May is a good month for me. It marks the beginning of another season at the surf shop, the weather and waves are starting to improve, and my birthday is on the 13th. To celebrate, my girlfriend bought us tickets to southern Baja for a week long surf trip. It was a good time to leave before work gets too busy for both of us. She also just happened to time a swell perfectly. We caught some unbelievable waves on the East Cape and in town. Even better, several sessions were just she and I out trading waves alone. But what really made this trip so enjoyable wasn’t the quality of waves. It was a reminder of how amazing surf travel can be if you take the time to immerse yourself in the local culture. There is no better way to do this in San Jose Del Cabo then by eating at the numerous authentic restaurants.
If you have been to this area of Baja recently, you know that tourism is booming. Cabo has been a major tourist destination for years, but now that demand has spread to San Jose. Major resorts, new boat harbors, high end clothing stores and restaurants are springing up everywhere. It feels more like southern California than Mexico. We had plenty of opportunities to have sushi, or eat at a nice Italian or American restaurant, but why do that? We wanted tacos! Authentic tacos that make your mouth water, your forehead sweat, and your taste buds party. In San Jose, all you have to do is get off the main drag, turn on to any back street, and pull over at the first taco stand you see.
The first place we ate at is one of San Jose’s oldest and best, Hangman Tacos. It’s eclectically decorated with antiques and old license plates, and even has an organ player in the corner. The atmosphere is very relaxed and care free, like most of Baja. The food was amazing! This theme and feeling followed us to every stop we made. Our daily routine was to surf in the morning, then jump in the car and drive around till we found another place to eat. If we didn’t have too many margaritas, we would surf again then find another place for dinner or eat left-overs from lunch. It couldn’t get much better than this…
People who come into our restaurant, Ben & Jeff’s Burgers and Tacos, often think that we got the idea to add pineapple to our tacos because of Hawaiian influences. Surfing=Hawaii=pineapple. This is not the case at all. The first taco we worked on when putting the menu together was Al Pastor (marinated pork). The traditional Mexican way of preparing the meat is to marinate it with pineapple. We did this and loved the way it tasted. So each taco we worked on after that, we would add it. The flavors worked great every time. It also gave us our own signature twist on classic tacos such as the Baja and Grilled Fish. We just thought: why not, it tastes great!
In Costa Rica they call it “Pura Vida” the pure life. In Hawaii, it’s the Aloha Spirit. I am not sure what they say in Baja, but you definitely feel the “no worries” attitude. We tried to emulate this feeling and lifestyle with our restaurant. We kept the menu simple, the atmosphere light, and try hard not to take ourselves too seriously. Our goal is for people to have a good and affordable meal, than head back to the beach to keep playing. We named the surf shop Moment Surf Company to help remind people to live in the moment. We hope our restaurant also cultivates this lifestyle and brings a little of the “simple life” to everybody who comes in.
After eating our way around Baja, I couldn’t help but come back to PC all excited to work with our cook Horacio on some different receipts. He is an amazing chef and is from mainland Mexico. Keep watching our social media sites for posts about weekly specials and different things we have going on.