This morning, I found myself back in the United States. It’s then that Baja Dreaming really takes on meaning. For starters, the temperature was a full 30° colder than the climate I left behind. The chill in the air seemed almost biting, but for those who have continuity, it was short and t-shirt weather, while I’m wrapped in jeans and a sweater.
I’d spent my last lunch back at Picazone, the remarkable seaside eatery of Alexandro and Imelda Igartua. On the far outskirts of Loreto, down a dusty dirt road, when one arrives at the open gate and pulls inside, the world changes. An oasis of palms and local cactus ring a path toward the oversized palapa outdoor dining area. Large cushioned couches beckon a lazy afternoon, along with appropriately placed hammocks. And if the creative palate of colors on the walls and the tasteful decorations, there is always the sea, just beyond the palm fringes, beckoning with turquoise and cerulean blues.
A large modern kitchen seems almost out of place in this distant outpost. Sparkling clean and open with a long bar, the always present Imelda greets each visitor as if they were a long lost friend. This particular trip, son Alex was home from college for a few weeks – with only five days remaining in his vacation! This time, it was Alex and his dad in the kitchen, as plans and seeds were being laid for a “Picazone ala Guadalara” some time in the future. With so many cousins and family members in that mainland city, it only makes sense to expand the business.
Carol Boyd – who with husband Lee owns the wonderful Mediterraneo Restaurant in Loreot – and I picked a spot near the water. Around us, orange, green and yellow clothes covered oversized round tables. Chips and a variety of chilis, salsas and a special mayonnaise were delivered by Imelda – the perfect hostess. Drink and food orders were taken, and Carol and I sat down to chat about anything BUT world politics.
Lunch : we both had Tacones – flour tortilla wraps of unimaginable flavors. This day – 1/2 smoked marlin, the other 1/2 parrot fish. Divine – and devoured.
With all the guest served, Alejandro and Alex were engage in a furious game of Backgammon. Carol volunteered another version – Acey Ducey – and then it was Alejandro and Carol, all dice rolling and chip moving.
What a fun lunch – and another great day .. on the other side .. about which, I am dreaming.