Category Archives: Food & Beverage

Birria El Palenque Constitucion

While getting supplies in Ciudad Constitucion at the Ley supermarket, we spotted this brick structure, Birriera El Palenque.

They are located in the east side of the main drag, approx 1 block south of Ley.

My remaining memory of Cd Const’ is the double boulevard with two lanes down the middle, bordered by 2 more sets of 2 lanes on both sides of that main drag going north and side.  The reputation is that if you don’t come to a complete stop, you’ll be facing mordida with the local constables.

Locals blow through those stop signs!

Like many restaurants in Mexico, the interior often is not what you might expect from the street view. El Palenque opens up into an expansive indoor/outdoor patio with a special throne just for me!

Sunrise in Baja California Sur is approx 7AM.  When we were moving to our next camp, we got our coffee on and generally were on the road at 8-ish.

Who forgot to pack coffee mugs?  I believe I left them on my kitchen bar.

When moving from a remote beach location to or through a larger city, it is a good idea to keep a supply list updated.  Beer(someone forgot to refresh this staple item week 1 of this trip), ice, veggies, water, propane, gasoline are all must haves.

One challenge we had during mid morning travel was deciding upon a juevos desayuno or street food for our first meal of the day.  Availability and karma often made that decision.

This Friday, while I really wanted eggs, the coffee at El Palenque was excellent.  The birria was also very good.  As you can see from the menu choices below, you can have the shredded beef in a variety of different formats.

Palenque usually refers to a cock fighting arena in Mexico.  Check out the restaurant logo.  Did not let that cruel fact get in the way of enjoying the family friendly service and delicious meal.

We award Birrieria El Palenque four out of five gallos and will happily return on our next Cd Const visit.


Orlando’s Restaurant Loreto

We picked Orlando’s for breakfast upon our Saturday arrival in Loreto for shade, windy day shelter and the colorful outdoor patio.

Orlando’s is a small space with attentive service for approx 12 tables.  Prices were not at tourist level with so many meals on the menu for less than $10USD.

The skirt steak in Baja Sur continues to please as it is never over done and the serving sizes are liberal.

I’m becoming a machaca fan over CB hash.  The weaving of the shredded beef in the eggs provides a strong texture that works well with the strong coffee.

Still not a fan of frijoles after all of these years.

BTW, when are restaurants going to elevate coffee to be priced per serving vs. endless pours?

EZ Canadians, I’m not trying to bankrupt you.  The Sea of Cortez is full of British Colombians and Albertians during winter.  Heard plenty of Canadian joke related to finances that are especially funny if you have friends from the north.

Will have to return to Orlando’s for dinner when time allows.

We award Orlando’s Loreto with 4.5 out of 5 colorful Mexican sombreros.


South Loreto Beaches

This view from Mirador Frida, just south of Loreto, provides a preview of possibilities of the beaches along this stretch before hwy 1 heads inland and into the hills.

The combination of blue water, dozens of islands and the backdrop of the jagged Sierra Gigante mountains in the west delivers a unique Baja experience.

Which brings me to the combination of “Camping Mexico’s Baja” by Church and the iOverlander app. The Church book is really more of an RV park book.  iOverlander app is very updated and includes RV parks and remote beach spots.  But, when you are out of cell data service areas(often when exploring remote beaches) having the book is handy. 

The only way to evaluate a beach’s appeal for your camping is to get your feet in the sand.

Hiking is one of my passions now that me old knees minimize my running.

That is Isla Danzante, backed by Isla Carmen.

If your Spanish and smile are working, you just might find a local who will share last night’s catch of Pargo with you.


Until this night, we had been using my new propane fire bowl w/ pumice rocks.  The fire bowl is nice, but, it is more like a quality frozen dinner.  A beach wood fire is like grandma’s cooking.

I will enjoy coming back to the Loreto area and spend more weeks exploring these beaches for many years.

On the what to pack/what not to pack list, bring kayak(s) on next trip.



Asadero Super Burro Loreto

When in Loreto, another must do restaurant is Asadero Super Burro.

This is one fun meat palace and the female chefs look like family has been grilling these steaks for decades. Above is the accessory platter of goodies used to slather your forthcoming burro.

The restaurant is just a couple of hundred yards away from the main tourist drag and the entry tells you that this ain’t no TGIAppleRubyBenniDenny’s.

Here is the star of the show.  Yep, we went with the queso burro.

Here is the heat source.

We award Asadero Super Burro with 5 out of 5 juicy, grill fired skirt steaks, YUM!

Mi Loreto Restaurante

Loreto is a much bigger city than I remembered from my 2012 visit.  One of the newer restaurants, Mi Loreto hit us in all of the right spots for a Saturday night.


This spot is colorfully decorated and features a treehouse suite if your dining team can climb the stairs.

She is preparing the sope appeteasers that are complimentary to begin your meal.

While my red meat consumption is minimal, I did sample my friend’s.  It was fun to enjoy so many different arrachera versions during the trip and Mi Loreto’s was perfectly medium rare.

The Mex combo platter is always a good choice

Cabrilla is the dominant fish served on the Sea of Cortez side of Baja.  This salsa was not picante and the fish was very firm in texture.

Got my favorite mexican song serenading us at our table, Cucurucucu Paloma by the Mariachis. Here is a version by one of Baja’s best guitarists, Miguel de Hoyos.  Many don’t know that he also has an excellent voice.

Service, food quality, presentation, the outdoor setting and a happy staff get our five out of five tree lantern award at Mi Loreto.  Cerrado Lunes.

Mago’s Coffee Mulege

Thanks to a local, we were guided to the best desayuno shop in Mulege, Mago’s.

It looks like a small dessert stand from the street.  But, upon entering you will find room to seat approx 50.  We found the rear garden spot oasis.

Salad, omelette, breakfast burrito and chicken caldo were very good and a great flavor.  The bread is a huge plank of cheesey jalapeño channeled into the bread dough.  It is then grilled into a fun dipping surf board.

Mago’s was so good we came back for more a few days later. Wifi was out on earlier visit, but, was working well on our return.

We award Mago’s with 4.5 out of 5 cheesey jalapeño bread loaves.

Baja Camping Bahia de Los Angeles

I was surprised at both the geographical expanse that is Bahia de Los Angeles(BOLA) and the small size of the town.  This is much more remote and isolated than I imagined.

Moving from the town and fishing center northbound give you plenty of motel and camping choices.  We found a spot with a fabulous view south on the rocky beach.

This was only my second time setting up my Kelty 6 man tent, cot and Coleman sleeping bag.  The bag was a gift from great friends and got me interested in camping Baja.

This tent may be slightly oversized for my needs.  Even with a camping date, I think two cots would fit nicely in a four man tent.  8′ x 10′ of indoor living area is twice what on person needs to sleep. Kelty 4 is 8foot x 7 foot floor space and 60″ high.

I believe after my first week of tent camping in almost 15 years, that my tent is similar to my hotel room needs.  Sleep, change clothes and that is all.

Sunrises, sunsets and evening stars are too sensory rich to miss.  I do like the mesh top of my Kelty 6 tent, as approx 50% of the half dome is mesh on top.

Clamming was fun and garlic steamed for dinner.  Had so many, we followed up with clam spaghetti marinara the next night.

One challenge in Bahia de Los Angeles was finding propane.  As normal, got wrong directions, then sent to a store for the small cylinders.  Just before the the town entry with iconic sail monument, north side is a tiny “Z gas” hidden behind a Pollo shop to fill my 20lb cylinder.

We happened to camp in a spot that had a concentration of wind.  It was away from a few big rigs, but, now we know the spot to avoid.

Did find a good breakfast shop near the town intersection called Alejandrina’s.  It is nearly impossible to find a restaurant that will reject a well behaved dog in Baja for an outdoor patio.

Baja Camping SQ Rosario Breakfast Hunt

With Jardines Hotel coffee ready at 6AM-ish, we enjoyed the birds singing to us in the garden courtyard.  As Jardines’ restaurant is not open until noon, we decided upon The Old Mill as our breakfast destination.

The southern view from the old mill is quite peaceful this windless morning.  “Pedregal” area, adjacent to the air strip, is the location of my 2006 lot purchase possibility. Looks like a few more homes grew up there in past 12 years.

Good thing I chose Ensenada area to live vs. San Quintin.  My reputation is that of a recluse in the ex-pat Ensenada community.  If I lived in SQ, my reputation would be that of a dead man

Unfortunately, the Old Mill restaurant does not open until noon.

After the mandatory El Rosario gas fill up, I asked my gas filler upper where the best breakfast in town was located.  He pointed 100 yards south to this iconic eatery.

Our coffee and egg dishes were good treats as we discussed our route for the day.

Wifi works here.

Mama Espinoza’s is a restaurant, a motel and the restaurant includes a souvenir store.  The walls and ceilings are festooned with SCORE racing photos, autographs and memorabilia.

Had been reading reports that Mama E’s food quality and service had been deteriorating during last few years.  Happily, that is wrong.



Jardines Restaurant and Bar

by Staff Restaurant Editor the Lusty Napkin   

Half of Jardines(north side) is a casual sports bar with high tables, booths, stools at bar and full menu available.

The south side is the more brightly let restaurant.  Guess is that each side seats about 60 quaffers/munchers.

Our afternoon mango and regular margs were excellent.

Chicken enchiladas are a dish I always enjoyed.  Slightly tame salsa here and was expecting a bit more heat.  Paired with a a Bohemia Oscura.

Mixed fajitas is also a Mex standard that is welcome.  Meat was done perfectly.

The meals here are a very good value.  One thing noticed was that the food servers’ main customers are in the dining room(south) side.  This meant that ours was slightly less attentive due to our location in the bar section.

We award Jardines Restaurante 4 out of 5 birds of paradise, for atmosphere, food quality, value, menu variety and service.

Closed Monday, no breakfast and we were told that they open at noon.

Jardines website

Baja Camping 2019 San Quintin

San Quintin is our first night’s stop to take advantage of some oysters and a spot where I almost purchased a lot in 2006.

San Quintin has grown a lot since my 2012 visit.  I see more markets, shops and

We decided upon Hotel Jardines to ease into our rough camping trip.  It is  gorgeous property with fruit trees on acres of palm shaded grounds.

Rooms are clean with 1 queen or 2 queen bed options.  Pets are welcome.  The value here is outrageously high as our rooms were $35USD and $45USD per night.

Clean, wifi, beautiful courtyard for morning and evening beverages under palms and possibly meet some other travelers is a relaxing spot.

Ana, the day concierge at Jardines was pleasant and helpful.  I was lucky enough to meet the owners, Carmine and Guillermo on my last trip.  Ana’s words were that Carmine ad Guillermo teach staff to find what guests want and need.

The attached restaurant and sport bar is also quite spacious with a good variety of food.

Coffee is fresh and ready at 6AM-ish for early risers/travelers.

Jardines also has …the…best…showers….in…Baja!

One sad note is to choose other seafood restaurants than the once famous El Cliente.  It was run down, no one around, not friendly and had no oysters.  Other than that….

FYI, the construction delay between Santo Tomas and San Vicente was minimal.  Had seen reports of 1 hour delays at they are completely scraping it and starting over.  Rock and gravel road with 2 lanes open for approx 1 mile is your slight obstacle.

I am in a front wheel drive TOY RAV4(no 4WD) for this trip.  My partners are in a 4×4 camper on truck bed.

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