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East Cape’s Crossroads Country Club: More Baja Country than Club

By Dawn Pier

The owners of the Crossroads Country Club clearly have a sense of humor. While it is located at the crossroads of the Coast and Palo Escopeta Roads, smack dab in the middle of the East Cape and about as far from “civilization” as you can get, it is by no means a country club. Don’t worry about donning your whites, ties or polo shirts, just come as you are and bring your appetite.

The view from Crossroads' outdoor seating

The restaurant is located on a large beachfront lot with commanding views of the expansive beach and desertscape. Large sliding glass doors are typically left open to give the place an indoor/outdoor feel with seating available both inside and out of the large contemporary building. In winter, you can watch humpback whales breaching and cavorting from your table in the shade while you sip an icy margarita prepared by Hector, one of the friendly chefs. Not into tequila? They have an extensive selection of drinks including some nice Mexican cabernets and merlots.

The restaurant is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner, from 8a.m.-9 p.m. every day. For breakfast they have the usual selection of eggs how you like them with tortillas, bacon or ham, pancakes, and omelets. They also have an egg and ham burrito that comes with black beans and rice that is an excellent way to fill the tank. The lunch and dinner menu covers a wide range of dishes from fish or shrimp tacos, burger and fries, to excellent pasta dishes like spicy shrimp pasta, pasta puttanesca or pasta with pesto. “Pasta puttanesca” literally mean “whore’s pasta” because it traditionally was considered a poor man’s pasta, incorporating whatever was on hand in the kitchen.  It’s a vegetarian favorite that has tomatoes, garlic, black olives, onions and parmesan cheese. One of my favorites is the halibut with white wine, garlic and capers. It comes with rice and vegetables or a salad.

Most importantly, don’t forget to leave room for dessert. They make their own ice cream at the Crossroads (because it’s too difficult to get it back from the store without completely melting).  There are different flavors at different times of year, but cookies and cream, sour cherry, and mango are some of my favorites. Be sure to ask for extra spoons so you can share because they dish up three big scoops with lots of whipped cream.

Wednesday is pizza night at the Crossroads, when Hector whips together a mean crust and Joan, the Italian

Crossroads' bar, serving up margaritas and more!

American owner, provides an excellent tomato sauce to become the backbone for a selection of combinations – margarita and pepperoni are standard offerings with other combos depending on what is fresh and readily available at the market. Thursdays are barbecue chicken night when you get a quarter chicken with coleslaw and either potato or pasta salad. It’s a popular event, so be sure to arrive early before they’re all gone.

Saturday night during the high season (October to late May) is music night at the Crossroads, when the locals and ex-pats alike turn up en masse to cut a rug and party with their friends and neighbors. When popular local bands like Pura Vida, Black Maria, Tim Lang and Friends, Ben and Men and David Raitt (Bonnie’s very talented brother) aren’t playing, local musicians perform in an open mike forum.

It’s the only restaurant for 20 miles in any direction, so if you find yourself out that way, be sure to drop in. If you’re lucky you might get to hang out with Jesse “The Body” Ventura, surfers Gerry Lopez and Mike Doyle, or Lance Armstrong among other celebs who have passed through the Crossroads over the years.

Have you danced or dined at Crossroads? Share your experience with us below.

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