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Healthy dining in baja

Margarita Johnson

It is a commonly agreed upon idea that most of the food served in Baja California are very healthy and fresh. Mexican and Spanish recipes are best served homemade and using only the finest ingredients. Thankfully, Baja California is one of those few places on Earth where fresh ingredients can be found aplenty. But during my last trip to Baja, I discovered this little nugget of a restaurant that serves pleases both the palette and the body and takes healthy food idea a notch higher.

El Yogurt Place might sound like a funny choice for a restaurant name, but this restaurant takes healthy eating to another level. I discovered this Tijuana restaurant by accident. My best friend and I were in our hotel’s lobby wishing so much that we had some ice cream to keep our selves from shriveling up due to the summer heat. When we asked our fellow hotel guests if they know of a place that serves ice cream or any frozen treat, one woman said she heard of an El Yogurt Place located right there in Tijuana where we were all staying. And so, we asked the concierge at the front desk if we could rent a car and driver who would then take us to El Yogurt Place.

We were expecting a small yogurt shop or a stall like those in the malls back in the US. We were then surprised to arrive at a beautiful and large Tijuana restaurant situated amidst flowering plants, cacti, trees and shrubs. The restaurant was really way larger than we had imagined, and upon inquiry we found out that it can seat up to 125 people all at once. For a restaurant called El Yogurt Place, we thought it was a little to large a space to serve yogurt which is something people can eat while walking or standing up. What we didn’t know was that El Yogurt Place is not a simple yogurt and frozen treat shop, it was a well-known and well-visited health food restaurant.

It can be said that there are not a lot of health food restaurants in Tijuana, Baja California. Most people of my age who come to Tijuana especially during spring break usually subsist on beer alone. So to discover a restaurant such as this during our trip was a very pleasant surprise. Our plan to have a cooling cup of frozen yogurt turned into an all-out food trip on whatever we thought sounded yummy at the El Yogurt Place.

And really, if you were a health buff or someone on a diet, you are sure to like going to El Yogurt Place. They serve turkey, chicken, salmon, vegetables, cereals, nuts, fruits, tuna, and even ostrich. They had several kinds of cactus salad which is something I never heard of and had never wanted to taste. My best friend Mia however, ordered a plate of one and offered me a taste. What was I expecting? Thorny little pieces of chopped up cactus served with sauce? Surprisingly, I found the cactus salad with cheese really delicious and the serving size was larger than expected. I also order ostrich steak because I thought it sounded very exotic and it would be great to tell all my friends back home that i ate ostrich in Baja. The ostrich meat was really unique, I thought it tasted like turkey although much more flavorful. We drank fruit potions said to help improve the quality of the skin and ate sweet cereal and nut bars that helps improve digestion. El Yogurt Place also have several specialty diets and nutritional regimes for people whose minds are set towards healthy vegetarian eating.

The restaurant is open Tuesday to Sunday from 7:30 in the morning until 8 at night and they serve breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks. You also do not need to worry about having peso bills at hand because the restaurant accepts debit and credit cards. The restaurant staff were also very polite and helpful in explaining to us in understandable English the dishes included in their menu. El Yogurt Place is a wonderful restaurant to visit because of their wide choices of affordable and delicious health food that will not leave you hungry like other health food restaurants do.

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