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Ensenada inspiration: searching for a song with Soupy Garbage Juice

Inspiring another viral musical hit on TikTok

Soupy Garbage Juice (holding phone) knows a TikToker’s work is never done.
Soupy Garbage Juice (holding phone) knows a TikToker’s work is never done.

I had taken Derek to Mariscos el Güero on a Sunday morning. It is one of my favorite seafood street carts in Ensenada. We had both gotten the special tostada “La Güerita” for 135 pesos (around $8): a tostada mounded with a medley of seasoned raw shrimp, clam, scallops, and octopus. I also got a couple of “ostiones regañadas” or “punished oysters,” shucked fresh off the shell with spicy molcajete salsa that worked as a fiery mignonette. A salsa bar next to the seafood cart offered a plethora of toppings, salsas, tostadas, and more.

Derek is originally from Pensacola, Florida. He now resides in New York, where he used to work as a King Kong mascot outside the Empire State Building. But now he has amassed half a million followers on TikTok thanks to his dark comedy song stylings. (With his long brown hair and a cherubic face, his look is already comedic.) He has written hits like “I Swallowed Shampoo, I’m Probably Gonna Die” and “Why Am I in This Room?” Some of his viral efforts include happy birthday songs referencing the month someone was conceived. I met Derek in January of this year when his friend Carson hired me for a private tour in Tijuana. While touring them around Playas de Tijuana in the morning, we saw some Amish frolicking in the ocean near the border wall. Derek saw a lot of things in Tijuana that day, but what inspired him to create a song were those Amish on the beach. The video has 135,000+ views on TikTok. The lyrics for the 30-second song are:

There are Amish on the beaches of Tijuana

There are Amish on the beaches of Tijuana

Maybe Mennonites how should I know?

I don’t know!

Drive down with me 

To where the border meets the sea

And where the murder rate currently exceeds the rate of any other city

Think of all the crazy things to see

But surely not

There are Amish on the beaches of Tijuana

Sponsored
Sponsored

(Note: they were Mennonites.)

Months later, Derek came back to the SoCal area for VidCon, an annual conference of influencers which he described as “schmoozing it up with a surreal mix-up of the internet’s many personalities, including celebrity cats in strollers.” Once he tired of algorithms and internet clout conversations, he sought an escape. And what better escape could there be than a trip to the seafood and beer paradise of Ensenada? So Derek asked me to drive him, with travel expenses covered.

Cruisin’, on a Sunday afternoon...


I picked him up at the border late on a Saturday morning. We stopped at my apartment to feed my cats, hit a little traffic on the drive, and arrived at Wendlandt at El Sauzal around 3 pm. I got a catch of the day tostada: fresh jurel (yellowtail) on a bed of hummus, fermented lemon, ginger, jalapeño slices, and Milpero tomatillo (green tomatoes). I also got a smoked fish quesadilla with crumpled chicharrón, avocado purée, pickled red onion, dill, and other herbs. I paired the meal with a couple of seasonal cold IPAs. Despite service being slow, I felt I was back in paradise. Derek chose a fish sandwich with beer-battered fried fish, tartar sauce, and onion mixed with fennel salad, plus a couple of Veraniegas, Wendlandt’s Mexican ale.

From el Sauzal, I drove us to downtown Ensenada and then to “La Casa Famosa,” the house of Szavio, my friend from Minnesota. It was a treacherous off-road trek to his place, but worth it. Szavio provided us with accommodations to stay overnight. Not only that, but Szavio’s house also has a music room with a drumset, piano, keyboards, bass, and numerous guitars. When we arrived, local Ensenada musicians were improvising to the chords of “I Will Survive.” We all jammed together for a couple of hours; then, before night fell, Derek and I ventured downtown. (Szavio, who has been going on a sober stretch for the year, stayed back at his famous house.)

Our first stop was Hussong’s Cantina, the oldest bar in Baja, and home of the original margarita (though this claim is disputed by many other establishments). We drank both versions, on the rocks and blended: $5 each. We enjoyed the vibrant bar packed with norteño musicians. From there, we went to Chikilla Brewery, a hole-in-the-wall tap room hidden next to a sushi restaurant. We shared a flight of seven beers. Despite their beers being hit or miss, this Ensenada brewery with Texas roots has won my heart, because it is an oddity. Like many Baja establishments, signed dollar bills stapled to the ceiling are part of the decor. Derek signed his dollar as Soupy Garbage Juice and added it to the collection.

From there, we went to La Casa Verde to rendezvous with Szavio. La Casa Verde is a green house that hosts Cervecería Syncopa and Cervecería Imaginaria. Both were previously at “El Spot Surfo,” a beer collective that is now defunct. It is located in what is considered Ensenada’s red light district: on Third Street, almost on the corner of Macheros. There was a Pride event that night, with a drag Gloria Trevi imitator singing on a small stage. That was followed by a guy playing an electric violin on top of electronic dance music. Some fire dancing was next, coupled with modern dancing and more oddities. There were multiple pop-up shops on the patio, selling LGBT piñatas, clothes, accessories, drinks, and burgers. I drank Syncopa’s “Serenity” session IPA, a crushable light IPA with just enough of a hop bite. Szavio drank agua de jamaica (hibiscus tea) while Derek munched on a burger (which he found phenomenal).

From La Casa Verde we went back to Szavio’s place, stopping by an Oxxo to get beer (a 12-pack of Victoria) and snacks, then jammed for the rest of the night. I passed out to the sounds of Derek drumming and Szavio on the keys. The next morning was when I took Derek to Mariscos el Güero. Then I walked him around the port and other areas. We were not the only tourists in town: two cruise ships were docked in Ensenada, and 7000 or more tourists descended upon the city. It wasn’t even 11 am and hundreds of Americans were wasted in places like Papas & Beer, where men blowing whistles poured shots in the mouths of whoever handed them dollars.

I’ve never seen Ensenada that busy when there wasn’t some kind of event or special occasion. This was just masses of cruise ship people doing stereotypical spring break shenanigans dancing while wearing oversized Mexican sombreros. We opted for Hussong’s again, but it too was packed with cruise ship people. Derek had a couple of house margaritas and I drank an XX Lager and the Hussong beer (a very light lager made by Wendlandt).

At around 3 pm, we said our goodbyes to Szavio and drove back to Tijuana, where we continued our beer and margarita journey. We drank at Teorema Brewing on Sixth Street, followed by brews at Insurgente. That was followed by margaritas at Bar Nelson, Bar Turístico, and Dandy del Sur. At around 10 pm, we walked back to my place, picking up tall boys of Tecates at an Oxxo on the way back. We ended the night playing countless music videos while drinking.

I accompanied Derek to the border the following morning. There was little wait time, and by 11 am, he was back in the United States. He headed to Las Vegas to meet up with his friend Carson and continue his garbagey adventures. I’m still waiting to see if this journey inspires another viral musical hit on TikTok for Soupy Garbage Juice.

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Soupy Garbage Juice (holding phone) knows a TikToker’s work is never done.
Soupy Garbage Juice (holding phone) knows a TikToker’s work is never done.

I had taken Derek to Mariscos el Güero on a Sunday morning. It is one of my favorite seafood street carts in Ensenada. We had both gotten the special tostada “La Güerita” for 135 pesos (around $8): a tostada mounded with a medley of seasoned raw shrimp, clam, scallops, and octopus. I also got a couple of “ostiones regañadas” or “punished oysters,” shucked fresh off the shell with spicy molcajete salsa that worked as a fiery mignonette. A salsa bar next to the seafood cart offered a plethora of toppings, salsas, tostadas, and more.

Derek is originally from Pensacola, Florida. He now resides in New York, where he used to work as a King Kong mascot outside the Empire State Building. But now he has amassed half a million followers on TikTok thanks to his dark comedy song stylings. (With his long brown hair and a cherubic face, his look is already comedic.) He has written hits like “I Swallowed Shampoo, I’m Probably Gonna Die” and “Why Am I in This Room?” Some of his viral efforts include happy birthday songs referencing the month someone was conceived. I met Derek in January of this year when his friend Carson hired me for a private tour in Tijuana. While touring them around Playas de Tijuana in the morning, we saw some Amish frolicking in the ocean near the border wall. Derek saw a lot of things in Tijuana that day, but what inspired him to create a song were those Amish on the beach. The video has 135,000+ views on TikTok. The lyrics for the 30-second song are:

There are Amish on the beaches of Tijuana

There are Amish on the beaches of Tijuana

Maybe Mennonites how should I know?

I don’t know!

Drive down with me 

To where the border meets the sea

And where the murder rate currently exceeds the rate of any other city

Think of all the crazy things to see

But surely not

There are Amish on the beaches of Tijuana

Sponsored
Sponsored

(Note: they were Mennonites.)

Months later, Derek came back to the SoCal area for VidCon, an annual conference of influencers which he described as “schmoozing it up with a surreal mix-up of the internet’s many personalities, including celebrity cats in strollers.” Once he tired of algorithms and internet clout conversations, he sought an escape. And what better escape could there be than a trip to the seafood and beer paradise of Ensenada? So Derek asked me to drive him, with travel expenses covered.

Cruisin’, on a Sunday afternoon...


I picked him up at the border late on a Saturday morning. We stopped at my apartment to feed my cats, hit a little traffic on the drive, and arrived at Wendlandt at El Sauzal around 3 pm. I got a catch of the day tostada: fresh jurel (yellowtail) on a bed of hummus, fermented lemon, ginger, jalapeño slices, and Milpero tomatillo (green tomatoes). I also got a smoked fish quesadilla with crumpled chicharrón, avocado purée, pickled red onion, dill, and other herbs. I paired the meal with a couple of seasonal cold IPAs. Despite service being slow, I felt I was back in paradise. Derek chose a fish sandwich with beer-battered fried fish, tartar sauce, and onion mixed with fennel salad, plus a couple of Veraniegas, Wendlandt’s Mexican ale.

From el Sauzal, I drove us to downtown Ensenada and then to “La Casa Famosa,” the house of Szavio, my friend from Minnesota. It was a treacherous off-road trek to his place, but worth it. Szavio provided us with accommodations to stay overnight. Not only that, but Szavio’s house also has a music room with a drumset, piano, keyboards, bass, and numerous guitars. When we arrived, local Ensenada musicians were improvising to the chords of “I Will Survive.” We all jammed together for a couple of hours; then, before night fell, Derek and I ventured downtown. (Szavio, who has been going on a sober stretch for the year, stayed back at his famous house.)

Our first stop was Hussong’s Cantina, the oldest bar in Baja, and home of the original margarita (though this claim is disputed by many other establishments). We drank both versions, on the rocks and blended: $5 each. We enjoyed the vibrant bar packed with norteño musicians. From there, we went to Chikilla Brewery, a hole-in-the-wall tap room hidden next to a sushi restaurant. We shared a flight of seven beers. Despite their beers being hit or miss, this Ensenada brewery with Texas roots has won my heart, because it is an oddity. Like many Baja establishments, signed dollar bills stapled to the ceiling are part of the decor. Derek signed his dollar as Soupy Garbage Juice and added it to the collection.

From there, we went to La Casa Verde to rendezvous with Szavio. La Casa Verde is a green house that hosts Cervecería Syncopa and Cervecería Imaginaria. Both were previously at “El Spot Surfo,” a beer collective that is now defunct. It is located in what is considered Ensenada’s red light district: on Third Street, almost on the corner of Macheros. There was a Pride event that night, with a drag Gloria Trevi imitator singing on a small stage. That was followed by a guy playing an electric violin on top of electronic dance music. Some fire dancing was next, coupled with modern dancing and more oddities. There were multiple pop-up shops on the patio, selling LGBT piñatas, clothes, accessories, drinks, and burgers. I drank Syncopa’s “Serenity” session IPA, a crushable light IPA with just enough of a hop bite. Szavio drank agua de jamaica (hibiscus tea) while Derek munched on a burger (which he found phenomenal).

From La Casa Verde we went back to Szavio’s place, stopping by an Oxxo to get beer (a 12-pack of Victoria) and snacks, then jammed for the rest of the night. I passed out to the sounds of Derek drumming and Szavio on the keys. The next morning was when I took Derek to Mariscos el Güero. Then I walked him around the port and other areas. We were not the only tourists in town: two cruise ships were docked in Ensenada, and 7000 or more tourists descended upon the city. It wasn’t even 11 am and hundreds of Americans were wasted in places like Papas & Beer, where men blowing whistles poured shots in the mouths of whoever handed them dollars.

I’ve never seen Ensenada that busy when there wasn’t some kind of event or special occasion. This was just masses of cruise ship people doing stereotypical spring break shenanigans dancing while wearing oversized Mexican sombreros. We opted for Hussong’s again, but it too was packed with cruise ship people. Derek had a couple of house margaritas and I drank an XX Lager and the Hussong beer (a very light lager made by Wendlandt).

At around 3 pm, we said our goodbyes to Szavio and drove back to Tijuana, where we continued our beer and margarita journey. We drank at Teorema Brewing on Sixth Street, followed by brews at Insurgente. That was followed by margaritas at Bar Nelson, Bar Turístico, and Dandy del Sur. At around 10 pm, we walked back to my place, picking up tall boys of Tecates at an Oxxo on the way back. We ended the night playing countless music videos while drinking.

I accompanied Derek to the border the following morning. There was little wait time, and by 11 am, he was back in the United States. He headed to Las Vegas to meet up with his friend Carson and continue his garbagey adventures. I’m still waiting to see if this journey inspires another viral musical hit on TikTok for Soupy Garbage Juice.

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