Thanksgiving, even more than the Fourth of July, is the consummate American holiday (as in the United States of America, rather than North, South, or Latin America).
Why? The food is better.
The mere mention of the word is enough to summon visions of family feasts featuring turkey, taters and pumpkin pie; endless football games; and a tryptophan induced euphoria that eventually segues into the frenzy of Black Friday, and thence the long holiday season.
The best thing about spending Thanksgiving (en español: El Día de Acción de Gracias) in Los Cabos? Instead of brisk winds and dying leaves, you get sunshine and beautiful beaches.
That, and the fact that the traditional dishes are all readily available.
With that in mind, here’s our annual guide to Thanksgiving dinner options: i.e. where you want to be with a bib and an appetite come next Thursday, November 26.
There are an impressive array of restaurants offering Thanksgiving dinner menus in Cabo San Lucas, including a few that’ll throw in scenic views free of charge. Marina Fiesta’s trio of eateries in the Marina’s “Golden Zone”–pirate themed Jack’s, Mexican traditionalist Los Deseos, and seafood specialist Baja Lobster Co.–for example, are pairing their turkeys with shaded vantages of fishing fleets and gleaming luxury yachts. The menú del día starts with a welcome cocktail, followed by a filling repast of roasted turkey breast, gravy cranberry sauce, pumpkin stuffing, Yorkshire pudding, and a choice of desserts (never fear: pumpkin pie, of course, is one of them)…all for the muy affordable price of $29 U.S. ($19 for children 12 years old and younger). For reservations, call (624) 145-6011.
And at another Marina fine dining fixture, Solomon Landing, a traditional four-course menu is available from 5 to 10 p.m. for $27.50 (call 624-143-3050 for reservations).
A stone’s throw away, in the downtown tourist district, popular pit stops John’s Place (624-157-2071) and Pancho’s Retaurant and Tequila Bar (624-143-2891) are giving themselves over to the holiday spirit con mucho brío. At the former, a turkey and fixings – mashed and sweet potatoes, gravy, cranberry sauce, and pumpkin pie–are available for the budget-friendly price of $17.95. At the latter, a glass of sparkling wine accompanies a slew of delicious, traditional favorites, starting with apple and walnut salad, roasted turkey, dressing, cranberry sauce, and taters and gravy, and finishing with apple pie (excuse me: just writing this requires me to loosen my belt a bit) and vanilla ice cream.
Farm fresh goodness also awaits at Flora Farm in San José del Cabo. Onsite restaurant Flora’s Field Kitchen (624-355-4564) is offering a lunchtime special that includes a hot turkey sandwich, mashed potatoes and gravy, and a slice of homemade pie.
At Mi Cocina (624-146-7101), the elegant eatery at the boutique Casa Natalia hotel, Chef Loïc Tenoux is adding his trademark sophistication and a bit of Mexican flavor to the proceedings. And why not, especially when the modified offerings include a pumpkin spice martini, butternut squash tortilla soup, and a mouthwatering turkey in chocolate and cranberry mole?
And 7 Seas Seafood Grille (624-142-2666), another boutique hotel destination dining spot–this one at the Cabo Surf Hotel–has unveiled a seven-course menu that should win both a Pulitzer Prize and a James Beard Award:
Butternut Squash Chowder
Curried butternut squash chowder
Spinach Pomegranate Salad
Spinach salad with pomegranate and candied walnuts
Holiday turkey with traditional stuffing, herbed potatoes and sweet potatoes, sautéed broccoli, cranberry sauce, and gravy
Kiwi Rack of Lamb
New Zealand baby rack of lamb with hibiscus sauce, mashed carrot, and sautéed shallots
Salmon in fennel and butter sauce, brown rice with ancient grains (oatmeal, wheat seed, red rice) ,and baby organic vegetables
The Sweet Life
Upside-down pear-gingerbread cake
Pumpkin tart with pistachio ice cream
(I’ll pause while you discreetly wipe the drool from your chin.)
Those spending “Turkey Day” in Todos Santos–a charming artists’ colony and pueblo mágico (a government designation given to places of historic and cultural importance) located less than an hour’s drive up the Pacific Coast from Cabo San Lucas–will want to visit the town’s iconic lodging: Hotel California.
Founded in 1947 by a Chinese immigrant whose attempts to assimilate included changing his name to the más Mexicano Don Antonio Tabasco, this small boutique hotel has nothing to do with the famed Eagles song. It does, however, boast one of the best restaurants in town, La Coronela, and is noted for its skillful handling of special events (Hotel California is the primary venue for the annual Todos Santos Music Festival, founded by former R.E.M. lead guitarist Peter Buck).
It’s certainly the go-to spot for Thanksgiving goodness, and this year offers an all-you-can-eat buffet of turkey and trimmings for only $25. For reservations or additional information, call (612) 145-0525.
Expats and seasonal residents, meanwhile, may prefer to enjoy the holiday in the comfort of their home, albeit without the cooking and hours of preparation. If so, several local restaurants are offering take-out deals, whereby one need only stop by to pick up the fixings and do a bit of preheating pre-feast.
Pedregal’s Penny Lane, best known for its bountiful breakfasts and twice weekly organic market, is perhaps the most notable take-out option. The restaurant is offering pick-ups between 1 and 4 p.m. on Thanksgiving, featuring enough food to feed 8–10 people (including seconds): a 16 lb. ham or turkey, plus 3 liters each of mashed potatoes, gravy, and stuffing, as well as green beans almondine, roasted sweet potatoes with pecans, fresh mandarin-cranberry relish, fresh dinner rolls, and a choice of whiskey glazed flan bread pudding or pumpkin pie.
If the $3000 peso (approximately $185 U.S.) price for this cornucopia sounds a bit steep, you can also pick up the turkey a la carte for 1200 pesos, and prepare your own sides.
For more information, call Israel or Lourdes at (624) 172-0129, or 177-2584.