pixel

In the Belly of Baja
By Misty Tosh

Wine Valley Foodie Finds

By Misty Tosh
@bigsweettooth

In my nomadic mind, Baja is made up of quadrants, and all of them serve my hungry soul. The southern triangle is for seafood lovers (La Ventana); sport fishing fanatics (Los Barriles); and farm-to-table seekers (Todos Santos). Just north of there are the sun dappled townships of Loreto, Bahia Conception and Mulege – which are usually designated for extreme expats chucking it all to live in toy laden RV’s setups and simple, beachfront palapas. I associate this area with piles of fish tacos, baby bay scallops, chocolate clams and crispy coconut shrimp. Mid-Baja is a bleak desert that continues to search for an identity, and in my mind, this is where the American version of Mexican food reigns supreme. Generally, you take what you can get with a side of sour cream. And, then we have the forward thinking chefs to the north, in the rolling hills of wine valley. This is the spot that is the most accessible from the US (3.5 hours from LA) and the area that paints an unexpected picture of Baja. This region is the most surprising to foodies at large, and for good reason - you just never know what you will find.

Scorpion Bay Surf Scorpion Bay Surf

If there were a guacamole that could move mountains, it would be the creamy rendition at one of the wine valleys most astonishing B & B’s, Adobe Guadalupe. This gorgeous tucked away vineyard, inn and Azteca breeding horse farm was made for lazy weekends and romantic getaways. The hot tub action is next to none and is perfect for late night stargazing. If you’ve never had a rich bottle of Tempranillo in one hand and a glass in the other while slipping into a bubbling Jacuzzi under a canopy of stars on a chilly country night, look no further. You have reached heaven.

Now, back to the guacamole. This Mexican staple isn’t something that I usually gravitate toward at breakfast, but when the gals in the kitchen lay it out beside perfectly cooked huevos rancheros and a bounty of fresh blended salsas, there’s no way to avoid a spoonful. That one innocent bite easily turned into eating the entire bowl, though you are supposed to share with the bevy of happy overnighters sharing the communal breakfast with you dead center of the bustling kitchen. Nothing delights me more than Mexican ballads on the radio, giggling cooks fluttering about in a true chef’s kitchen, and platters of hot food being placed before me. Common ground chitchat with the other guests lolls on over silver urns full of steaming coffee – Which next level restaurant did you hit the night before (or perhaps you just dined in and had local seared fish by the fireplace)? What are your wine related plans for the afternoon (I’d say horseback riding through lush vineyards with tastings along the way)? And, why has nobody really & truly discovered the secret hotspot that is Northern Baja (shhhhh – let’s make a pact and don’t tell anyone)?

Scorpion Bay Surf Scorpion Bay Surf

And, of course no trip is complete without a stop down at the sun drenched food truck, Adobe Food Truck, that is just near the gated entrance to Adobe Guadalupe. Entire afternoons can be wiled away in the shade here – think tucking into a good book, steadily watching the clouds pass, sampling Spanish style tapas and sipping on a crisp white all at one time. Home never felt so far away.

Just down the road the dusty road from AG is the wine barrel flanked establishment, La Escuelita/Cooperativa. It’s actually a melding pot of things that perfectly encapsulate Baja right now. There’s the outdoor dining area that whips out local cheeses and crab burritos alongside glasses of puckering reds. And a stones throw across the yard is a rickety old RV where you can purchase that said red, as well as a selection of extremely local valley goods – coffee, mezcal, beer, and olive oils. As I sipped my sangria, I watched on as an older American couple disappeared into the bowels of the unassuming motor home – half lit and smiling – only to witness them emerge guffawing, 20 minutes later, wielding armfuls of wine bottles. Those two knew where to get the goods and whatever happened inside that beast, well, it was hilarious. Inspired by the incredible use of reclaimed items, I wandered around the land with the house mutt on my heels, sipping my vino and gawking at how the valley light filtered through the patched up walls just so. Oh, and you can also learn to make wine here and join the ranks of 100+ wineries in the region once you finally decide to sell it all and move across the border for good. What a find.

Scorpion Bay Surf Scorpion Bay Surf
4.8 81 Reviews
  • 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
    Stefano Pensa
    From logo

    I talked with Yara and she was extremely helpful. She took the time to explain the different options available to me and I was able to get...

  • 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
    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
    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