The History of Banda Music

Mexican music is often associated with Mariachi bands. However, there is another type of music associated with brass instruments and percussion that is also authentically Mexican. This music is called Banda, and it represents a blending of traditional Mexican music with polka, brought to the Pacific coast region by immigrant Germans during the 19th century.

Banda Defined

Banda is typically played with three groups of instruments: brass, woodwind and percussion. The most prominent Banda instrument is the tambora, a bass drum with an animal hide head. Also prominent in Banda is the tarola, a snare drum with timbales that closely resembles a conventional tom-tom drum. Cowbells and cymbals create the rhythm, which is a driving force in Banda music, if not a constant presence. A majority of Banda melodies feature 3-part harmony.

Banda ensembles typically include between 10 and 20 musicians, including at least one singer. Some Banda ensembles feature as many as three singers. Banda music can accommodate a number of styles: waltzes, marches, rock ballads, and of course, polka music.

The Origins and Spread of Banda

Banda was created during the late 1800s when German immigrants to the State of Sinaloa in Mexico combined traditional polka music with traditional Mexican music to create something entirely new. The result was Banda, which spread throughout southern and central Mexico during the 1880s and 1890s. Immigrants from northern Mexico brought Banda music with them to the Southwestern United States, primarily Texas, Arizona and California.

Since then, Banda music has spread across the United States with the immigration of Mexicans into the Midwest and across rest of the country. Banda music has even been credited with the rise in popularity of the tuba across southern California during the 2010s.

Today’s Banda Music

Banda el Recodo is among the most famous modern-day Banda artists. This ensemble is made up of three trumpets, three trombones, two alto horns and a sousaphone. Other prominent Banda artists include Banda Machos and solo artists Julio Preciado and Roberto Tapia.

Like hip-hop and rap, Banda music is heavily male dominated. However, female artists such as Graciela Beltran and Carmen Jara have made their mark on Banda. The highest selling Banda soloist of all time was Jenni Rivera, a female singer with a big voice. Rivera was beginning to achieve crossover success before she died in a plane crash in 2012. She was only 43 years old.

Five Popular Street Foods in Mexico

No trip to the Pacific Coast region of Mexico is complete without sampling at least some of the delicious street food on offer. If you’re worried about cleanliness, don’t. Street food carts are regularly inspected to ensure proper sanitation. Of course, using common sense and your own observation skills is also advisable. The five dishes below represent some of the most popular street foods in Mexico.


The Spanish word for corn is elote, pronounced “Ay-loh-tay”. As street food, elote is corn on the cob boiled in the husk, or grilled, and coated with butter, chili powder, and either lemon or lime juice. Another variation features corn on the cob coated with chili mixed with sour cream or mayonnaise. Either variation is also frequently sprinkled with salt and dry cheese and served on a stick. The corn in elote is not as sweet as North American varieties – but is just as tasty!

Fresh Fruit Carts

Fresh fruit stands are common throughout Mazatlan. These carts feature locally and organically grown fruits and fresh squeezed fruit juices available for extremely inexpensive prices. There are few snacks or treats that are more refreshing on a hot summer day.


Why settle for factory packaged sweets when hot, tasty churros are readily available from street vendors. Churros are tube shaped dough with vertical ridges that are deep fried and coated with sugar. Some churros are coated with cinnamon. Churros get their distinctive ridges from being shot out of a churrera — a cooking device that resembles a caulk gun and has a star shaped nozzle.


Two of the most delicious varieties of street food tacos are Tacos de Carne Asada (grilled beef steak tacos) and Tacos al Pastor (pork tacos). Tacos de Carne Asada are often marinated with mixtures containing some combination of chili, cilantro, cumin, garlic and either lime, lemon, grapefruit or orange juice, plus a pinch of salt. Garnishes include onions, avocado and cilantro and either verde (green) or rojo (red) salsa. Tacos al Pastor feature pork cooked on a rotating spit and served on soft corn or flour tacos with layers of diced pineapple.


As street food, ceviche is often served on hard corn tortillas called tostadas. Toppings include raw fish, shrimp, or other seafood marinated in citrus juice and seasoned with spices like cilantro, chili, or onions, plus a pinch of salt. The dish is topped with fresh tomatoes and avocado slices

Our Take on Traditional Mexican Foods

At 210 Ceviche, we’re bringing the foods Luis Ortega loved growing up on the Pacific coast of Mexico to the United States, but with a twist. Come and enjoy our 210 take on tacos, ceviche, and other tasty dishes of the Pacific Coast region.

Five Fun Things About Mazatlan

Mazatlan is thought by many to be the first resort town in Mexico. The word Mazatlan means “deer,” in Nahuatl, the language of the ancient Aztecs who once populated the region. Today, Mazatlan is considered the Pearl of the Pacific. Located at 23 degrees longitude, identical to Kauai Island in Hawaii, Mazatlan marks the starting point of the Mexican Tropics. Here are five fun things to visit or do in Mazatlan.

Malecon Boardwalk

The Malecon boardwalk is four miles long – easily the longest in Mexico. The boardwalk connects the Zona Dorado (Golden Zone), which houses most of the area’s hotels, with Old Mazatlan. Old Mazatlan is now called the Centro Historico (Historic Center), and is the location of the Olas Atlas (High Waves) region of hotels and beaches. Especially in the morning, or just before sunset, strolling along the Malecon makes for some of the best people watching anywhere.

Plaza Machado

Plaza Machado lies at the heart of Centro Historico. The beautiful Angela Peralta Teatro (Theater) constructed in 1874, is located just off the Plaza. The theater is named after an internationally famous Mexican opera singer who died in Mazatlan in 1883 while on tour.

El Faro Lighthouse

El Faro, the lighthouse at Mazatlan, was constructed in 1879, and remains the second highest in the world. Only the lighthouse at Gibraltar is higher. Located on the peak of Cerro de Creston, El Faro’s beacon is visible for 30 nautical miles, and provides a perfect vantage point for viewing Bird, Deer and Goat Islands. Hiking to the lighthouse requires a 523 foot trek at high tide.

Cliff Divers of Mazatlan

You may be familiar with the cliff divers of Acapulco. Those fearless individuals take death defying leaps off the high cliffs into the water, risking concussion or worse if they fail to clear the rocks. A similar spectacle occurs at Mazatlan, where the 45-foot cliffs are just as treacherous, and the water below just as shallow. This breathtaking spectacle is a cultural phenomenon, and the way several of these divers make their living.

Street Food of Mazatlan

You could eat fast food in Mazatlan, but why would you, when there is such a delicious selection of street food available? Burritos, elote (corn on the cob), fresh caught fish on a stick, churros, and ceviche are just some of the tasty dishes on offer. Street vendor ceviches often takes the form of tostadas topped with shrimp, squid, tuna, mackerel, or other seafood marinated in citrus juice, seasoned with varying combinations of cilantro, chili, & onions, and paired with fresh tomatoes, carrots, and slices of creamy avocado.

Of course, you don’t have to venture all the way to Mazatlan to experience the flavors of the region. 210 Ceviche features the delicious foods of Mexico’s Pacific coast region. Come by for lunch or dinner today!

Fun Facts about the Margarita

Jimmy Buffett lamented about a lost salt shaker, but there is more to the margarita than the salt lining the rim of the glass. At 210 Ceviche, our margaritas make a perfect complement to our delicious authentic Pacific Style Mexican Cocina cuisine.

The Origin of the Margarita

The 1937, Café Royal Cocktail Book contained a recipe with the same ingredients and proportions as the margarita, but which was called the Picador. However, one of the first references to a margarita drink by name was attributed to Carlos “Danny” Herrera in 1938. Supposedly, Herrera invented the drink at Rancho La Gloria – his restaurant located between Tijuana and Rosarito in Mexico – for former Ziegfeld dancer, Marjorie King. Supposedly, King was allergic to a variety of spirits, but not to tequila, the main alcoholic ingredient in margaritas.

The first published margarita recipe appeared in a 1953 edition of Esquire magazine. That recipe called for a simple combination of one ounce of tequila, a dash of triple sec, and the juice of half a lime or lemon poured over crushed ice. The recipe also called for the outside rim of a stem glass to be rubbed with lemon or lime rind and spun in salt. The final step instructed to pour the mixture into the salt-rimmed glass.

Margaritas – Liquid or Frozen

Margaritas can include a variety of fruits and juices, including strawberry, banana, mango, and peach. The drink can be served shaken and poured over ice as a liquid, or as a half frozen slush, much like piña coladas. The latter concoction is known as frozen margarita. Frozen or liquid, margaritas should be served in glasses coated with salt on the OUTSIDE rim, not the inside, to ensure that the tastes of sweet and salty are experienced together.

The frozen margarita machine was the brainchild of Mariano Martinez, a restaurant owner in Dallas, Texas. Martinez adapted his invention in May 1971, from a soft-serve ice cream machine. Martinez’ original frozen margarita machine is now housed in the Smithsonian National Museum of History in Washington, D.C.

Margaritas were the most popular drink in the United States in 2008, and remain the most common tequila based cocktail. There’s even a special holiday devoted to sharing and celebrating this delicious tropical drink. National Margarita Day was invented by Todd McCalla, and occurs on February 22 each year.

Margaritas at 210 Ceviche

Without a doubt, Americans love margaritas. The menu at 210 Ceviche includes margarita variations to suit almost any preference. Our menu includes the Margarita Marinera, featuring melon liqueur; the Margarita Tres Islas, with strawberry, peach, or mango; and the Margarita Pacifico, featuring Cuervo 1800 and Disaronno Amaretto. The 210 Paci-Rita features both Cuervo 1800 margarita and Pacifico beer and is a definite must-try! Come and enjoy one of our refreshing margaritas today!

The Many Versions of Ceviche

There are many variations of tacos, enchiladas, and tamales. The same is true of ceviche. The basic ingredients in every variation of ceviche are similar: fish, lime or lemon juice, vegetables, and fruits. However, specific ceviche recipes are unique to the region in the world where the dish is prepared and served. There is at least one ceviche variation for nearly every taste preference!

South American Ceviche

Ceviche is believed to have originated more than 2000 years ago in South America, in what is now known as Peru. Moorish women, who accompanied exploring Spaniards, shared a predecessor of the dish with the indigenous Moche people in the coastal region. The Moche originally used the juice from passion fruit to marinate the raw fish and seafood in their dishes. The Inca people also enjoyed a version of ceviche, fermented by chicha, a fermented beverage of the Andean region.

Today, South American ceviche is typically fermented with key lime or bitter orange juices, and served at room temperature with sides of corn on the cob or sweet potato. Sole and shark are among the most common varieties of fish included in South American ceviche. Modern-day Peru considers ceviche to be a national dish, and even has a holiday dedicated in its honor. In Peru, a side of the marinade is often served with ceviche as an appetizer, and called either leche de tigre or leche de pantera.

Ceviche in the Philippines

In the Philippines, kinilaw or kilawin is a type of preparation that uses coconut vinegar and other acidic juices as marinades. Unlike ceviche, which is typically limited to seafood, kinilaw and kilawin dishes feature both raw seafood and raw meat. The earliest variations were described by Spanish colonists and explorers during the 1600s.

Fish variations of kinilaw include tangue(Spanish mackerel), malasugi (swordfish or marlin), or anchovies along with souring agents, plus salt and black pepper, ginger, onions, and chili peppers. Other variations of the dish include shrimp, squid, oysters, clams, crabs, and sea urchin roe (eggs). Cooked meat and vegetables are also frequently included.

Mexican Ceviche

In Mexico and Central America, ceviche is frequently served in cocktail cups accompanied by salted crackers. It is also served as a tostada topping or as taco filling. A Ceviche cocktail served along with a cup of tomato sauce is a popular dish in the Coatzacoalcos, Veracruz, and the southeast areas of Mexico. Besides fish like tuna and mackerel, Mexican ceviche often features shrimp, octopus, and squid. Salt, lime, onion, chili peppers, avocado, and cilantro (coriander leaves) are common marinade ingredients. Fresh tomatoes and olives are also frequently included in the dish.

210 Ceviche Variations

210 Ceviche features numerous ceviches, including 3 Amigos, featuring fish, shrimp and avocados cured in lime and orange marinade and served with red onion and cucumber; Toreado, featuring Ahi tuna cured in lemon and served with caramelized onions, jalapeño peppers, sesame seeds, and soy sauce; and the signature 210 Ceviche, featuring citrus-cured, fish, calamari, cooked octopus, and shrimp. Come and enjoy one of our delicious ceviches today!