OUR PICK FOR BEST RESTAURANT AND SPORTS BAR IN CABO SAN LUCAS - CABO CANTINAWalking down Marina Blvd. in Cabo San Lucas one night I heard the sounds of a crowd roaring. Not sure what it was all about I ventured a bit further up the main drag and found the source of all the commotion… a football game playing on a ton of wide screen TV's and well over a hundred people enjoying the action. Football you say? I'm a fan so it took no coaxing on anyone's part to walk in and join the fun at Cabo Cantina. I found myself a seat and was soon greeted by a waiter who offered me a menu while taking my drink order. As I settled in I saw plate after plate of tasty looking food make it's way from the kitchen to the tables around me. Molcajetes, steak and lobster, fresh grilled fish and wave after wave of tacos... the kind Baja's famous for... street style tacos but on a larger scale loaded with chunks of deep fried seabass, shrimp and carne asada accompanied by a huge salsa wheel that begged for my attention. Soon, a gang of those tacos found their way to my table. Once coupled with the salsas and another ice cold beer I was convinced I found a new home for good games, friendly service and great food here in Cabo San Lucas.
One peak under the huge palapa roof that covers much of the cantina and you'll find plenty of tables, each with a good view of any one of about a dozen wide-screen HD televisions. The open air setting continues to a courtyard area where the staff sets up tables near a firepit and portable propane heaters keep it nice and comfortable. They set up those tables whenever there's a big event playing on those HD televisions, they even bring one out onto the courtyard so nobody is left out. If it gets too hot, or too cold… don't fret. Get a little chilly and the friendly staff will bring you a Mexican blanket. The cantina also added a climate control dining room with more televisions so whatever the weather is like it's always cozy here.
SOME OF THE BEST BREAKFASTS IN CABO
Not everyone is a sports fan, but anyone can become a fan of Cabo Cantina by way of their food and drink. From breakfast to dinner, their menu is very diverse and more than reasonably priced. To fix a gnawing morning hunger, try their Burrito Grande stuffed with eggs, beans, bacon and sausage topped with cheese and Cabo Cantina red sauce. Steak and eggs goes for about $9 and build your own omelets start at just $4 or so with a ton of options to make it just the way you like it. They also make a mean French Toast plus a small army of Mexican style breakfasts in addition to lighter fare like a fruit and yogurt breakfast, BLT's or health fitness smoothies packed with fruit and protein.
A LUNCH MENU DONE RIGHT
The good eats continue on their lunch menu. Appetizers include Shrimp Cocktail, Fresh Shucked Oysters on the half shell and Peel n' Eat Shrimp on the seafood side with a variety of nachos, chicken wings and what I think are the best french fries in Cabo. My wife and I come here for lunch often and have come to agree that amongst our favorite lunches are the Molcajetes that come with Chicken, Angus steak or Shrimp. A steamy hot lava rock bowl comes to your table wafting aromas that make your mouth water and they serve them up with fresh tortillas and salsa. It's a meal for two that's tough to beat. Another favorite is their Azteca Tortilla Soup... also served in a Molcajete and oh, so good. If a bit of Americana is what you're after they make a Classic Burger or Grilled Chicken sandwich with those wonderful fries on the side. Mexican dishes and a nice selection of seafood dishes round out the midday meal options – the Imperial Jumbo Shrimp is not to be missed.
DINNER TIME AND IT JUST GETS BETTER AND BETTER
Some people may argue that making a good breakfast or lunch is pretty easy stuff. Maybe they're right. But, when it comes to putting out quality dinners at a more than fair price, that takes planning and talent. That's where the hard work of Don Weis and his right hand man Tony Nungaray come into play. Between the two they've managed to plan a dinner menu that has something for everyone – one that brings organic vegetables, prime Sonoran Angus beef and only the freshest of locally sourced seafood to the kitchen. You'd think that quality like that comes with a stiff price tag, but here it doesn't. The most expensive offering will set you back no more than about $28 depending on the currency exchange rates. And for that small investment you're going to get some terrific food, attentive service and a whole bunch of fun. If you can find a better place to eat and enjoy then Cabo Cantina, we'd sure like to know about it.
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The toughest thing about having dinner at Cabo Cantina is deciding on what you'll have. With a dinner menu that boasts nearly 40 items and a frequent set of dinner specials, it's no easy task. Lucky for you, I'm here to help!
When it comes to dinner, my top choices include;
• Viva Mexico comprised of a Cheese Queadilla, Roasted Poblano Chile strips, Chicken Tamale, Chile Relleno, Shredded Beef Enchiladas and Chorizo and Vegetable Sopes all served with rice, beans and their famous salsa tray. It feeds two (at least!) and at about $30 it's quite a value.
• Certified Angus Beef Ribeye Platter with a 12oz steak grilled to perfection and served with a loaded baked potato and steamed vegetables.
• Lobster Alfredo whenever I have the inkling for some pasta.
• Slow Cooked Pork Shank, a fork tender masterpiece that starts out marinating in a blend of Cabernet, spices and fruit for 24 hours then braised for hours and hours until it's just right. Paired up with Potatoes au Gratin and fresh vegetables (asparagus when in season) it's one satisfying meal for less than $20.
• Anything that used to swim or crawl in the ocean... I know that's not very specific but I've never regretted trying any of the Cantina's seafood dishes. They simply know how to do it and do it well! But whenever available, I'll always go for their Imperial Shrimp!
If you still have room left in your belly, I suggest sampling the dessert menu. My personal favorite is the Flaming Banana Flambé made at your table and served with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.
BRING ON THE MICRO BREWS!!
What's a sports bar without truly great, hand-crafted micro brews? That's what Don thought so he talked to the folks at the Baja Brewing Company – the only brewery in Southern Baja and a world class producer of specialty micro brews. They liked the idea of setting up a cold room and a set of taps at the Cantina and personally, I couldn't be happier. I've had BBC's draft on a visit to the brewery… loved it. Don let me know that the first week of December, 2012 is when the first keg should get tapped putting the Cantina in an exclusive beer lover's club. The only other spots you can get BBC's beer on tap is at their restaurant or the ultra-exclusive Capella Pedregal Resort. I'm already penciling in a return visit to Cabo Cantina to taste them all while watching a game or two. Maybe I'll see you there!
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