Baja Beach | Biloxi, MS
Festive Tex-Mex Offshoot On Biloxi’s Beachfront
Who would have imagined that a tortilla machine was one of the biggest attractions on Biloxi’s beachfront? It’s what captures kids’ attention—and keeps them occupied as they wait for their food—at the family-friendly Baja Beach restaurant in the tiny Mississippi resort town.
Situated in the center of the dining room, the tortilla machine is enclosed behind a glass case. Skilled workers make them from scratch to the children’s delight, and when they’re done, they’re delivered piping hot and crusty to their plates. The tortilla machine’s appeal also never gets old for Baja Beach general manager Anna Ellerman, who’s been at the restaurant’s helm since it opened September 2015.
The Long Beach, Miss. native has lived on the Gulf Coast her entire life, yet she doesn’t take for granted the prime real estate upon which the restaurant sits. “We have an absolutely gorgeous view of the Gulf of Mexico right from our deck,” she gushes. “We also have seating on the inside where you can see it as well.”
It’s one of many perks, Ellerman says, setting Baja Beach apart from other Mexican eateries in the area. She counts the tortilla-making machine and their unique twist on classic Tex-Mex cuisine using fresh ingredients as other perks.
Some of her favorite dishes on the menu are old-time favorites like chicken chimichanga and enchiladas. Baja’s version of the chicken chimichanga uses shredded chicken thighs, which she says bring out more flavor than chicken breasts, plus peppers, onions, a signature chimi cheese mixture and topped with queso blanco. The enchilada is stacked like lasagna, as they layer corn tortillas with cheese, onions, enchilada verde sauce, and then bake it. Diners choose a topping and protein of shrimp, steak or chicken.
There are also a number of bestselling items she’s noted, ranging from grilled Mahi Mahi tacos to a California burrito filled with grilled steak, refried beans and queso blanco. All are served on generously sized platters.
“You will not leave hungry with any of our dishes because we do not skimp on portions,” Ellerman assures.
Baja’s beachfront appeal attracts as many locals as tourists, Ellerman says, adding that some repeat customers visit up to three times a week. She believes that has a lot to do with the fact that the parent company of the restaurant is family owned and local. It’s also not rare to see the owners interacting with customers in the dining room.
“I would rather work for a family-owned company where the owners are walking through the dining room shaking hands with customers and building relationships with the community,” she says. “They’re definitely involved in different business organizations and it’s more of a small-town kind of thing. We make it a must to check on tables and talk to people.”
- Author: Audarshia Townsend
- Posted: July 14, 2016
- Categories: In Our Communities, VOL 4 - ISSUE 3 • SUMMER 2016