The clip at which I move through Baja is a lot like that of a jackrabbit; constantly in motion, with very little time in between for leisurely meanders toward new frontiers. There’s usually a place to be, a reservation to hit, a meal to be had, or a solid timeframe to stick to. Not this trip. In late May, it was time for another road trip to Loreto, but I wanted to experience things differently. Take a slower path down Highway 1 – walk the beach, sip the margarita, wander the vineyards, and taste every new bite along the way.
Here’s a handful of new experiences I partook in, all while taking a minute to really see the epic land and breathe it in.
Have Breakfast Amongst The Vines
Usual M.O. - Fish tacos in Ensenada
This time - Have a rural country breakfast in a vineyard
We are usually hightailing it for El Rosario the minute we cross the border, just so we can hit the road further southbound at the crack of dawn. This time though, we altered course all because I wanted to have dinner at the relatively new Tootsies in San Ignacio. We left LA at night and simply drove to San Diego – only to stay in a great dog-friendly Best Western just north of the TJ border. That way, we could wake up early and make it to San Ignacio, with light to spare. While taking the detour off Highway 1, just north of Ensenada, I realized we were close to Cuatro Cuatros, where my dog Minka had made friends with their housedogs the last trip down. So, we swung on over to have some breakfast and let her run free among the vines. As we waited on our PERFECT breakfast to be shaped, we wandered about - sipping coffee, quizzing the staff about when they’re getting a pool (next year!), and chasing rabbits with our gal. The OJ was fresh squeezed, the tunes were fun and airy and the meal was probably the freshest breakfast I’d ever had in wine valley – soft piles of black beans, creamy avocado and eggs done perfectly. From fluffy cheese filled omelets, to lightly sauced chiliquiles, to huevos a la Mexicana, the chefs at this true farm-to-table luxe tent setup really know how to step back in time and do it right.
Eat A Leisurely Breakfast On The Beach
Usual M.O. - Stop for a quick doggie walk and make haste
This time - Eat, drink and play on the beach
The beaches of the Sea of Cortez are truly unimaginable if you’ve never been. But, when you’ve seen them a million times, it’s easy to forget how spectacular they are…and what amazing creatures call this area home. Ana’s is the consummate seaside restaurant to really enjoy the pristine view. The primary reason being that the margarita served here is like no other in Baja – it actually tastes like a mix between a marg and pina colada, with slivers of tropical vibes in each sip. You can grab one, walk the entire length of the beach with the doggie and by the time you’re back to your simple plastic table, breakfast is ready. Slow cooked eggs, fresh made tortillas, another margarita just for good measure (if you are not driving!), and a huge rib bone (on the house) for the hungry dog. What a joy it is to touch down somewhere that serves every single need, without even having to ask.
Obsess About A Potato In A Foil Sack
Usual M.O. - Ignore everyone who tells me to eat at Super Burro
This time - Become obsessed with Super Burro
All these years, I’ve never listened to a soul who said try Super Burro, a locals only taqueria just off the main drag in Loreto. I blatantly ignored them, for no real reason. Just cause. But, one afternoon, wanting to pick up some to go food, I decided to go hard at the Burro. Not only was the meat so tender it was surreal, but I discovered a dish that will haunt me the rest of my days – a little something called molcajetes. Imagine a baked potato packed in foil and loaded to the brim with charred meat, grilled mushrooms and onions, oozing cheese, loads of butter, and sour cream…then tossed onto the grill to melt down into the dish of the century. Why is this item not pouring forth from artisan food trucks, fast food restaurants, roadside stands and basically my own kitchen with wild abandon? Easily one of my TOP 10 meals EVER.
Pit Stop For Bags Of Sweets
Usual M.O. - Absolutely no time for Mulege – We just left Loreto
This time - Swing through Mulege and jog my memory – It's an adorable village
The way back north is usually such an exhausting venture, but this time – it was a joy. 1. I was driving a recently upgraded Range Rover for the trip and 2. I discovered Mago’s Cafe in Mulege. The wafts of baking bread mixed with pounds of sugar is beyond intoxicating when edging into town, so a break at their open-air café is an absolute must. Literally, everything on display was under $2 and just out of the oven. Meaning still warm and swoon worthy. No matter which direction you are headed on Highway 1, the hand slapped pizzas, chunky cookies, date rolls, thick banana bread, and heavy brownies are all worthy of a sidetrack into town. However, it’s the house made nieve that takes the cake. Nothing like the high of a pina colada tinged blast of ice cream to make the road weariness seem like nothing more than a tiny passage of time. A dream worth revisiting, you better believe.
Hotel El Morro
Located on the beach side of Highway 1 as you exit town headed south - KM 1.5
Located at Playa Santispac