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Saturday, August 1, 2009

DINING - Explore the Culinary Delights


Explore the Culinary Delights
by Stockton Hill and Lucy E. Jackson

Uncovering hidden restaurants and truly superior food is one of the most enjoyable aspects of traveling in Pacific Baja and along the coast of the Sea of Cortez. When it comes to dining, the opportunities are as rich and varied as the towns and villages themselves—each with a unique flavor and specialty.

When the conquistadores arrived in Mexico in 1492, they found that the diet of the people consisted largely of corn-based dishes with chiles and herbs, occasionally complemented with beans and tomatoes; and many such staples are still enjoyed today, like tamales and tortillas.

The conquistadores, like many of you culinary explorers, wanted more and eventually integrated their European ingredients of rice, beef, pork, chicken, wine and garlic with the native indigenous foods of the time, including chocolate, maize, huitlacoche, tomatoes, chile peppers, beans, squash, etc., to shape the gastronomic delights of Mexico.

Today, Mexico is one of the world’s top food destinations, known for its blend of local ingredients and experimental flavors, and Baja and Sonora may be the best example, with a strong influence from the southwestern United States, and a cross section of the entire country—from corn-fed beef and flour tortillas of the north, seafood of the Gulf Coast to the rich molés, spices and stuffed chiles rellenos of the Pueblo region.

Everything is available, from fine dining to street vendors selling tacos or the Americana especial—the hotdog. Our featured restaurants serve mouthwatering national and International specialties, from traditional Mexican, and the world’s best seafood, to cuisine such as American, French, Italian, and sumptuous steaks, or whatever is needed to curb your cravings.

This month we’re going to whet your appetite and give you a “taste” of what’s available in this region of the world. The craft, elegance and sheer diversity of the dining options will please anyone on any occasion.

You can unwind with your favorite drink on the deck overlooking the Sea of Cortez or indulge in a culinary adventure and a feast for your senses—where the local flavor and environment come together in perfect harmony. From elegant dining to a casual beachfront bistro, you can enjoy each savory bite of elegant fare in a relaxing atmosphere.

Enjoy a memorable evening under the stars, or allow them to cater to you in genuine Mexican style; savor the sunset while indulging in a true gourmet’s delight; and discover culinary masterpieces in a magnificent setting with distinctive service and ambiance.

When it comes to dining in Mexico, restaurants are everywhere. Dining out is often a true highlight of the day and it is possible to sample many of the country’s finest dishes, with many of the best dining venues being surprisingly inexpensive.

Along the way, you are likely to sample offerings that range from acceptable to outstanding (but very rarely anything less). In general, restaurants are quite good and very reasonably priced.

Join us, and a couple of our friends, and savor the fresh flavor as we explore the culinary delights of Pacific Baja and the Sea of Cortez.