Tag Archives: Metate

A Weekend in Los Cabos

Brunch at the Beach

Recently, I was lucky enough to have to travel to Los Cabos Mexico for a business meeting. Unfortunately, it would be a very quick trip over a weekend with meetings all day Saturday. I had never been to Baja California before so I was excited nonetheless and vowed to have some fun.

Knowing someone locally who is as obsessed with food as I am, is always a welcome treat when traveling, and this was one of those destinations. Everything had been arranged for the weekend, which made it very efficient to pursue some foodie adventures in such a short time.

After a full day of flying through a connection in Houston, I landed at Los Cabos airport. A very long immigration line in a frigid airport later, I exited to sunshine and warmth and was greeted by my local collegue. When you exit the airport, you have the option of choosing the bar at the right or left for a little cerveza or tequila before heading to your destination. Since we had a short wait before another colleague landed, we chose the bar to the left for a bit of Don Julio. We were off to a good start.

I hadn’t eaten since early morning and needed food when we got to our hotel. Next to the hotel was El Mercato, a food hall with different vendors offering a variety of foods from pizza to gyros to Chinese. My philosophy of always eating local, took me to a small Mexican place called The Office where I enjoyed a delicious Vegetable Sope topped with mushrooms, squash blossoms, cabbage, and so much more.

A quick nap at the hotel later we took the scenic route to Metate in San Jose Del Cabo for dinner. Metate is a grinding stone used to grind things like corn for tortillas. The restaurant is off an unpaved road, and is primarily an outdoor space with a bar that has a screen behind it showing old movies, a water fountain and tables right on the ground. The tables are colorfully set with Mexican plates, runners and placemats. The menu is authentically Mexican. This is not your average American idea of Mexican with Burritos and Chimichangas. This is just incredibly good food prepared with a lot of pride and love. I started with a glass of mezcal which is always served with worm salt and orange wedges as I learned. One can also order their guacamole “crunchy” with insects and grasshoppers which our local colleagues indulged on while we watched without the nerve to try them. For my dinner, I opted for the Chicken Mole which was the best I’ve ever eaten. It was rich and flavorful made even better with the homemade corn tortillas which were incredible. I’ve eaten a lot of tortillas and none have compared to these made clearly with stone ground corn by hand. They were so good, I could have eaten them with the variety of salsas that were offered, as my meal and been very satisfied. A surprisingly good hibiscus margarita topped off the night.

The next day was spent in a conference room in meetings and by 5pm, we were all ready for a break from work. Our local hosts picked us up at 6:30 and drove us to Cabo San Lucas to a resort called Acre (pronounce AA-Kray in spanish) which is set amidst cactus and palm trees with paths that lead to individual guest rooms designed as tree houses. At the center is a restaurant, bar and swimming pool.

Upon arrival, we were asked if we were interested in a Mezcal tasting and we responded with an unanimous “yes”. In America, mezcal has a reputation of being a cheap tequila that doesn’t taste very good, but this is far from the truth. We tasted three different artisanal Mezcals, each very different from the other. I learned much including the various types of agave fruit used and how to actually taste the spirit without allowing the alcohol to overwhelm the tastebuds. I also learned that while all tequila is a type of mezcal, not all mezcal can be called tequila because tequila can only be made from the blue agave plant. The bowls used to taste are made of dried pomegranate skins and other similar fruits which allow the opening to be wide enough to allow for the aroma to penetrate properly. Orange slices dusted with a salt that is mixed with ground up worms are used to cleanse the palette between sips. What a fascinating experience!!

After our mezcal tasting, we were escorted to our dinner table. Our hosts know the owners and had requested a private table for our party. These tables are set in open spaces surrounded by greenery throughout the resort. It was a lovely setting and we felt pampered as the waiters took our order and the chef came out to greet us and make recommendations. We opted to share in a variety of foods including beet salad, grilled octopus, roasted suckling pig (Lechon) with warm tortillas, vegetables, green salad and hands down THE BEST cheddar biscuits I’ve ever eaten. We accompanied the meal with a delicious Mexican Nebbiolo. We lingered over conversation about food intermingled with talk of our earlier meeting, but felt very relaxed until we were ready to head back to the hotel for some sleep before our morning flights.

Everyone except me had early flights home the next day and so the day began with a dropoff to the airport. With a few more hours before my flight, we headed to brunch at Cabo Azul, a resort about 15 minutes from the airport. They serve a substantial buffet brunch on a terrace by the beach with live music for entertainment. The buffet consists of your usual fare of eggs & omelettes, baked goods, cheeses, fruit, cereal, etc., inside the restaurant, but outside there is a display of Mexican specialties like tamales, salsas, tortillas, beef roast. By the bar there is a variety of ceviches and seafood. I opted for a chicken tamal, mushroom quesadilla, lobster claw and a strawberry mimosa. I also went back for some mango and papaya that were incredibly ripe and sweet. I was quite content and later happy that I had indulged since I was unable to eat for the remainder of the day.

Brunch over and flight time drawing near, we made our way back to the airport. It had been a whirlwind weekend of 47 hours in Los Cabos, but we certainly made the best of it and did not starve.

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