So. We went to Mexico.
And unfortunately you will have to hear all about it in the next several posts.
We based our trip in Cabo San Lucas on the Baja Peninsula. After arriving, I quickly realized Cabo was just too shrill and touristy for me. So at the earliest opportunity, I left husband deep in his book poolside at our swanky resort and ditched out of Dodge for a day trip to the way more sleepy and artsy Todos Santos located about an hour northwest of Cabo.
Todos Santos has been awarded the moniker of “Pueblo Magico,” or “Magical Town,” a title reserved for towns retaining authentic historic and artistic charm. There are at least 29 other places in Mexico who have also achieved this honor. The town is filled with art galleries and a few really fun places to explore.
First stop was Museo de Casa de Cultura. A lovely little museum that details the local history of Todos Santos. The place was inexplicably still decorated for Christmas.
I loved this display of a traditional indigenous Todos Santos outdoor kitchen.
Next stop was a peek into the Iglesia de Nuestra Señora de La Paz dates from 1747 but has been rebuilt and expanded upon over the years.
Across the way in the plaza the vendors were setting up for the day.
I found a friendly señor selling lovely nuts, dried fruits and jars of delicious looking preserves. Best of all, he gave out lots of free samples.
I bought some fresh salted peanuts for the husband (his favorite), some chili spiced peanuts for the spice girl (me) and a delicious mix of salted pepitas and chili peppers.
Then it was on to do a little shopping and more exploring, winding my way around the narrow, charming streets of Todos Santos.
There are many interesting art galleries and a few small, charming hotels.
Lots of places to eat. Some elegant.
There were many pesos spent at a fabulous Mexican sweets shop. Much more on that in a later post.
After passing up all those restaurants and doing my food blogger due diligence at the sweet shop. it was time to eat.
Situated directly across the street from The Hotel California (They like to tell tourists, it's THAT Hotel California, but it's not) is Tequila's Sunrise Bar & Grill. A fantastic place owned by mucho charismatic Mr. Margarita himself, Emmanuel. He gave everyone who entered the place a jovial, warm welcome.
He's earned the name "Mr. Margarita" for winning at least seven international margarita mixing contests. Damiana liqueur, an herbal based spirit is the not so secret ingredient in his drink recipes. The house cocktails are illustrated on the walls all over the restaurant.
I wasted no time in ordering a drink. Mr. Margarita himself mixed me up a pomegranate margarita and I have to admit, it was the best one I have ever had in my life. It even had arils floating inside the glass. If it wasn't so huge and potent I would have ordered another.
Time to order lunch. I zeroed in on the special, Chicken in Tequila Sauce. I also ordered a side of guac and chips and they brought this.
Did I mention I was by myself at the table? However, not one bit embarrassed to admit I put a significant dent in that platter. It was, like all their dishes, homemade, fresh and organic. Then came the bread.
And the salad with gorgeous homemade dressing containing fresh herbs and spices. Maybe I should have put a smaller dent in the guacamole platter?
The main dish was beautifully presented. I almost squeed over the tomato rose. And I don't squee.
Simply muy delicioso. The sauce was lightly spiced with chili and the cheese added a whole other level of yum to this dish. The service was superb as well.
It was rough but someone had to do it, so I ordered the Mexican Tiramisu for dessert. Wow.
Then it was time to roll back to Cabo San Lucas with a full belly. So I said goodbye to these Mariachi Frogs (the pomegranate margarita was kicking in) and got back in the van.
However, there was a pit stop on the way home. Not really voluntary, but no tourist in a van in these parts can escape a visit to the local blanket factory.
Actually it was pretty interesting. A family run operation. The owner demonstrated how the blankets and small rugs were hand woven using this beautiful loom.
I ended up buying (of course) a small brightly colored rug for my Pennsylvania kitchen with a lovely fish pattern on it.
Stay tuned for more...