pixel

In the Belly of Baja
By Misty Tosh

Roaming The Baja - One Tip At A Time

By Misty Tosh
@bigsweettooth

Mama Espinosa's Chicken Salad

No matter where I land in the world, I’m the gal who searches out the funkiest dive bar, the most remote farm to table restaurant, the sauciest cantina, and the tiniest shack of goodness that I can find. This past trip to Baja, I decided to see what other folks hunt down when it comes to food using random word of mouth, tripadvisor.com and other such internet buzz words. I hit up as many #1 rated restaurants up and down the peninsula as I could, and I tried a handful of new places. Some quests were wild goose chases and some introduced me to whole new neighborhoods I’d never cruised through. I was pretty surprised by what wets the whistle of the masses in Mexico. Happy hunting as you scout your way down the long leg that is Baja!

El Rosario, Mama Espinoza's

This is the stop of all pit stops before entering the great outback and cactus riddled no man's land that makes up the high desert of mid-Baja. In a tiny pass-through town, with just a handful of really honorable and authentic restaurants, I’m actually stunned this mainstay is #1 on Tripadvisor. I think it has more to do with the legends and history that surround the lobster burritos than it does with actually serving rave worthy food (they opened their doors in the 30’s!). I could be basing that on their poor excuse for margaritas – but wow, powered Kool-Aid and cheap tequila does not a margarita make. However, that said – I usually stop here either for an early morning coffee if I’ve stayed nearby. If it’s later in the day, I load up on some sort of lobster stuffed dish, which are usually amped up a notch with boatload of butter. I was happily surprised to try the super fresh shredded chicken salad platter, especially with temps reaching the mid-90’s. A cold dish is the best thing going in those kinds of conditions. The place is usually loaded with cheery dirt bikers (happy to be off the trail) and weary travelers coming over from the rudimentary hotel on the property. Their dog friendly rooms are a must for when you just can’t go another mile, and they always seem to have space available.

Mama Espinosas

Loreto, Sabor! Restaurant

This tucked away house turned restaurant was a wonderful gift during my time spent in Loreto. I kept hearing whispers of their superb chile rellenos from random strangers in town and finally, one lazy afternoon, it was time to experience it all. Cut to: the friendliest staff (all family) doling out enormous top shelf margaritas poolside while pre-marinated meat charred up on the outdoor grill. The smells were intoxicating as we waited on the steak, burgers and rellenos to be made to order. We raced back and forth to the parking lot checking on our dog as no dogs are allowed in the restaurant area. My dog, Minka, was 100% fine, with long strips of drool tangled up in her whiskers – clearly the scents were driving her mad with joy as well. There was no way we could finish the massive portions so Minka got her fair share of perfectly seared steak, and the owner even grilled up a thick chicken breast for her. What a doggie life! The chile rellenos were indeed the best I’ve had in Baja and I have to give them credit for that – rellenos are easy to mess up. From the wood fired pinto beans, to the chunky guacamole, to the homemade tortillas, Sabor is a winner all the way around. They are open seasonally, and come October, the doors will be back open. Alhough I didn’t try the desserts, apparently, these are the dishes that have the locals going back time and time again. I also love that they change their menu up each season, giving regulars new dishes to try and old favorites to come back to.

Loreto, Carnitas Mulos and the PERFECT House Rental on the beach - Casa Aliciamaria

Never have I had such spot on house rental hosts as Jeanne and Mark in this Sea of Cortez rental. We took over their beachfront house with a private pool for almost 2 weeks in May and it was exactly the way I need to structure my trips to Baja from here on out. Amazing house with an incredible sound system – check. Wonderfully high thread counts in both bedrooms – check. Super awesome food suggestions – check. Well stocked chef’s kitchen – check. Hammock by the sea – check. So between cooking like mad, margarita blending like a pro, dipping in the pool and rooftop hot tub like a princess and eating like a local with the best of them, I’ve found my soon-to-be-regular Loreto spot. On Day 2 of 10, the owners made it a point to ask if we’d like to partake in the usual Sunday festivities - cold beer and taco fixin’s from the best local restaurant about 5 min away, Carnitas Mulos. Cut to: Hop in the truck with the owners and grab a mess of fresh whole hog shredded carnitas with pickled onions, fresh corn tortillas, multiple salsas and a ton of limes. Double done! These are the meals dreams are made of – and you must have the super insider edge to get the goods. And, if you rent the place for a week – you get a free trip to Isla Coronado on a private panga. Snorkeling in pristine waters with coolers full of goodies in a dolphin filled sea – happy check!

Los Barriles, El Viejo

In Los Barriles, an expat heavy town on a beautiful stretch of the azure Sea of Cortez, it’s a little tough to find real local food, done without a bit of an Americanized twist. When I read about El Viejo online, a wee shack of a place on the main strip, I was so pleased to think of crispy fish tacos, zesty ceviche and of course, cold margaritas for an early lunch. Sadly, though, this was a TA sub-par joint. It was here that I started to wonder what exactly the reviewers were basing their raving reviews on. If they were judging on friendliness or charm, well, those things were spot on. The restaurant had lants flowering, draping every spot the eye lands and laughing employees tidying up and greeting everyone with a smile. But, if they were judging based on food – perhaps they had a little more exploring to do around the village. Everything we ordered from the tacos to the ceviche was just a modest take on other spectacular dishes we tried in town. At least they were dog friendly, though – and, things like that go a long way in my book.

4.7 93 Reviews
  • user logo
    Benjamin Driebe
    From logo

    Absolutely fantastic, I already forgot her name because I have a terrible memory but the woman that helped me on the phone was wonderful,...

  • user logo
    richard carr
    From logo

    fast replies and great price!

  • user logo
    Juan Zuniga
    From logo

    I just would like to know if you guys are going to update the fastpass direction any soon, during the month of January the lane changed to...

  • user logo
    Richard Schweiger
    From logo

    Very professional, very helpful, great policy, I couldn't be happier with Baja Mexican Insurance, the friendly smiles and ease of it all in...

  • user logo
    Ryan Frisby
    From logo

    We use them every time we travel to Mexico. Luckily we have not needed their services yet but getting insurance through them is quick and...

  • user logo
    Jan Muhammad
    From logo

    I need a tourist visa for maxico I'm from pakistan help me sir

  • user logo
    Tracy Moore
    From logo

    Very easy, quick, and professional

  • user logo
    robert kepper
    From logo

    They are very good . There website doesn't show you need a title to bring a vehicle across the border.I was stopped and told I had to...

  • user logo
    Edilver Martinez
    From logo

    Our go to Baja car insurance, everytime we take a visit down south . Usually it's for a day trip either for a quick getaway with the family...

  • user logo
    Daniel Markofsky
    From logo

    Third time working with Baja Bound and they made it easy! Thanks!

  • user logo
    Steve Bender
    From logo

    Have never needed to use the insurance fortunately but the website always works great. Can buy a policy in about a minute.

  • user logo
    Jose Paez
    From logo

    Had a great experience getting insurance at Baja Bound, before I always stoped at the border to purchase my insurance, not anymore. By the...

  • user logo
    JUSTINE SERRANO
    From logo

    I purchased insurance through them & CHUBB for our trip to San Felipe. Unfortunately, we had to cancel due to our vehicle having an oil...

  • user logo
    Christian Minor
    From logo

    Team were on point, provided inside information, prices were great and they had my proposal already in the system when I called back....

  • user logo
    Joey Digiovanni
    From logo

    Easy to work with 😉. Always courteous and helpful

  • user logo
    George
    From logo

    Excellent customer service

  • user logo
    Kellye Pummill
    From logo

    Fast and easy!

  • user logo
    Jennifer Toups
    From logo

    Baja Bound is and has been my go to Mexico insurance company. The website is extremely easy to use, keeps all your info for a quick...

  • user logo
    Cesar Lopez
    From logo

    Very convenient, great price !!

  • user logo
    Louis Schneidman
    From logo

    I had an awesome experience with Baja Bound. Family owned and highly personal, top notch customer service. I have total peace of mind...

  • user logo
    Phil Noble
    From logo

    If you’re looking for Mexican Insurance that you can trust and feel good about while traveling in Mexico, you’ve found the right place....

  • user logo
    Jeff Bunker
    From logo

    Great coverage options . Price buy and print policy , very quick and easy , highly recommend them when driving in Mexico

  • user logo
    Burrell DeVine
    From logo

    Easy to navigate and very competitively priced! I had to call in and add an additional day, they couldn't have been any more pleasant to...

  • user logo
    Nereyda Torres
    From logo

    Me gusta la asuguranza porque la puedes comprar por un dia y te asegura en Mexico por el tiempo que vas ya sea hasta por mes (Translated...

  • user logo
    james whitmer
    From logo

    Best insurance I've had so far

  • user logo
    Rail1riders
    From logo

    Quick, easy, well designed website and not just for Baja. Good rates for temporal residente gringos. We’re not living in Jalisco. Printed...

  • user logo
    Matt B
    From logo

    I always use Baja Bound to source my insurance while traveling to Mexico. Fortunately, I have not had to file any claims. I do appreciate...

  • user logo
    Refugio I. Rochin
    From logo

    Excellent online and by direct phone. Spanish and English with proven response to questions. Website is very informative about driving in...

  • user logo
    Kelly Carney
    From logo

    Yara is very helpful and explains everything. Love working with companies like this.

  • user logo
    Slumdog Gump
    From logo

    Changed some money. Good rate and friendly people.

  • user logo
    Jeff G
    From logo

    Went down to TJ June 11 2020 No problems going into TJ but the way back was a ordeal 6 hours in line to get back into the USA but no...

  • user logo
    don letson
    From logo

    Great renewal process, if only south Dakota would do the same for car registration.

  • user logo
    len buckholtz
    From logo

    SIMPLE, STRAIGHTFORWARD. OLD GUYS LIKE THAT. WILL DEFINITELY USE IN 6 MONTHS IF STILL RUNNING AROUND THE WILDS OF BAJA.

  • user logo
    Susana Judd
    From logo

    Easy, quick and fair prices. Easy to deal with if needed.

  • user logo
    Seismic Waterfinder
    From logo

    Very excellent service, needed insurance for Mexico, price was fair. The custumer service rep was Yara

  • user logo
    Nicolas Dervé
    From logo

    Very good ans very fast. We hope all will ben good if we need it.

  • user logo
    Blake Glassco
    From logo

    I will never drive south of the border without Baja Bound in my center console. I was in an accident a couple hours south of Ensenada and...

  • user logo
    JohnPaul Gemelli
    From logo

    Baja Bound could not have made it an easier ... also, I made a mistake and called them having to leave a message ... but, they called back...

  • user logo
    Jeff Brandt
    From logo

    so far so good, however I have read good things about them

  • user logo
    Sengoz N
    From logo

    SERIOUS.

  • user logo
    Kenneth Trass
    From logo

    Getting a policy was simple, Provided more than provider for price comparison.

  • user logo
    Esther Valencia
    From logo

    Super easy to purchase just the coverage you need when crossing the border in your own car. I especially appreciate the fact that I was...

  • user logo
    Larry Cottingham
    From logo

    Great service, very helpful people there.

  • user logo
    Luis Cortes
    From logo

    Easiest way to purchase insurance when traveling to Mexico. I have used their service for the last 7 years and it only gets easier and...

  • user logo
    j dougher ty
    From logo

    EZ Peasy insurance purchase. Great service every time I've used them. Had to cancel one time when my travel plans went away - no problem....

  • user logo
    Paul Niehouse
    From logo

    Extremely easy to acquire a policy. Many options available. Reasonable rates.

  • user logo
    Colin
    From logo

    Super-easy and instant. Very happy with initial purchase.

  • user logo
    Howard M Elster
    From logo

    2nd year with Chubb. No problems

  • user logo
    Cyndee Congrove
    From logo

    Great customer service, quick, friendly staff helpfully answered all questions, very patient with my learning curve on a new product. Would...

  • user logo
    Art Eugenio
    From logo

    I've had Baja Bound insurance for more that ten years now with thousands of miles logged in Baja. Fortunately, I've only had one fender...

  • user logo
    Gabe Matthews
    From logo

    Where do i start..... you dont know you have good insurance until you have to actually use it. I have had Baja Bound INS for over 5 years...

  • user logo
    keith berkley
    From logo

    Been going to baja for 45 years. This is best insurance company i have come accross.

  • user logo
    Ryan Perkio
    From logo

    I have been using BajaBound Insurance for 15 years - multiple trips per year. Their website is easy, their coverage is great, and the...

  • user logo
    RaMon McBride
    From logo

    I have not had any claims thus far so rating is based on ease of purchase.

  • user logo
    Larry French
    From logo

    By far the best service for Mex insurance in Baja. They are personally there for you if you have problems south of the border.

  • user logo
    Tudor Thomas
    From logo

    Baja Bound makes buying insurance for going south of the border as easy as it gets. The website is the easiest I have used and the staff...