiesta. This recreational event is not a race and is open to all sorts of vehicles, including Motorcycles, ATVs, Quads, Side-by-Sides, Dune Buggies, 4-Wheel Drive Pickups and Jeeps, Baja Bugs—whatever you want to run. Everyone visiting or living in the Gonzaga Bay area and north to San Felipe and beyond (adults, teens, kids, and old-timers) are welcome and encouraged to enter in the fun.

The start/finish line will be at the legendary Alfonsina’s Resort Cantina. The course is about 35 to 40 miles long and will be clearly marked and easily passable. Cold Beer, Water, Soda and other Famous “Potions” and Snacks will be served at certain Secret Checkpoints in undisclosed locations by undisclosed “Merrymakers” from Alfonsina’s and Punta Final.

There is a 4-hour time limit to finish the run, so take time to enjoy the scenery, refreshments and socializing along the scenic and dusty trail.  The run will finish up at the Cantina with an included “Ceviche Bowl Party”and announcement of cash awards and raffle prizes. Afterwards, everyone is invited to stay on for Alfonsina’s very tasty and generous Carne Asada Buffet as an extra.

Regular sign-up opens at 8:00 AM in the Cantina. Early sign-up will be at Don and Arlene’s Casa 20. The Riders and Drivers Meeting will be held at 11:00 AM outside the Cantina. Maps of the course will be handed out after the meeting. Start the run whenever you choose and travel off-road along the interesting and scenic course thru Five Secret Checkpoints, where you will draw a Poker Card contained in a sealed envelope from a bucket. After passing through all the Checkpoints you will bring your five sealed envelopes (your card hand) back to the finish line before 3:00 PM to be opened and counted by a “Somewhat Professional” Poker Dealer.

The Dealer will select the winning High and Low Poker Hands, and maybe a “Special Hand or Two” to win one of the Cash Prizes. You do not need to be the first one into the finish line at the Cantina to win a Cash or Raffle Prize; however you must be present when the lucky winners are announced at around 3:30 PM during Ceviche Bowl Party in the Cantina.

Your $10.00 entry fee includes: One 5 Card Poker Hand, 5 Raffle Drawing Tickets, Liquid Refreshments and Snacks at the 2 “Secret Checkpoints” along the course, and Tostadas at the Ceviche Bowl Party. What a deal!!  T-Shirts, Souvenirs, Beer, Wine, Sodas and Margarita Cocktails will also be available for purchase at the Cantina before and after the Poker Run. Extra poker hands may be purchased for $10.00, however hands cannot be combined. Passengers who want to enjoy the refreshments as well as have a chance at winning a cash prizes and raffle prizes must also be entered. Each paid participant will be given a wrist band at sign-up to help us identify them as a participant at the checkpoints and finish.

At 5:00 PM; Alfonsina’s Internationally Famous Restaurant will once again be serving up their delicious and generous Carne Asada Dinner with all the trimmings for an additional cost of $15.00 per person.