by Tom Gatch
For many, there is probably no culinary aroma on the planet more alluring than that of prime meat roasting on a grill over glowing coals. It is a smell capable of touching a primal nerve that harkens all the way back to the cave. And, if the fire below happens to be made from quality Baja mesquite it will quickly become a naturally seasoned feast that will require virtually no additional condiments to bring out its full flavor.
But however simple that combination may be, El Nido, which is Spanish for ‘the nest’, has artfully used those two basic components to carve out a reputation as one of the finest and most popular steak and game houses in Baja California. With locations in Rosarito Beach, San Felipe, and Loreto, El Nido, has also become one of the most prominent of such restaurant groups on the entire peninsula.
Owner, Domingo Perez, has been in the restaurant business for over 40 years. He and his family have always taken extreme pride in the high quality of food served at there restaurants. In fact, they even have their own organic ranching operation that provides their guests with plump, tasty rabbit and juicy venison steaks (not to mention their specialty, quail, which might reflect upon the name ‘The Nest’) to help augment with tender beef that they acquire from top producers on the Mexico mainland.
From the moment you walk into the dining room, the captivating aromas, subdued lighting and homey atmosphere sets the groundwork for a great meal to come. You may even choose to kick start your private fiesta with a frosty margarita to go along with the crisp, freshly made tortilla chips and authentic salsa de casa brought to your table by a member of their attentive wait staff prior to the arrival of the soup, which is accompanied by a fresh plate of chopped cilantro, white onions and delightfully grilled serrano chilis. Want to see how tortillas are made by hand? This is the place.
The generously portioned meals here are reasonably priced, and also include hearty, homemade bean soup, fresh green salad, baked potato and all the fresh tortillas and zesty salsa you can eat.
El Nido restaurants offer full bar service and if you like, the festive strains of strolling mariachis is also on hand to help enhance the dining experience. All El Nidos are conveniently located; the Rosarito eatery has the added advantage of being within walking distance of the Rosarito Beach Hotel, vacation rentals, and near a fun shopping mercado!
Be sure to arrive with cash on hand, however, because no credit cards are accepted.
And be sure to take pictures inside and post them on Baja.com…and let us know what you think of the huge cage of small birds that is a focal point of the restaurant!
Rosarito Beach (BCN) – Benito Juarez Blvd. #67 Phone: MX. (661) 612-1430
San Felipe (BCN) – Mar de Cortez #348 Phone: MX. (686) 577-1028
Loreto (BCS) – Calle Salvatierra #154 Phone: MX. (613) 135-2445
Hooked on Baja author & columnist, Tom Gatch, is one of Baja’s foremost writers with a focus upon outdoor and recreational topics in Baja and southern California.
Baja.com is a comprehensive online source of first-hand travel information for the Baja California Peninsula, supported by a full-service tour operator staffed by Baja locals (our “Baja Travel Savants”). We offer Baja travelers expert advice about local restaurants, hotels and vacation rentals, as well as guides, maps and articles about events, sports and activities. We provide bilingual customer support, information and sales seven days a week, 365 days a year.
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