Thursday, February 27, 2014

A Green Flash Brewery and Malva Cocina de Baja Supper Club

The Green Flash Brewery in San Diego has been hosting a series of beer pairing dinners prepared by local chefs called the Supper Club.  It looks like a future a Supper Club is going to get a taste of the Valle.

From the Green Flash Facebook page -
Our Director of Beer Education and Events Manager headed south of the boarder today to explore new partnerships for our upcoming Supper Club. From the looks of it, we won't be disappointed.
Check out  the pictures of the Green Flash guys enjoying some of Chef Roberto Alocer's food at Malva Cocina de Baja.

Green Flash's Facebook Page

Celebrate Baja with Guest Chef Javier Plascencia

The Park Hyatt Aviara Resort in Carlsbad holds a series of culinary events called Masters of Food and Wine.  Their next event will be on March 7 featuring Finca Altozano's chef/owner Javier Plascencia.  

More information can be found here:  Celebrate Baja

Finca Altozano Reopens on Tuesday, March 4

Spring is arriving early in the Valle!   Finca Altozano, one of my favorite restaurants in the Valle de Guadalupe, is reopening on Tuesday, March 4.

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Troika: The Valle de Guadalupe's Gourmet Food Truck

Phil Gregory and Diego Hernandez are building a nice little destination for food and wine lovers in the Valle de Guadalupe.  La Villa del Valle is a beautiful boutique hotel, Corazon de Tierra is a world class restaurant, and the Vena de Cava Winery stands out in an area that has dozens of interesting wineries.

The newest addition to their culinary empire is a food truck and outdoor eating area called Troika. Troika is located right outside the winery and seating is available next to an adjacent small pond under a shade structure made from old irrigation tubing.  It's a nice setting to spend an hour or so in between wine tastings.  

The food selection is limited to a few tostadas and sliders.  We sampled several a couple weeks ago on an unusually warm February afternoon and found them all to be quite tasty.

I could have easily spent the entire afternoon at Troika's working through their menu and drinking cold beer, but we had wineries to visit and miles to go before we slept.

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

New Restaurant: Quercus

We spent this past Valentine's Day weekend in the Valle.  At our last winery stop we chanced upon a tour group who were all staying at the Quinta Maria Bed and Breakfast.  We chatted with our fellow travelers a bit and then pulled the owner of the B and B, Tere, aside and peppered her with questions about the Valle.

Our primary aim was to find a new place to have lunch before we headed back home.  She recommended a restaurant in San Antonio de las Minas called Quercus.  So, after we finished our interrogation. we downed our last drop of wine and headed to yet another new Valle restaurant.

Quercus is just a couple blocks south of Highway 3 on Benito Juarez (the only traffic light).  It has not been open long and has adopted the area's ethos of serving products and cooking with ingredients sourced from the Valle.  Walking into the restaurant we noticed a large wood burning oven where our waitress later informed us most of the food is cooked.

The menu is pretty extensive consisting of everything from sopes to pizza to a New York steak. Although the waitress recommended the lasagne (Baja Med?) we ordered the duck confit empanadas and a sea food pizza which we washed down with some local wines and a beer or two.

The food was tasty, the prices moderate, and the young staff was attentive, friendly and very considerate of our modest attempts of speaking Spanish.

As we left the restaurant we talked to one of the chefs who proudly showed us their wood oven and let us know that they are easily reached via Facebook.


Sunday, February 23, 2014

El Pinar de 3 Mujeres

According to Facebook one of our favorite campestres, El Pinar de 3 Mujeres, is gearing up to open this spring.  Located on the grounds of the 3 Mujeres Winery the chef Ismene Venegas (daughter of one of the 3 Mujeres duenas, Eva Cotero) served up one of our favorite meals in the Valle last year. 

La Esperanza: Valle de Guadalupe's New Campestre

Miguel Angel Guerrero is a chef and judging by his Instagram feed he's an all around badass.  He has several restaurants in Tijuana and is recognized as having coined the term Baja Med to describe the cuisine being created by Baja chefs.

According to his Instagram feed he is returning to the Valle (I believe he was formerly the chef at Almazara) with a new project on the grounds of L.A. Cetto. The new restaurant is called La Esperanza and is expected to open sometime in April.

La Esperanza Baja Med Cocina 360

Rancho Maria's Restaurant, Campestre Los Naranjos, Opening Soon

According to Facebook Rancho Maria's restaurant, Campestre Los Naranjos, is opening soon.

Mapping the Valle de Guadalupe: La Ruta - VCC+

Finding places in the Valle is a challenge. Many of even the most well known wineries, hotels, and restaurants are located on unmarked dirt roads in out of the way parts of the valley.

I have wished for a decent map since our first visit and it appears that our wish has been at least partially granted. Most of the places the wineries and restaurants we visited this past Valentine’s weekend had the pictured map available for the excellent price of free. It’s a nice size and has a reasonably accurate representation of most of the dirt roads that criss-cross the valley. It’s advertiser based and is missing some important places, but it’s one of the better tools we have used to get around.

The people who created the map promise regular updates and a smart phone app this summer. I’ll keep you posted.


It was about a year ago that my friend Marc and I followed some bread crumbs left by Anthony Bourdain to the Valle de Guadalupe. We fell in love with the wine. the food, and the friendliness of the people..  Since that trip I have made many more visits to what is described as Mexico's Tuscany and discovered a wide variety of absolutely fantastic restaurants and wineries.

If you have spent any time at all searching the internet for information about the Valle you have probably noticed that it is difficult to find.  I have not found a comprehensive web site that has kept abreast of the Valle’s latest news and information.  I have decided to give it a try to fill that void.