CABO SAN LUCAS TRIP REPORT
Trip report, restaurants with some menus & photos 7/14-7/24
Our group of 20 all used Arturo for round trip transportation with zero problems. We spent the week at Cabo Villas Beach Resort and had a very good time. Check-in went smoothly for a large group and we had good rooms all over the resort. My Cabo Villas review will be separate. There will be quite a few changes in Slytrader’s top 10 Recommended Restaurant List when we update our website after this 10 day visit. Our recommendations are based on quality of food and service, and value for the dollar or peso. The only one that won’t change is Salvatore’s. They will remain our Number One. In order to provide more useful information, I am going to just comment on the restaurants this year with photos and menus where available.
A couple of notes: One morning five of us went to Crazy Lobster for our blood mary fixes. Then we went to Panchos for breakfast. After ten minutes when no one waited on us we got up and left. We walked around the corner to Hacienda el Coyote which was closed. But, the door was open, so we walked in yelled Hola a few times and still no one came out. So we looked at the menu, which is similar to La Fonda and walked out. Part of the group ended up at Senor Greenberg’s for lunch and were pleased with what they received.
Baja Brewing Company, two American breakfasts, 2 drinks, $23, which was good value for the price. Our group spent quite a bit of time here for other meals and pizza. Everyone I talked to was pleased with meals and the value and the entertainment. They also provided free pizza at check-in which I thought was very good.
The Office, we had several meals here. Two arrachera egg combos and two bloody marys was $36. Three meals and several drinks another time was $82. While somewhat pricey, we think their breakfasts are excellent.
Baja Cantina Beach Grill, one meal here was one American and one Mexican with two drinks; $52. Another for three was one American, two Mexican, five drinks, and a bottle of water; $96. Our group had several meals here and while they were good, it is our opinion with the new management changes, Baja Cantina is just as pricey as The Office if not more so.
SALVATORE'S - This is an automatic first stop for us and most in the group. So we headed there first Saturday night. Matt and Tim were gracious hosts as always and put our small group of nine upstairs. We had the pear and spinach salad at our end of the table and split it four ways. There was a salad at the other end also. The main courses were two Porkettas, one seafood medley, and five Lasagnas. One couple split one Lasagna and actually finished it. That is a first in our group as no two people splitting in our groups had ever finished one order. They hadn’t eaten all day, so that explains it a little bit. I had one of the Porkettas which I had never ordered before. Now I know why people rave about how good it is. It was melt in your mouth tender and tasty with the light chipotle sauce. I sure hope Tim and Matt keep that item on the menu. Everyone in our group had more than favorable to excellent comments on the meals. One in our group paid for 6 meals and one paid for three meals, so I don’t have the cost. However, they both said their bills were very reasonable, which we already knew they would be. After this visit once again Salvatore’s will continue to be Number One on Slytrader’s Top 10 Restaurant Recommended List on our website.
PATAGONIA'S - Five in our group went Sunday night. Once again the steaks were excellent and Leo provided excellent service. All the steaks were cooked as ordered with one minor exception. The NY strip was medium instead of medium rare, but there was enough pink that he didn’t complain. We had two Vacio’s, two filets, and one NY strip. The drinks were 4 beers, 3 vodka cranberry, and one bottle of water. We had two small salads, two large caprice salads, large fresh fluffy rolls with chimmichuri sauce and garlic mayo, and a small plate of grilled mixed vegetables. No dessert. Randy bought dinner and we all chipped in with him for the tip. He divided the bill by five and said the meal cost $30.40 per person. Eric and Carol (TA) and family from Sparks, Nevada who we met at Cabo Villas went here earlier and told me they thought the steaks were excellent also. We asked Leo if he knew why Javier named the one cut of beef the “Vacio”. He told us that vacio in Argentina means empty. And the cut of meat he uses (we think it is a prime skirt steak) comes from a part of the beef that has no connection to and is not near any of the organs of the animal. Therefore, the cut of beef is empty of any impurities according to Javier. That is why he decided to call the steak the “Vacio”. A little trivia for you!
HACIENDA COCINA & CANTINA - We just had a snack here one afternoon. Guacamole, pozole and Pacificos; $18. The restaurant is a beautiful well designed layout and the menu looked interesting. We were going to come back but never made it. We will give it another try next year if they are still open to the public.
MANGO DECK - Several in the group went there quite a few times for different meals, since it seemed Baja Cantina prices had increased and they had shortened their happy hour (10-12 and 3-5). We went twice, once for drinks (still 2 for one all day) and once for snacks. We had their smoked gueritos and guacamole prepared tableside. Both were reasonably priced and very good.
LOS MICHOACANO'S, eleven of us went for a late afternoon dinner. We had 1 ½ kilos of carnitas, a large platter of cracklins, 4 sodas, a Mexican milk soda, 3 bottles of water, and 6 beers. We are all carnitas fans and as usual they were very good. The bill was $53.
LOS COLORINES - It is the first store closest to the beach around the corner from the Baja Cantina Beach Bar. I was in error calling it the middle store. It is the first store. We went several times. One lunch we had two Pacifico Lites, large bottle of water, a ham and cheese quesadilla, a taco al pastor, and a burrito al pastor, $10. Another time we had 4 Pacifico Lite, a chicken quesadilla, a steak burrito, and a ham and cheese quesadilla, $13. Randy went once by himself and had a Pacifico, large bottle of water, and a fajita dinner, $9. Several in our group went there quite a few times and brought food back to the pool. The food is very good and there were no complaints. The menu linked below is a year old. The owner said we could keep it for pictures; just add two pesos to almost everything to bring it up to date. Photos, including menu.
LA PLAYITA (Mini Super) - This would be the third store. They have drinks (water, soda, juices, beer etc.) They also have snacks and ice cream. Single beer prices were Sol 75 pesos, Corona 100 pesos, Pacifico 100 pesos. Kermato small bottle 35 pesos and ice 25 pesos per bag. They have three sizes of bottled water, medium 8 pesos, large 10 pesos, and extra large 13 pesos. The clerk let my wife have a bottle of water when he couldn't make change, simply asking that she return to pay. Which, of course, she did! Photos including menu.
CASCADAS BEACH GRILL - We had a great meal there with seven vodka sonics, split an Italian Sausage and Spinach roll, split the green Pozole, and split the blue cheese salad with extra blue cheese. Being full we skipped the main course and ordered two Flaming Coffees. The waiters put on a great show at tableside brewing the Flaming Coffees; $93. This was one of several of the best meals of the trip. Photos.
LA RICAZON - Six of us went late Friday night. There were two tables left and one was for six, so we got right in. It wasn’t long before Marty introduced himself and made us feel welcome. He also checked on us frequently to make sure we were had everything we needed. We did since we had a very good waiter. Marty also shared with us from time to time some of his culinary background, experiences, and parts of some of his recipes. We got the four sauces for each end of the table. We had about 8 Sol and two frozen margaritas. For appetizers we had two orders of the smoke marlin & jalapeno cheese poppers and 2 orders of guacamole. Then one order chicken tacos, one order scallop tacos, 2 quesadilla dinners, and 2 arrachera steak dinners. For dessert we had two orders of chocolate flan and one hot chocolate brownie with ice cream on top (the last one he had left). The bill was $137, which we all thought was more than fair for all we received. We enjoyed the evening there very much and the excellent food and service and will definitely be return customers in the future. I told Marty I would update his review on our website in the very near future. Photos.
EL FARALLON - Thirteen in our group went. We got a reservation on Monday for 7:15 pm Tuesday night. Everyone was dressed nice casual with some flip flops and tennis shoes, which the manager said was no problem. After going thru the tunnel and taking pictures at the entrance, we made the long walk thru the resort following a Capella employee to the entrance on the side of a cliff. After checking in we milled around looking at the two chalkboard menus and the main courses in the ice, since our table wasn’t quite ready. The setting, ambiance, architecture, and the constant roar of the large waves are something no one can forget.
Since we had a large group I was informed our group would be served family style. We were all prepared to go to the ice and pick out a main course, but that didn’t happen. Actually we all felt like it turned into a better all you can eat affair. They ended up giving us “Everything On Both Menus” (see photos for all the items). After serving drinks the only question the head waiter had was; how many want steak? There were five of us. He had to let the chef know so he could cook the correct amount of steak for five.
They started with a crab and chipotle soup. Next was a trio for everyone that consisted of Crispy Calamari, Sea Bass Ceviche, and Heart of Palm & Seabean salad and four sauces. Then about five waiters started bringing platters of all the sides on the menu. Next were the platters with all the main courses. It truly was all you can eat. They just kept bringing platters including Lobster. We were all looking at each other in disbelief. After dinner three items came that were not on the menu, the desserts. There were chocolate brownies with hot chocolate icing, apple crepes, and rice pudding. At this point we are eating by candle flame while listening to the continuing constant roar of the waves. The meal was quoted to me as a family style dinner at $80 per person, plus drinks, and tip. The actual bill with drinks was $1222, or $94 dollars per person. One person paid for dinner and the tip ended up around $400. I know there was no one in our group that has ever had a complete dinner experience like this ever! It was a Classic! This is an absolute must go to restaurant. I didn’t find out how large the group had to be to get family style, but I will find out for next year because it is definitely the way to go. There were three cameras taking pictures and we will eventually get all of them on our website. For now here are my Photos: Page 1 and Page 2.
LA GOLONDRINA - As usual eleven of our group made the trip here. It was good as always especially the lobster and the desserts, but as always it was expensive. It was a memorial dinner in honor of one of our group that passed away recently and always paid for the dinner when we went here. The bill including tip was approx. $837. I might be off a few dollars but it was over $800 and under $850. I’m not a lobster fan, so I asked the hostess/waitress if I could get one half chicken grilled. She said, no problem and that is what I ordered. She brought me a grilled chicken breast. I was expecting, breast, thigh, leg, and wing. I asked her since when is the breast only half of a chicken. She had no answer and I ate the breast. This event caused me to peruse the menu more carefully looking for value. My son had ordered the Carne Asada steak. He didn’t finish the two pieces and I had a bite. It was very tender and tasty and ranks real close the other good arrachera steaks I’ve had in CSL. Then checking the menu, it is the third item under “Steaks, Chicken, and Pork”, and it is $22 and one of the lowest priced items on the huge menu board. I now have my meal plan for next year. Photos.
LA FONDA - 12 made the trip here. A couple of the meals left a little to be desired. I had a bite of the filet and it was mushy like it had been over needled to get it tender. My arrachera steak was a little tough and too fatty. However, the rest of the meals seemed to be on the money especially the stuffed sea bass. We also had quite a few Cabo Rosas, my favorite drink here. One in our group was very adventurous wanting to try something unusual this year. So, she ordered a platter of Butana Chapulines (Grasshoppers). Needless to say only a couple of the 12 tried them, and she only had one bite. I’m told this meal needs to be fried crisp to be served correctly. They were definitely not crisp and just looking at them was definitely not appetizing. She’ll probably try escamoles (ant eggs) next year! The bill was $430.76. Photos.
It should be very obvious from my write-up El Farallon is a special restaurant in a very unique setting. I’m sure we will fit them into our plans again next year, whether we have a large group or not!