December 27, 2019
No blog post about Cabo San Lucas is compete without a discussion of the city’s fantastic restaurants. But first, some politics. We were delighted with the local ex-pat free newspaper, the Gringo Gazette, as it brought to our attention local issues in Cabo San Lucas, besides providing a great calendar of local cultural events and activities.
Top among the local issues was a government proposal to remove the commercial fishing ban from Dorado, otherwise known in the States as mahi mahi. This proposal is highly unpopular in Cabo San Lucas, and the Gringo Gazette explained that this is because the sport fishing industry is the mainstay of the local economy. The worry is that if the commercial ban is lifted, non-local commerical fishing will destroy the local sport fishing and tourist economy by depleting the availability of sport fish and damaging the diverse marine ecology of the area.
The second issue that the Gringo Gazette brought to our attention was police corruption. Locals are concerned because the federal police had recently been pulled out of Los Cabos and a resumption of local police shake-downs of foreigners was feared. The paper urged all not to pay-off these corrupt officials. We were very interested to read the paper’s advice. Hopefully we won’t encounter these bad apples, but it’s good to know what to do/say if we ever do.
But back to food. Probably the best direction we got, while in Cabo, was to leave the chaos of the marina/Malecón area and walk the short distance to Plaza Amelia Wilkes. This is a small local plaza, with many good restaurants and artisan shops surrounding it. Friday nights the adjoining streets are closed and the whole area turns into an open market for artists to sell their wares. The Friday before Christmas was especially festive with stilt-walkers, local dance groups performing, and a crowd of mostly local families out enjoying the evening market and free entertainment.
We started our Cabo restaurant exploration with Mi Casa, a Mexican restaurant across the street from Plaza Amelie Wilkes. Its a little kitschy with the prerequisite strolling musicians, balloon artist (great for the kids), and canary fortune tellers (it can only be experienced not described.) But for all that the food was great. We had the best carnitas ever and shared an “appetizer” of four different regional tamale preparations as shown in the top photo of this blog post. Two thumbs up for Mi Casa!
Our second major discovery is that Cabo loves Italian restaurants (we couldn’t believe the number) and does Italian brilliantly. Also on Amelia Wilkes plaza was Invita Bistro–fantastic food. They had us at the caprese salad–one of the best we have ever had, with fresh mozzarella, natch, but modified with fresh peppers and pesto–yum.
Our favorite Italian restaurant was “discovered” by the HH, Hermosa Hija or beautiful daughter, close to the marina. We ate at Pan di Bacco for lunch and returned the next day for the exact same lunch. Two fantastic salads are what brought us back. Pettola di Mozzarella – a kind of salad that is rolled in mozzarella and filled with arugula, ham, and cherry tomatoes and topped with pesto. And their rocket salad – rucola e prosciutto filled with arugula, goat cheese, parma ham, and balsamic caramelized walnuts. Best. Rocket. Salad. Ever.
We can’t end this food post without talking about breakfast, one at the marina and one far from the madding crowd near Amelia Wilkes Plaza. Lolita’s was the latter. Turns out it’s known locally for its breakfasts but we just lucked into it wandering around looking for breakfast. The gigantic breakfast fruit platter alone was to die for and go to fruit-lover’s heaven. Fresh orange juice was an obvious must at Lolita’s, the “bar” is lined with baskets of oranges and the counter boasts citrus squeezers rather than beer taps. The waitress didn’t speak any English, but we seemed to be to order just fine nonetheless with our lousy Spanish providing her plenty of entertainment.
Our second favorite breakfast place was steps from the dock at Los Deseos. Reasonably priced, they did a perfect lox and bagel that proved to be irresistible after the prerequisite morning jog along the Malecón (pier) followed by morning beach yoga. I may never be able to eat lox without fresh avocado again. How convenient that Los Deseos just happened to be along my morning route back to the boat!
Sadly, no new contender for Best Flan in Mexico rose to the top during our stay in Cabo, although plenty were tried. The flan at Gardenia’s came close but was a tad too sweet. And fear not, we are saving up our all-important thoughts on street tacos for some future post. Stay tuned.
Cabo San Lucas Smileys and Frowns Part 2
- Great Restaurants!
- Plaza Amelia Wilkes area: Mi Casa, Lolita’s, and Invita Bistro
- Marina area: Pan di Bacco and Los Deseos
- Proposed lift of commercial fishing ban
- Fears of corrupt local police
We are off to our next port of call: San José del Cabo – about a three hour motor east – where we hope to recover our hearing (after the blaring noise that is the Cabo marina/Malecón) and ring in the New Year in a sedate and dignified manner!