Paleo Eats: 12/23/11 (Last Day in Cabo & Flight Home)

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Our stay in Cabo was relaxing and reinvigorating, but I love being back home. I’m excited to start cooking in my own kitchen again — there’s nothing like being stuck with dull knives, teeny-tiny two-burner electric range, and zero seasonings except salt and pepper to make you appreciate your own crap.

Admittedly, I learned that most of my kitchen gadgets are unnecessary to whip up a good meal (but don’t you dare tell Fitbomb). For example, this morning, I stir-fried up all the remaining vegetables we had in the fridge and the last of the leftovers from Patagonia.

We cooked some scrambled eggs for the kids…

…and I hard-boiled the rest for our plane ride home. I patted myself on the back for cleaning out all the food in the refrigerator ‘cause that never happens. Hey, mom! Aren’t you proud of me?

Our ride to the airport wasn’t due to arrive until 1 p.m., so we all hopped in a cab for one last meal in town. We headed to the marina and stopped at The Office, a restaurant located right on the beach.

The spot looked like a tourist trap, so I was a bit dubious about the quality of the chow. Plus, the dining area was a little gimmicky for my taste. Most of the tables at The Office are placed right on the beach, so everyone’s chairs were pitched at odd angles as the legs sunk unevenly into the sand. I could smell the diesel from the water taxis wafting from the water, which wasn’t super-appetizing. And I could hear the host at the neighboring bar anounce that anyone who could do twenty push-ups on the beach would win a free round of shots. AT TEN THIRTY IN THE MORNING. Classy.

Plus, look at all this sugar on the table. Yee-uck.

I’m happy to report that my skepticism was totally unfounded. Our breakfast fare (yes, we had two breakfasts today) was well-prepared with fresh, seasonal ingredients.

Fitbomb and I split a chorizo scramble with guacamole…

…and a lobster omelet.

Our whole table also shared a ripe and fresh tropical fruit salad in a pineapple boat.

It was a great last meal in Cabo and we were able to romp on the beach before heading to the airport.

The Los Cabos airport has absolutely no options for Paleo eaters. There’s a  Sbarro (fine purveyors of puffy cardboard pizza) and numerous kiosks that offer the same selection of Pringles and candy, but nothing that I cared to eat. I was relieved that I’d packed beef jerky, pistachios, and hard-boiled eggs to tide us over.

Our flight was uneventful, yet productive: the kids were immersed with their mobile devices while Fibomb and I worked on photos and recipes on our respective computers.

When we finally arrived back in the Bay Area, we were tired and hungry. We drove to the nearest In-N-Out for a quick, cheap dinner. I ordered my usual: protein-style triple meat burger — hold the spread — with mustard and a whole-grilled onion slice. When the lettuce-wrapped burger came, I smashed it into my face:

It’s nice to be back in our stomping grounds.

Time to wrap our kids’ gifts and pretend they came from some hirsute, metabolically-deranged home invader!

Paleo Eats: 12/21/11 (4th Day in Cabo)

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Our vacation’s almost over, so we made sure to maximize our pool time today. Before we hit the water this morning, we noshed on scrambled eggs, leftover sausages from last night’s meat orgy at Patagonia, and sautéed onions.

Once the dishes were done, we made a beeline to the pool.

We swam for a couple of hours before heading back to our room to make lunch. For our midday meal, I stir-fried some mushrooms, bell peppers, onions, and cilantro…

…and reheated some more leftover meat. 

We also added some nutrient-lean iceberg lettuce to our plates for a bit of crunch. 

My in-laws came over for lunch, and all six of us ate the steak, but we still have more in the fridge. I’m hoping to finish off our doggie bag from Patagonia at some point in the coming decade. I still can’t understand how four people not named Joey Chestnut or Takeru Kobayashi could possibly finish the mixed grill combo we ordered last night in just one sitting.

After we packed our bellies with meat, we headed back to the pool to splash around some more.

For our boys, thrashing around in chlorinated water never gets old.

By the time we reluctantly climbed out of the pool — with incredibly pruny fingers and toes — it was getting close to dinnertime.

At sunset, we finally left the resort for the first time today, and took a cab downtown for a traditional Mexican supper at Maria Corona.

The food was tasty, but the constant upselling by our waiter ("A side of guacamole? Then why don’t you get an order of shrimp or fish ceviche to go with it?" "No margaritas? How about wine? Beer? We have Pacifico!" "I can tell that this lady wants chocolate cake, right? No? How about flan?") was exhausting. My reaction to his pushiness was to actually under-order — a first for me.

We started our meal with guacamole prepared tableside with a mortar and pestle (I know it’s touristy hokum, but I love mashed avocados)…

…and the hubby and I split the grilled whole red snapper…

…and Yucateco pork shank. 

The meal we had at La Fonda the other night was pricier, but I preferred its food, service, and ambience.

Still, it was nice to eat outdoors tonight in the warm night air. We gave a toast to my mother-in-law’s good health, and chatted about the ups and downs (mostly downs, unfortunately) of the past year. Even on vacation in a beautiful corner of the world, it’s tough to truly leave your worries and sorrows behind. And tonight, as we raised our glasses to salute my mother-in-law’s year-long fight against breast cancer, we were especially mindful of how lucky we are to be able to spend time with our loved ones.

Tomorrow’s our last full day in Cabo, and I need the energy to make the most of it, so I’m gonna get some shuteye. Smell ya later.

Paleo Eats: 12/19/11 (2nd Day in Cabo)

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Another beautiful morning in Cabo San Lucas…

We’ve got no real agenda while we’re in Cabo other than to hang out with each other and eat well. After our disappointing meal at the resort last night and the sad state of our “kitchen,” I scoured Chowhound, TripAdvisor, and TrappersCaboList for chow-worthy restaurants in town. I’m happy to report that I found a bunch of places that I’ll be forcing my family to visit this week — even if they’re content to just hang out on our balcony and swim in the pool.

When we got up this morning, I practiced a few double-unders (emphasis on “few”) while Fitbomb and Big-O attacked a homebrewed travel WOD

For breakfast, I stir-fried some bell peppers and onions, scrambled a few eggs, and…

…served it all up with a big dollop of guacamole.

Then, we met up with my in-laws and took a cab downtown to look around and shop. You know — for a huge case of Viagra.

The kids were intent on getting lucha libre masks, and I was dead set on hitting up Gordo Lele for tacos. All of us ended up getting exactly what we wanted. (Check out the complete rundown of our Gordo Lele meal here.)

After lunch, we headed back to the resort, where we trekked up the hill to the pool…

…and spent a lazy afternoon lolling around in the water.

A couple of hours (and a long dip in the hot tub) later, we rode a golf cart back to our room…

…and headed out to dinner at La Fonda, where we enjoyed enormous platters of traditional Mexican fare…

…plus some big, fat worms. (Read all about it here.)

Yummy.

Buenos noches…

Dining Out Paleo: Gordo Lele (Cabo San Lucas)

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In a former life, I was a HUGE taco fan. I’m not talking about the American-style, crunchy-shell, Taco Bell crap — I craved the authentic stuff, with perfectly-seasoned meat scooped onto fresh, piping-hot corn tortillas. (Okay. In a former FORMER life, I was a big fan of Taco Bell as well). I still love Mexican food, but since going Paleo, I rarely order tacos. Those damned tortillas can be tough to resist. But is there a better time to have an illicit taco rendezvous than when on vacation in Mexico?

After some due diligence, I found Gordo Lele — a hole-in-the-wall known as one of the best taco joints in Cabo San Lucas. Like it or not, my family was getting dragged here for lunch.

Gordo Lele isn’t easy to find. It’s just a couple of blocks from the tourist magnet known as Sammy Hagar’s Cabo Wabo, but it’s got a non-descript storefront, and the interior’s as tiny as a shoebox. 

Once you step inside, it’ll be a little difficult not to notice that this taqueria is also a shrine to the Beatles. The walls are plastered with Fab Four-related memorabilia and magazine clippings (and an occasional Elvis poster, too). 

Javier, the jovial owner, chef, and waiter, is a bit of a renaissance man — he’s a huge Beatles fanatic (obviously), and the cover of the menus declare him to be the fifth Beatle. (Sorry, Pete Best.) In addition to making ridiculously good tacos and yummy tortas (Mexican sandwiches), Javier often breaks into song with microphone in hand, serenading his patrons with Beatles tunes.

But the main event is the food. Gordo Lele’s lunch menu is short and sweet: Just a handful of savory fillings for tacos or tortas. Given that it was our first time here and the prices are cheap, we ordered a ton of food for the six of us.

Fitbomb and I shared four (yes, FOUR) platters of tacos: Carne asada…

…pollo…

…pescado…

…and camerones.

Javier brought each table a couple of bowls of tangy guacamole and smoky salsa, so we made sure we put them to good use.

The tacos came on flour tortillas, so Fitbomb and I just ate the fillings. (I later asked and found out that you can get ‘em on corn tortillas — perfect for those of you who can’t stand the thought of eating tacos without a tortilla but want to avoid a gluten bomb.) 

The carne asada tacos were my favorite. If you’re avoiding dairy, steer clear of the shrimp tacos ‘cause they’re served with a good amount of oozy, gooey cheese. Also, if you’re unwilling to cheat a bit and eat some corn, you should know that the chicken and fish tacos both have it mixed into the filling. 

We tasted some of the corn, but left most of it uneaten. You can take the girl out of her Paleo kitchen, but you can’t (entirely) take the Paleo out of the girl.

Meanwhile, my in-laws — who are decidedly anti-Paleo — ordered a ham-and-egg torta…

…and a carne asada torta.

The sandwiches looked tasty: Soft, crusty rolls filled with meat, avocado, and tomatoes. But we didn’t partake — except to grab the leftover meat from their sandwiches and use them to make salsa-and-guacamole rolls.

We loved Gorgo Lele’s — even our resident three-year-old carbivore. 

Or maybe he was just excited to listen to Beatles songs and pose for pictures with Javier and his brother while wearing a newly-purchased lucha libre mask. (Admittedly, Javier’s mask is just a hair net, but it’s pretty awesome nonetheless.)

We left Gordo Lele stuffed and satisfied — and we spent less than $40. If you’re in Cabo San Lucas, you’ve got to visit this place.

Paleo Eats: 12/18/11 (1st Day in Cabo)

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Plane travel bites. But all the stress is worth it if this is the view that awaits after a long day…

We woke up bright and early this morning to pack our stuff for our trip to Cabo San Lucas with my in-laws. In between cramming clothes and snacks into two carry ons, we stuffed our faces with a bunch of leftovers: baked yams, Big-O burgers, burger bites topped with caramelized onions, roasted Brussels sprouts topped with bacon, hard boiled eggs, and lamb stew. I’m pretty proud of the fact that we chowed down all the leftovers in our fridge, got all our crap together, and arrived at the airport by 8:45 a.m. Hopefully, the mold growth in our fridge will be minimal when we return, but I’m sure there’s something in the back corner that I’ve forgotten about…

On the flight to Cabo, I snacked on half a Larabar and some beef sticks from U.S. Wellness Meats. I grabbed the meat sticks straight from the freezer and they were defrosted by the time we were up in the air.

When we finally checked in at our resort, we just relaxed and checked out our digs.

I don’t think I’ll be doing much cooking in the kitchen…

At dinnertime, we wandered into one of the resort’s restaurants where the food was (surprise!) mediocre and overpriced. 

Fitbomb ordered the carnitas, which turned out to be disappointingly mushy…

…and I got an unremarkable plate of beef fajitas with veggies in place of the rice and beans. (But at least there was bacon mixed in with the beef…)

Not the best meal ever, but I wasn’t expecting too much from a 24-hour resort dining room.

I have much higher hopes for good eats when we wander into town tomorrow. Goodnight!