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Saturday, May 31, 2008

HEY! THAT GUY'S DOING THE CABO WABO

In Cabo San Lucas there is enough to fill every sense—its beauty is undisputed and everywhere, so a foray into its cuisine seems not only reasonable but necessary. We choose a restaurant we’d heard spoken of by previous visitors onboard ship—Cabo Wabo, a climb up the stairs behind Plaza de los Mariachis. The climb is worth it. Our table affords us a great view, and even though the big screen TVs are playing baseball and then hockey, the décor is decidedly not “American Sports Bar.”

Rob and I are really interested in learning if Mexican food at home comes anywhere near real Mexican food served in a real Mexican restaurant.

Purely for scientific reasons, (yeah, right) we begin with Margaritas. Actually they taste very similar to Rob’s own, and we quickly move on to a second round! Margaritas are $7.00 a piece. In fact, prices at Cabo Wabo are closer to New York City’s, though on the streets $10.00 for a bucket of five beers abound.

Everything we taste in Cabo Wabo is familiar yet offers a little extra zing that makes the dish just different enough to be fun.

We order and share two appetizers. The quesadillas are stuffed with oaxaca cheese rather than the jack cheese we’re used to. The lovely addition is sautéed zucchini blossoms, and that makes all the difference. The other appetizer is vampiros. While this dish is familiar, it is also new. Vampiros are grilled corn tortillas topped with refried black beans, jack cheese and grilled sirloin. Scrumptious!!!!!

Frankly the two appetizers would have been sufficient for lunch (or dinner) but not knowing that beforehand, we had ordered frajitas—steak and chicken served with rice and black beans. Unless you’ve tasted freshly made—homemade—corn tortillas, you have never tasted tortillas like these—thin, hot, and light. The beans are seasoned in a way we’d never tasted, and they are delicious. The rice is lighter and drier with less of a tomato taste. My chicken is wonderful with plenty of sautéed peppers and onions. Mouthwateringly delicious. Rob’s steak is the same.

In addition, we are served a tray of accompaniments: guacamole—the best we’ve ever eaten, even better than the previous best at Rosa’s ( http://thirdagetraveler.blogspot.com/2007/04/rosa-mexicano-palm-beach-gardens.html) in Palm Beach Gardens—salsa—nicely diced tomatoes with the right amount of seasonings—and hot sauce that apparently tickled Rob’s palate. It was a total Mexican gastronomical extravaganza.

This restaurant in a sea of restaurants beckoning to the flood of tourists in Cabo San Lucas gives you a place to begin. Try Cabo Wabo; you might leave with a souvenir sweatshirt, t-shirt, or even a bottle of Cabo Wabo Tequila.

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